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OPINION: Porirua City Council has just yesterday promoted a grand opening for their new KFC store.
The opening consisted of an organised powhiri for a KFC store. Seriously, we are not joking.
If this was a publicity stunt, we wouldn’t blame them for promoting Porirua in a unique form of culture that the city thrives off of, and that is, the love of greasy chicken outings with whānau, friends or just your self.
Mixed emotions, many of which are surprised that this was a thing; in an attempt to give credit to the Colonel promoting extra spice and zing at the brand’s refurbished location.
“Glad to have you back in Porirua again, KFC😋,” said a post on Facebook by Porirua’s City Council.
The real problem here is that the focus in Porirua is not on healthy food. Amidst a large number of child poverty in the city and surrounding areas, it was a national crisis before COVID-19.
Porirua Mayor Anita Baker urged to party members during August of this year to use the elections on outlining plans to address the growing percentages of child poverty.
“Whether it’s school attendance, oral health, hospital visits or social housing waiting lists, the report paints a grim picture. These indicators weren’t looking good even before Covid. The danger now is that they accelerate in the wrong direction,” she says.
The council monitored economic, health, housing, and social pointers since 2015, which was meant to put the wellbeing of children and young people at the heart of decision making. This clearly has not happened and young ones will continue to eat unhealthy at a cost to their families which could face unprecedented consequences for the future that the city holds.
Mayor Baker says, “because we understand the long-term health and resilience of our community depends on keeping our kids safe, healthy, well-housed and in school. This isn’t happening in far too many cases.”
While councils do not have any authority to address most of these issues ‘head-on’ — Porirua shouldn’t withdraw from its espousal role.
“We want to shine a light on these pockets of deprivation to inspire meaningful action by the central government. We don’t mean more well-intentioned talk. We don’t mean more pilot programmes or community consultation. We mean concrete plans with real money attached,” said Anita Baker.