If someone told you that they live in Waitangirua, what would be your first thought? I know what mine used to be. I would generally be surprised and worried for their safety as it is what some refer to it as “The Ghetto”. Purely because of its many gang affiliations in the area and the state of the neighbourhood. One of the biggest issues though is housing.
State housing is in a condition that needs repairing, there’s not enough to house families in the neighbourhood and if you’re looking to rent in the area believe it or not but some houses have rental prices that match those within Wellington City. But what if I told you that directly adjacent to Waitangirua is another neighbourhood that looks completely different with brand new 2 – 3 story houses (more being built each day I might add) smooth tarmac connecting the streets, also a Countdown Supermarket was placed just on the outskirts of Aotea just before you come into Waitangirua (Coincidence? I think not).
So how can two neighbourhoods right next to each other be separated? Well, a forested hill separates Aotea from Waitangirua. So close yet so far apart. The problem I am trying to point out is that the differences in the quality of both suburbs couldn’t be any more largely divided. It is almost criminal how you can continuously build brand new houses in an upcoming neighbourhood when just over the hill there are houses that have been decaying for over 60 years! Families can barely house each other because there isn’t enough space. If that wasn’t bad enough, the more houses that are being built in Aotea are continuously driving rental prices through the roof AND the price of houses in this already toxic housing market that is Wellington.
I have nothing against the people who live in these houses but what I’m trying to comprehend is the ridiculousness of having two adjoining suburbs that look completely different. You know the strangest thing is that some of these new houses being built are becoming ever so close to Waitangirua and even Cannons Creek, almost as if they’re trying to push the prominent demographic out of Porirua. Which is the Pacific and Maori communities who for decades have resided in Porirua but it doesn’t do them much good if the very houses they reside in are falling apart. Why not help create better living conditions for those who need them desperately?
Probably the newest thing built within Waitangirua is the link up with the newly constructed transmission gully connecting Paekakariki and Porirua but then again this doesn’t need to be here if you think about it. Not for Waitangirua at least. Plus it isn’t even open yet! But that’s a discussion for another time. Anyway, my point is! The economic gap between the rich and the poor feels more apparent with the ever-growing suburb of Aotea continuously improving with new houses and roads being built every day and Waitangirua still standing with minimal work being done on it as does its adjoining neighbour Cannon’s Creek.
By Keenan Rogers