Tie a ribbon around 2016
Well, that was some year. Earthquakes, floods, the Waitangirua siege, a new mayor, and a concrete gannet named Nigel. That’s just to name a few of the stories we were in the midst of this year.
Housing New Zealand featured plenty, not always positively, but the organisation did bookend the year well by announcing more homes were back on the market to take pressure off the waiting list.
Floods in May and November highlighted the dire situation Porirua’s infrastructure is in - thankfully no one lost their lives, but the city came to a shuddering halt as the water rose higher.
Urgent attention is needed next year on the ageing stormwater system, especially to alleviate issues at hotspots like Porirua School.
At Porirua City Council, there was a clearout of general managers and a new mayor in Mike Tana - who saw that coming?
The addition of five new councillors and the returning Faafoi Seiuli means the reset button has been pushed as Nick Leggett, who failed to win the mayoralty down the road, Ken Douglas, Euon Murrell, Denys Latham and Litea Ah Hoi left the chamber for the last time.
We wrote in August that Murrell may stand unopposed in the election, but five candidates ended up making it a real contest.
In a postscript to the local body elections, Leggett announced he would be standing in Mana in next year’s general election.
That will be some battle against popular incumbent Kris Faafoi.
However, what shone through everything this year was the everpresent sense of community that exists in Porirua.
Whether it was offering beds and food during the siege, the clean-up of Aotea Lagoon initiated by resident Matt Pollock or the overwhelming support for Mana Coastguard after their building was destroyed by fire in August, people care about each other in this city.
And it’s a privilege for us to report it.
It’s also been a year of great change at this newspaper and for our sister community papers in the Wellington region.
We’ve endeavoured to sail through the rocky seas that the newspaper industry is facing and have been proud to bring you the local stories that matter, engender debate on a myriad of topics and champion Porirua City to a national audience.
That won’t change for 2017 and we look forward to your tips and tales.