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Friday, 22 March 2019 01:50 am

Wellington and Porirua merger talk has people in three minds

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IMAGE: Creative Commons

IF MERGING Wellington and Porirua into one city comes to a vote, then swinging voters could decide the outcome.

The two city councils are talking about merging according to reports citing Wellington chief executive Kevin Lavery and Porirua Mayor Nick Legget (front page photo).

However, a significant number of people spoken to on the streets of Wellington yesterday were neither for nor against.

DanielFayen- JemmaOf the 65 people spoken to by NewsWire yesterday, 26 (40%) were against and 17 (26%)for the idea.

However 22 (31%) either did not have an opinion or said they did not have enough information.

Kapiti hammer-hand Daniel Fayen (39), right, was typical of those who thought the idea had merits.

Maria Jose Sanchez-kate“I would have to look into it for the pros and cons,” Fayen said.

Maria Jose Sanchez (22), left, barista, Mount Cook, did not think the current set-up was necessarily wrong.

“So I don’t think they should change it. But if they give a reasonable reason,” Sanchez said.

Te Aro museum worker James Warren (22) said he could see good and bad sides of the argument.

Mark Coghlan-kate“Sometimes if you expand things it could potentially dilute, but Porirua could benefit as Wellington is a big affluent area. So Porirua may get a bit more spending,” Warren said.

Ty Harvey Cropped- ZariusMark Coghlan (47) Self-employed, Johnsonville said the boundary lines should be kept.

“I don’t think it’s actually a good idea, because they are distinct identities.”

Ty Harvey (20) fisherman, CBD is also against the idea.

He thinks the councils should be spread over four councils instead of one. He thinks the groupings should be Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt, Ngauranga to Karori and Johnsonville to Porirua.

Alan Simpson- kateThose for the merger saw benefits for Porirua, such as student Findlay Sloane (24). “We need to keep Porirua going or else employment’s going to drop.”

Twins Paul and Alan Simpson (52) said it made sense to combine.

“We shouldn’t have two separate councils just one city,” said Paul, a HR consultant of Te Aro.

Alan, who is in HR in Singapore said it would streamline government.

“We have too many small little governmental fiefdoms that do not operate efficiently. Let’s have some larger groups with larger populations, get good people running it and economies to scale.”

TMeredith Robert-Shawe- Patrickhe Dominion Post reported yesterday that Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery presented a plan last week outlining the possibility of combining the two councils.

Of those spoken to, most (49) were from Wellington, and the for (26.5%), against (42.9%) and undecided 30.6% percentages were similar to the overall figures.

Opinions from others spoken to by NewsWire yesterday included:

Craig Sefton- PatrickMeredith Robert-Shawe, left, gallery worker, Wellington, thinks that as two separate communities, Wellington and Porirua have different needs, different demographics. She says it is “great if Porirua benefits from Wellington, not so good if they don’t”.

Craig Sefton, right, Wellington, says although he is waiting for permits from the Wellington Council, which he started applying for in August last year, he would be for the convergence.

Lola Graham-Wiggins- PatrickLola Graham-Wiggins (17), left, barista, Wellington: “We’re not a super city. Focus on one.”

Christine Browne (68) public worker, Te Aro thinks it’s not a good idea because it would be better for the two to be separate as both towns have quite different characteristics.

Errol Bruce (75) retired, Kapiti: “Wouldn’t really affect me, but I think that Porirua would benefit from having a shared council with the main city.”

Taryn Gray- PatrickTaryn Gray (21), right, sales assistant, Wellington: “Not bothered. I don’t know quite enough to have a proper stance. ”

Isaac Grey (23) student, Petone: “I wouldn’t care what happened to be honest, it wouldn’t affect me – they aren’t doing a good job anyway, changes wouldn’t make it better.”

JAshley Hananda- Amyim Sharp (66) science tech, Island Bay thinks that it’s not a good idea as they are a half hours drive away from
each other and each town has its own separate wants and needs.

Ashley Hananda (22), left, working student, Lyall Bay: “It’d be great for activities together.”

Vincent Tran Cropped- ZariusJohn Thomassen (54) window cleaner, Island Bay thinks that it won’t work because they are too different from each other socially & economically.

Geoff Lyster (58) oxygen technician, Brisbane thinks that it’s a good thing because it saves money and having one main council to run everything is easier than two with different economic situations.
Bernadette Macarteney (52) teacher, Wilton: “I don’t think it is a good idea. I don’t want to see Wellington lose its flavour.”

Vincent Tran (25), right, café manager, Te Aro thinks Porirua is a rural area and is quite far away but doesn’t mind if they combine into a big city. He says that it is alright.

Scott O'Callaghan Cropped- ZariusHailey George (15) student, Island Bay: “I don’t know, in a way I feel like it already is.”

Scott O’Callaghan (25), left,  personal trainer, Brooklyn: “Not too sure, it’s quite close anyways it won’t be a massive problem.”

CClayton Watene- Zariuslayton Watene (32), right, builder, Hutt Valley: “I wouldn’t care, I’m from Hutt Valley.”

Georgina Chirstensen, teacher, Roseneath: “I wouldn’t support it because Porirua is such a colourful city at the moment and I don’t think it would be in its best interests.”

Larissa McArthur (19) student, Lyndon: “I wouldn’t like it at all. I grew up in Porirua and it’s it’s own city.”

Mo Kr (20) student, CBD: “I don’t have any views on it because I’m not from there, but it doesn’t seem like a bad idea.”

Hugo Huntington- Walter Cook EditedWalter cook (74), left, retired, Otaki: “I think we have a pretty slack democracy right now when it comes to population participation, particularly in local body elections. I just think that these amalgamations will make the local body governments more remote from the constituencies that they do have. I suspect that they are based on what the accountants think in terms of saving money and streamlining, whereas democracy is not subject to streamlining it’s about the participation of the community and I think it will work against that.”

Catherine Hay (23) retailer, Northland: “I don’t know whether or not it would be an issue. I think they said something about the rates going up. Don’t really know about it sorry.”

Merle Robertson- KateniMerle Robertson, right, clerk, Te Aro: “I think it’s a good idea.”

Debin George (23) student, Wellington: “It would be a great idea.”

Anne Donnell (69) retired, Kelburn thinks that it is not a good idea. She said that both places are just too different to be combined.

Monica Koch- KateniMonica Koch, left, works part time, Kelburn: “Both Porirua and Wellington have separate unique things to offer based on that they should be kept separate.”

Jareen Fahmi (21) barista & student from Te Aro: “I’m not too sure. They are quite far apart, but it is one region so it does kind of make sense.”

Gagndeep Singh (23) café employee, Hataitai said he thinks it’s going to be more difficult for the government to handle.

Georgia Gray (15) student, Kingston: “I don’t really mind. It doesn’t really affect me.”

William Baird (22) student, Kilbirnie: “Not too fond of it. There’s no need to make things so amalgamated. Keep them separate.”

Shane Roberts (48) store manager, Lower Hutt: “It doesn’t affect me too much. But I haven’t seen the proposals yet.”

Antony Chiu-irelandJess Muller (31) portrait and live model and organic nutrition bar demonstrator, Johnsonville: “I personally don’t think it would be the best idea actually. Porirua is quite a small suburb in itself, and it might be that there are some issues that are completely conflicting to Wellington.”

Antony Chiu (34), right, unemployed, Johnsonville: “It doesn’t really make sense to be honest, just with the difference in rates between the two councils. I don’t really view it as being beneficial for one to pay more for the other.”

Marion Salter (46) unemployed, Lower Hutt: “in terms of the merging I don’t see a problem, I don’t like the whole super city idea that they have in Auckland but if it’s just Porirua and Wellington.”

Mathew Wilkinson (20) labourer, Te Aro: “I don’t have any views on it at all really I don’t ever think about it.”

Elisabeth Demaria (40) analyst, Island Bay: “Ambivalent they are very different environments, different sorts of cultures. I would say I’m against, it seems like a very different area [Porirua] different interests.”

Arlen Mccluskey-irelandArlen McCluskey (31), left, web designer, Mount Victoria: “I probably would be against it because it would mean it will be harder for the representatives to address the concerns of their constituencies, When they have a giant group of people it is harder to please everybody, whereas when they are smaller. Although I suppose there would probably be some efficiencies they would gain by combining things so I guess neutral.”

Sandrine Marralse, (41) public relations consultant, Nelson: “ I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’ve seen amalgamation happen before in areas in Auckland and also they’re proposing it in Nelson and I think that it takes away the individuality of those areas and makes everything to much same same.”

Cherie Hona, (36) senior services support officer, Petone: “No I think that it should stay as it is, two separate councils.”

Hugo Huntington- Jack Rennie editedJack Rennie (21), right, student, Te aro: “I think it would be a strong bonding opportunity to combine public interests from both areas. Because Wellington City Council does great things keeping the market local and Porirua is doing great things with tourism and bringing people in. Together they can make people feel part of the community.”

Steph Soper, (30) publisher, Thorndon: “Well to be honest, I don’t know anything about it but I wouldn’t see why that would be a problem. I haven’t heard the news yet but yeah I definitely don’t have a problem with it.”

Eva Monk, (37) systems engineer, Wainuiomata: “I don’t have any strong view points on it but it seems to me that there are different priorities. I don’t think it would be a good idea, keep it separate.”

Hugo Huntington- Julie Barron EditedDeanna Maladina, (20) student, Ranui, Porirua: “I don’t really have a view on it, it’s pretty interesting though. I don’t really know much about it.”

Julie Barron (63), left, retired, Te Aro: “The bigger councils get the less likely they are able to represent the diverse communities within them. That tends to isolate them from their communities and they go for a one fix type of solution model which doesn’t suit the community. The closer to the community the more representation, I believe.”

Annie Roberts (48) public servant, Wainuiomata: “It doesn’t make sense for Wellington and Porirua. I can’t see that linking in. Two very different communities. ”

Louella Betham (56) roster administrator, Porirua thinks it’s not a good idea, especially where rates are concerned because Porirua is already paying for Wellington stadium.

Sam Manzanza (47) musician, Wellington thinks it makes sense to combine the two as the regions are not very big.

Hayden Applegarth (37) storage engineer, Miramar: “Wow I haven’t thought about it”

John Barlett- PatrickJohn Bartlett (74), right, retiree, Wellington: “Economically, a good idea. Why not.”

James Fearnley (27) data registration, Brooklyn thought centralisation of government bodies hasn’t worked before. People living in the outer districts will miss out.

Anthony Hughes (47) public servant, Wellington: “Sounds like a sensible idea. It’s [Porirua} an extension of northern wellington. Wellington could do a better job of managing the two.”

Claudia Johnston (20) Te Aro: “I haven’t heard about it, I don’t feel it would affect me. I would have to know more to comment further.”

NewsWire Team included: Amy McEwen, Ireland Hendry-Tennent, Kate Given, Keanu Head, Zarius Samuel, Kateni Sau, Ethan Roberts, Hugo Huntington, Jemma Cotterall, Tayla Shortland, Jade Winton-Lowe, Patrick French.

 

Our City - PoriruaAerial- final image-500w

IMAGE: Porirua City Council

 

 

 

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