Flood ‘huge blow’ to Mana Arts So­ci­ety

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Mana Arts So­ci­ety’s clu­b­rooms may be raised off the ground, but there was no es­cap­ing the Novem­ber 15 del­uge.

That day, the Plim­mer­ton Do­main and the park-and-ride carpark flooded and the wa­ter rose high enough to en­ter the so­ci­ety’s clu­b­rooms.

The wa­ter dam­age ru­ined the floor, art ma­te­ri­als, pa­per­work and books - many of the lat­ter were ir­re­place­able - and even the build­ing’s piles shifted.

The in­surance and engi­neer­ing as­sess­ments are still to be car­ried out, and it could be months be­fore Mana Arts So­ci­ety can host another event.

The build­ing, next to the do­main, has housed the so­ci­ety since 2001. Meet­ings, ex­hi­bi­tions and other events are reg­u­larly held there.

The so­ci­ety’s chair­woman Jill Sut­ton said she thought the clu­b­rooms might es­cape the wa­ter.

‘‘The build­ing is raised off the ground and even with all that wa­ter and the high tide, I thought we’d be OK,’’ she said.

‘‘How wrong I was and it’s go­ing to be a huge job to get it us­able again any­time soon.’’

A large pre-Christ­mas sale of mem­bers’ works had to be can­celled in the wake of the flood.

Sut­ton said any­thing sal­vaged had been taken out and was hope­ful a ‘‘cash and carry’’ ex­hi­bi­tion could be held once the build­ing was re­paired.

‘‘There’s been no talk of be­ing based any­where else. ‘‘We’ll be back in one day.’’ Mana Arts So­ci­ety have an ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka in May that all mem­bers were keenly look­ing for­ward to, she said.

So­ci­ety mem­ber Ju­lia Spinks said it the dam­age was a ‘‘huge blow’’ to the club’s for­tunes.

She asked what Porirua City Coun­cil would be do­ing to im­prove the drainage, es­pe­cially as the do­main, down­hill from Taupo Swamp, was prone to flood­ing dur­ing heavy rain.

Coun­cil parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said the low-ly­ing park had a stream run­ning through it that had be­come silted.

‘‘We are cur­rently seek­ing re­source con­sent from the re­gional coun­cil to clear it, so the wa­ter from the swamp can run more eas­ily to the sea.’’

Dovey said the con­sent could be granted in the new year, but no fur­ther tim­ing was avail­able.

Mana Arts So­ci­ety was es­tab­lished in 1982 and was orig­i­nally housed in a church hall in Acheron Rd.

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Mana Arts So­ci­ety’s flooded clu­b­rooms at Plim­mer­ton Do­main.

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