Meet the Candidates Meeting September 2019
Brief Report on the Candidates Meeting held on 26th September 2019
The 7pm meeting was held at the Mana Cruising Club and included candidates for Mayor, Northern Ward Porirua City Council and Porirua-Tawa Constituency of Wellington Regional Council).
Firstly apologies to those members of the public who were unable to get into the meeting due to a very large attendance which then triggered restrictions on entry relating to Fire Safety regulations. It was difficult to predict what the level of attendance to the meeting would be, but the Residents Association believed the upstairs room at the Mana Cruising Club would be adequate. The level of turnout was pleasing but we are very sorry for those who missed out.
Unfortunately candidates Mani AH FAR (Mayor), Ana COFFEY (Mayor) and Beverley Anne WAKEM (Northern Ward Councillor) were unable to attend this meeting.
All candidates had 3 minutes to address the audience, and predominantly followed their profile information contained in the "Instructions and Candidate information" booklet, provided with the voting papers to all registered electors, received in the mail last week.
The second half of the meeting was set aside for candidates to answer a set of "themed, big picture" questions developed from attendees' written "burning questions" - submitted before the meeting commenced.
Questions, with general themed replies covered:
- "What is your plan for the Harbour?" : clean streams (Whaitua report implementation), stricter criteria around developments involving earthworks and more enforcement, fix cross connections between stormwater and sewer systems, reduce sewer overflows.
- "How is the Council going to improve communication with the ratepayer?" : what's missing is Council reacting to community requests, go to the community (including young people) for their ideas and feedback, one size does not fit all - Council needs to be more transparent.
- "What would you do to reduce rates?" : benchmarking against other NZ councils costs, investigate existing costs - cut some services, new developments growth should pay for itself, investigate possible Central Government funding, Regional Council to bring down Transport Rate faster.
- "What are your plans for Mana Esplanade when Transmission Gully is completed?" : ask the community for input, Mana Esplanade should be in the best possible condition before the road is handed over to PCC, Porirua does not want the cost responsibility of the Coastal Highway - propose that the Region requires the coastal highway as part of two main route roads north for greatest resilience.
- "What would you do about Climate Change?”: develop a meaningful Climate Change Policy with professional and Central Government involvement, coastal protection and managed retreat, better local public transport, go electric, more compact urban design around transport hubs.
The meeting finished at 9pm and then there was a time for "general discussion" between members of the public and the candidates over tea/coffee/juice and biscuits.