Mayoral update for 17 April


Kia ora Wellington, I want to share some fabulous upcoming events I’m sure you’ll want to be part of – from home!

First up this weekend some of our wonderful arts and cultural events are going online, and we are all invited to join in! The Royal New Zealand Ballet brings Cinderella right to your living room at 1.30pm on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday. Then the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will perform Pokarekareana at 3 pm on Saturday. You can get onto the NZSO facebook feed from 2.45 and everyone is invited to join in at 3 pm.

Then from 5 pm right through till 9.45 there’s an awesome lineup of Cuba Dupa performers, this time on the Cuba Dupa facebook feed. They’ve called it appropriately ‘Go home – stay home’.  We’ve missed out two years in a row on Cuba Dupa so this is a chance to enjoy some awesome performers.

Next weekend we commemorate ANZAC day. It’s yet another event that will be very different this year.  For the first time since 1916 there will be no public events this year – instead we will mark ANZAC day by standing together – although apart – with virtual services and online events.

ANZAC day will start with a virtual dawn service. New Zealanders are being asked to commemorate those who have served our country by standing, in our bubbles – whether that be in your living room, your driveway, or at your front door.

We are also being encouraged to acknowledge Anzac Day with poppy displays on letterboxes or in windows – I think that’s a lovely way of showing our support. Personally I have some special white crosses from the WW1 commemorations that I’ll be putting on my lawn to pay my respects.

The official dawn service starts at 6am on 25 April, broadcast on Radio NZ, and there will also be a special Anzac Day programme at 11am on TVNZ 1.

Lest we forget.

Finally, I want to give another big shout-out to all our crews who have been cleaning up debris on the South Coast after Wednesday’s huge swells battered a number of properties. If you’ve seen the images, it was just incredible how much material was thrown across roads and footpaths – and even into properties – due to the force of the waves. Our crews have worked tirelessly ever since.

I’m really pleased to say that we’ve already cleared the bulk of the debris from road and public spaces right along the coast – with most back open to through traffic. We’re still asking motorists, cycling and pedestrians to stay away from the area, to allow contractors and residents to continue the clean-up. So please stay local, stay in your bubbles, and don’t go sight-seeing this weekend.

Our teams have been making sure that all the evacuees were well looked after and safely back in their homes after a night in a hotel. Well done everyone.

I also want to mention we already have plans to build an improved seawall at Owhiro Bay – pretty much in the area hardest-hit on Wednesday.  This is one of three seawalls that we’re due to put out to tender later this month, with construction ideally to begin later this year.

That’s all for today, please stay safe, stay separate, and stay local.

Have a great weekend Wellington, and I’ll be back soon with another update.

Kia kaha.