We’re calling for the partner organisations involved in the $1.5 billion Porirua Development project to adopt the Porirua Promise, a set of five undertakings we believe will help ensure that everyone in East Porirua benefits from this once-in-a lifetime opportunity.

The five undertakings are:

  • Every person who lives in Porirua now will be able to stay in Porirua.
  • The developers will use their buying power to create new jobs and training for the people of Porirua.
  • Low-income households will be able to move into home ownership because robust financial tools like rent-to-buy and shared equity will be made available for a significant proportion of the new houses.
  • Community engagement will be guaranteed through ring-fencing funding for it.
  • An independent community Kaitiaki group will be resourced to inform the development process and keep it true to this promise.

We helped develop the Porirua Promise following a 2-day learning trip to Auckland in May to get insights into the “do’s and don’ts” of large housing regeneration projects. We’ll present it to the development partners at a meeting on August 21.

Our learning group of 22 was made up of a cross-section of people and groups active in the Porirua East community. We visited five regeneration projects already underway in Auckland to see first-hand how they have affected existing communities – both in good ways and bad.

The people we visited and talked to were extremely generous and open and the trip brought up a huge number of ideas and things to work on.

The learning group has developed the Porirua Promise as an important first step towards making sure that the Porirua regeneration project embraces the best aspects of the Auckland regeneration projects, and avoids those that have been less successful.

Wesley Community Action director, David Hanna, says the Porirua Development project has the potential to offer huge benefits to the Eastern Porirua community, there are also potential downsides, such as the possibility that some of the area’s most vulnerable residents will be displaced as housing prices rise.

“We believe that by adopting the five undertakings in the Porirua Promise, the project partners have a solid foundation on which to base the decisions they make so that everyone in East Porirua benefits from the regeneration project.”