Kapi-Mana News : March 27th 2012
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Free weekly sausage sizzles Buskers' repertoires must comprise more than two songs Bylaw banning pyjamas as daywear Impose a no-fly zone for seagulls Long term vision: Greg Pollock Porirua's CBD revitalisation could take decades rather than years, says the man hired by Porirua City Coun- cil to lead the makeover. Greg Pollock is head of a three- man team from Wellington-based consulting firm Beca, contracted this month to project manage the revitalisation on an indefinite basis. It will take time to convince pri- vate investors to buy into the city centre, Mr Pollock says. This is a long-term story. That's not to say we're not going to start doing things. There's a sense that something needs to start, to happen. We need to make sure it's the right something, though.'' Top priority is creating more local employment in the CBD, and Mr Pollock believes this can be achieved by encouraging property owners to refurbish their buildings so different kinds of business will want to move in. More restaurants in the city centre are also needed to attract people in the evenings, he says. Among longer-term priorities is a revamp of the city's layout to boost business and increase foot traffic, starting with a new main street, Mr Pollock says. There are few streets in Porirua with businesses along both sides, and this discourages people from lingering in the CBD, he says. It's roads on either side of car parks right now.'' Commercial investment will come when investors see there is a solid, well-supported plan in place for the CBD, Mr Pollock says. It's kind of a snowballing thing. If we get some things right the private sector will start to invest.'' Ultimately the success of the proj- ect will be getting people to use the city centre, he says. The Porirua centre, I think, is an example of what happens when you don't think about people when devel- oping a city centre. We see our role as helping the city to create this city centre which is something they love to visit.'' Home sweet home: Cannons Creek's Taing family are having a much-needed house built for them by Whitireia students in a neat trade-off organised by Habitat for Humanity. Students help family dreams come true By ANDREA O'NEIL A house being built in Elsdon for a needy family could be pictured in a dictionary beside the defi- nition for win-win situation''. Cannons Creek's Taing family are having a house built for them by Whitireia students in a Habitat for Humanity project. Veasna Taing, 30, and Sith- oeun Bit, 29, originally from Cambodia, live in a crowded Bedford St house with 13 relatives. The family occupies the basement and must go out- side to use the toilet. The Taings' three-year-old son Aydin was born with severe dis- abilities -- he cannot walk or talk and is intellectually disabled. At present the Taings must carry Aydin up and down flights of stairs whenever they leave the house. Habitat for Humanity approved the couple's appli- cation last year, and construc- tion should be finished this November. The new house will be wheelchair accessible and has been designed with Aydin in mind. It's very exciting,'' Mrs Bit says. The house will improve Aydin's life, Mr Taing says. Now we live in a small place and we have to carry Aydin all the time. Aydin will feel better when we're in our own place.'' About 150 Whitireia trades students are building, plumbing and wiring the house at their campus on Mohuia Cres as part of their course work. It is the second house they've built for Habitat for Humanity, and gives them a chance to work on a real-life project at a time when the recession lessens opportunities to visit building sites, Whitireia chief executive Don Campbell says. To top it off Whitireia has given Mr Taing a scholarship to study carpentry at its Elsdon campus, so he will find it easy to contribute the 500 hours required of Habitat for Humanity partners. Ascot Park is the final desti- nation for the house, where it will be independently valued and the Taings will begin paying off their dream home.
March 20th 2012
April 3rd 2012