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Porirua mayor wants a vibrant city, to attract new business

Sep 4th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

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PORIRUA MAYOR Nick Leggett, above, who will run for re-election next month, wants a multicultural, vibrant city to entice business.

Mr Leggett says Porirua needs open spaces, nice cafes and housing in the CBD.

“[In Porirua], we have got to be focused externally to get investment into the city to make things happen,” Mr Leggett says.

“I want Porirua to be a place where more of our people have job opportunities locally and work locally.”

The council has decided to spend $18 million in a long-term project to revitalise the CBD.

Mr Leggett says his previous job in commercial real estate gave him a good understanding of how the project needed to work.

“This sort of stuff can take decades, but I want to show measurable improvement because we are spending a lot of money.”

Mr Leggett wants to see people living in the CBD.

“We don’t necessarily have to have endless green field development where we are ripping up the earth, cutting and filling,” he says.

He believes the opening of the new Streamside Quarter by Porirua station is good progress.

Mr Leggett thinks the canopies should stay but he would like to see the white cover replaced with something clear to let sunlight in.

Porirua Chamber of Commerce CEO Holly Thompson says Mr Leggett is popular with the business community.

“A lot of the projects he has fronted in his time as mayor are in the economic development space.

“Councils need to create an environment where business growth is possible, it is about not being in the way.”

She credits Mr Leggett with helping to attract telecommunications company Ericsson to the city, to open a new manufacturing plant, which is expected to create 30 jobs.

On the topic of local government amalgamation, Mr Leggett says a regional super-city would not harm the Porirua community.

“Well, to me, local government boundaries don’t actually define a community,” he says.

“Change is inevitable and we want to be leaders and at the table discussing it.

“Porirua is the geographic centre of the region in terms of its connections to the major population areas.”

On another current debate, Mr Leggett says he wants more information on the living wage idea.

Other councils have considered paying council employees a ‘living wage’ of $18.40 an hour.

“I think the costings are a little bit murky at the moment as to what the actual facts are,” he says. “I very much see it as a central government issue.”

Looking forward to October, Mr Leggett says he is still as passionate about Porirua as the day he first decided to stand for mayor.

“With three years’ experience on the job, I think I’ve got a great appreciation of what’s required.”

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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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