Wellington Scoop

After flooding, Porirua mayor wants to double city’s water infrastructure

Report from Michelle Laurenson
Porirua Mayor Anita Baker today announced a proposal to double the city’s spending on its water infrastructure in its next long term plan. Newstalk ZB reported that she said Porirua City’s infrastructure is outdated and the recent flooding in Plimmerton proves it needs urgent repairs. This is good news for Plimmerton, but does she have the money? And, what about Titahi Bay that has twice been flooded by sewage?

This recent promise is no different to the proposal in the Long Term Plan 2018-2038 that she helped push through as a councillor in 2018 to invest $800 million to improve core infrastructure, stormwater, wastewater and water supply services over the next 10 years.

On 16 November, when the Titahi Bay Surf lifesaving carnival was called off because sewage was overflowing into Titahi Bay beach as well as a treatment plant overflow, the Mayor was disappointed, saying “this is a terrible thing that happens, but until the infrastructure is fixed over the next 20 years it will keep occurring with heavy rain”. So the network is not going to be fixed in 10 years, it’s now 20 years.

On 29 November when sewage overflows happened again, with no warning to local community, the posts on her Council page were only about Plimmerton.

Today the Mayor said “core infrastructure needs to be equipped for our changing environment and it’s a matter of how much more can they spend, and how quickly.” Well, how quickly is it? 10 years, 20 years, now?

Given that Porirua City has some of the highest rates and rentals in the country, it is hoped that this latest Mayoral broadcast is not just a pipe dream push to placate.

Thursday: Sewage overflows into Paremata School playground


  1. Hemi, 9. December 2020, 21:18

    Of course core infrastructure needs repairs. Should be scheduled on an urgency basis. Fresh water #1. Sewerage#2. Maintenance on existing systems #3 and houses in flooding zones are well down the list.

  2. Stella, 10. December 2020, 7:51

    Yet again sewage at Titahi Bay Beach is a non issue for the council. If only it could feature on the news, it might then get a reaction. And even 10 years to fix the infrastructure is too long. Our council need to get the city’s foundations sorted before it even looks at cycleways or further development.

  3. William Mcmahon, 10. December 2020, 9:15

    Storm water.. sewage.. rain water.. rivers all lead to one place: our coast or beaches.
    As I write this, Titahi Bay and other areas in Porirua are flooded in parts and there is probably a sewage discharge atm from the sewer outlet
    at Plimmerton beach. Porirua Harbour,Pauatahunui inlet, Titahi Bay are all highly-used recreational areas all year round. Not all these recreational areas have amultiple sewage pumps and the main sewer discharge pipe at their local beach discharging whenever it rains and floods.
    I wonder if other highly used recreational areas around Porirua had these sewer discharge pipes discharging raw sewage into their local beach would our council be fronting t.v and media reports like they did when these areas flooded a few weeks ago? Our council is supposed to represent all of Porirua, not just areas when it has to. Guess where all of Porirua’s sewerage ends up when it’s raining, flooding or even on a nice sunny day … just a couple hundred meters away from a highly used recreational area in full view if you bother to look.
    Come on Anita! You worked on developing houses and infrastructure before this gig. How did you not see this coming before you got here? How do we say there is no $$ for fixing our aged infrastructure when Porirua is being developed now and into the future? We need to find a solution and maybe the answers are in the new developing of Porirua residential housing projects to fix this..not add to it. Otherwise we’re shoveling sh#t up hill into the rain.

  4. Michelle Laurenson, 10. December 2020, 15:33

    Just heard on the radio again that the Porirua City Council is going to double the funding in the Long Term Plan for infrastructure. The same funding tagged for infrastructure in 2018, so why is this being promoted as a new initiative? This propaganda and underfunding of basic infrastructure has resulted in frequent network overflows of sewage and flooding – ruining the environment and peoples homes. The ratepayers are sickened seeing regular events of raw sewage spilling from drains and burst pipes, water leaks that take months to fix (not weeks) and polished publicity and Long Term Plans that are never held to account.