Porirua ready for in­flux of Lions fans

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JARED NICOLL

A pop­u­lar Porirua spot with free­dom campers will be given more at­ten­tion dur­ing the up­com­ing Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions rugby tour.

Porirua City Coun­cil will have ex­tra staff on the ready to look af­ter sites, such as Ngati Toa Do­main.

The Lions ar­rive in New Zealand later this month and will be in Welling­ton for matches against the Hur­ri­canes on June 27 and the All Blacks on July 1.

About 1300 camper­vans are ex­pected to fol­low the games, and the coun­cil is an­tic­i­pat­ing some will stay in Porirua - par­tic­u­larly at the do­main, for its rail links to Welling­ton City - as they did dur­ing as they did dur­ing the last tour in 2005.

Ratepayer Con­nie Palmer, who lives near the do­main, was con­cerned be­cause the area had hosted too many campers in the past, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the sum­mer months.

She hoped the coun­cil would po­lice the area as some campers had flouted rules ban­ning tents, and had parked out­side des­ig­nated ar­eas.

‘‘They’re just crammed in there all over the place.

‘‘I don’t mind con­tribut­ing to my com­mu­nity, but I ob­ject to free­loaders.

‘‘It al­ways used to be the most lovely area ... I love see­ing fam­i­lies there and peo­ple fish­ing, look­ing for crabs.’’

She felt ag­grieved when campers packed out the area with­out hav­ing to con­trib­ute any­thing to its main­te­nance.

An­other reg­u­lar vis­i­tor said the amount of camper­vans had grown from about a dozen to around 70 on one day in Fe­bru­ary last year.

A coun­cil spokes­woman said, while the coun­cil looked for­ward to hav­ing the vis­i­tors, it will ‘‘closely mon­i­tor use of the do­main and de­mand on its fa­cil­i­ties and are ready to re­spond as need be’’.

‘‘We will have ex­tra staff on to change rub­bish bins and clean fa­cil­i­ties and can bring in ex­tra toi­lets if re­quired.

‘‘If the de­mand for space be­comes too great we have sev­eral other over-flow overnight park­ing ar­eas we can open up.

‘‘Ngati Toa Do­main is al­ready a pop­u­lar overnight park­ing spot and we are pleased to say we ex­pe­ri­ence very few is­sues, with the ma­jor­ity of tourists re­spect­ing the re­serve and leav­ing it clean and tidy.’’

Mean­while, af­ter at least 20 years, the spell­ing of ‘Ngati­toa’ Do­main has been fixed to Ngati Toa Do­main.

The iwi ap­proached the coun­cil to get it fixed about six months ago, and the coun­cil has since changed the area’s name on the re­serve ti­tle.

Parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said the coun­cil was not sure ex­actly how the er­ror oc­curred.

The coun­cil has be­gun the process of get­ting a new sign in­stalled at the park, and chang­ing maps.

PHOTO: JARED NICOLL/FAIRFAX NZ

Ngati Toa Do­main at Mana in Porirua is a pop­u­lar spot for free­dom campers. Above, the do­main’s sign will be changed to ‘‘Ngati Toa’’.

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