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Porirua mayoral candidate nostalgic for harbour’s better days

Aug 17th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

Harbour650px2

A MAYORAL contender wants a return to the days of walking into Porirua harbour and getting a feed of fresh cockles.

Yvonne Carroll (53), below, a born and bred Titahi Bay resident wants to turn the harbour back into a feeding bowl for the city.

“You used to be able to walk out, dig your foot down and dig up a couple of cockles and you had a feed,” Mrs Carroll said.

The keen waka ama competitor wants Porirua to embrace its waterways.

“There is so much lost potential because we have not kept that harbour clean,” Mrs Carroll said.

“It has taken 40 years to dirty it up to the state it’s in and it will take double that time to clean it up.”

Planting and other projects could be done cheaply if led by the community, Mrs Carroll said.

She would like to build a cycle way through Titahi Bay and around the harbour, which she thinks will bring coffee-carts and visitors to the area.

Earlier this year a report by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research found the harbour was no longer safe for swimming or fishing.

Mayor Nick Leggett has stated the council has spent the last three years researching the harbour’s problems and that planting and smart development will solve the issue.

When asked about taking on Mr Leggett for the mayor’s job, Mrs Carroll said she did not have a problem with the incumbent.

However she said he did not involve communities enough.Carroll150px

“I think Porirua is a stepping stone for his political career. I don’t mind that, but not at the expense of 53,000 people,” Mrs Carroll said.

“There seems to be a lot of vision, which you have to have. But that’s all it seems to be.”

“I don’t think there’s been enough done that’s been led by the community.”

The former Mana College student has been at the Ministry of Social Development her whole working-life, and is currently in community relations.

She said she was a long-term Labour supporter who was swayed by National in 2011.

Mrs Carroll said youth were the future of Porirua and wants to open youth facilities and build more skate parks.

She has two children of her own and currently sits on the board of trustees at Wellington East Girls.

She said smart planning of current space and community-led initiatives such as building cheap park benches would bring “good old values” back to Porirua.

The state of the Porirua CBD is also one of her main concerns.

“All the shops down there are empty. I understand the economic downtown but that was 2008. It’s now 2013 and we’ve still got empty shops,” she said.

She said this could change by asking tenants what they want from the CBD rather than prioritising landlord’s needs.

Mrs Carroll said the mayoral contest was a long-shot but was also standing in the city’s western ward.

Nominations for the Porirua council elections close on August 16 and voting forms would be mailed out from September 20.

The below Google Map shows where Mrs Carroll would like to see a cycle track, surrounding the edge of Porirua Harbour.

 


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is a Whitireia journalism student covering Porirua, Titahi Bay, Mana and Plimmerton. He has a BA in History and Political Science from Victoria University.
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