Get­ting down to busi­ness on the wa­ter­front


‘‘We want to cre­ate some at­mos­phere down there and have busi­nesses.’’

The tide has turned to­ward com­mer­cial­is­ing prime city cen­tre re­serve land along­side Porirua Har­bour.

Porirua City Coun­cil’s city direc­tion com­mit­tee agreed last week to al­low the leas­ing of recre­ational land at Wi Neera Re­serve for tem­po­rary com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity.

The in­ten­tion is to bet­ter in­clude the wa­ter­front as part of a big $21 mil­lion plan to re­vi­talise the CBD over the next 10 years.

In keep­ing with its grassy wa­ter­side feel, the first busi­nesses to show in­ter­est have been an elec­tric and push-bike rental provider, and a bar­be­cue food op­er­a­tor.

Com­mitt­tee deputy chair­woman Kylie Wi­hapi said the city hoped to make more use of its beautiful har­bour.

‘‘We want to cre­ate some at­mos­phere down there and have busi­nesses.

‘‘If we have com­mer­cial busi­ness down there, it’s an in­cen­tive for peo­ple to visit the area.’’

Though al­ready used for waka launch­ing, pic­nick­ing, and a chil- dren’s play­ground area, busi­nesses set­ting up there would need to be self-sup­port­ing, pos­si­bly with power gen­er­a­tors, as there was a lack of ser­vices on site.

The east­ern ward coun­cil­lor em­pha­sised there would be no cost to the coun­cil apart from staff time.

If the busi­nesses were suc­cess­ful in at­tract­ing more peo­ple, it may en­cour­age other suit­able ac­tiv­i­ties and po­ten­tially more per­ma­nent com­mer­cial or res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment.

Isth­mus Group Land­scape Ar­chi­tects came up with a three­stage con­cept plan.

The first stage would iden­tify lo­ca­tions for small por­ta­ble com­mer­cial out­lets with the po­ten­tial to build boat­shed-type struc­tures that would house new op­er­a­tors as these be­came more suc­cess­ful.

A jetty could also be built to en­cour­age ac­cess out into the har­bour, and a board­walk along the edge of a larger land­scaped area.

Stage two would see the con- struc­tion of a pier pav­il­ion and a new plaza pav­il­ion, a new wa­ter ac­cess and en­hance­ment of the con­nec­tion to the Pataka art mu­seum and the rest of the CBD.

Stage three would bring the de­vel­op­ment of land in part­ner­ship with a pri­vate landowner to pro­vide com­mer­cial or res­i­den­tial ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The boat­shed-type build­ings could then be shifted along.

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