Driving Through the East
An Insight into City Planning in Porirua
Keywords:Porirua, Pasifika, cultural kete, community engagement, community empowerment
This intervention asks how the people of Porirua can feel empowered and included in the decision-making processes that will shape the future of their city. I draw on my experiences as a life-long resident, activist, artist, architect, landscape architect, and urban designer in Porirua to find answers. I have found that young Pasifika are very concerned about whether their cultural values will be represented in housing and development in Porirua. This speaks to an issue facing the country as whole: while the Pasifika population continues to grow in size and importance in Aotearoa New Zealand, they are subject to flawed cultural assumptions, and are frequently overlooked or misunderstood in decision-making processes that will have profound impacts upon their future. There is room for more talanoa between Pasifika in Aotearoa New Zealand, and between Pasifika and the wider population. It is only when architects and planners expand their cultural kete that they will provide suitable housing and neighbourhoods for Pasifika.