OPERATION Mahi Tahi — working together as one — will see the Kaiti Mall get a “long overdue” facelift next month.
Residents’ association KaPai Kaiti has teamed up with the new Neighbourhood Policing Team, schools, businesses, residents and the fire service in a bid to clean up the mall.
“We’ve made submissions to the council for a number of years to get some action to clean up the mall — but they have said it is private property, so we teamed up with Greg Lexmond from the police and local businesses to do it ourselves,” says chairman Joshua Wharehinga.
“The condition of the mall doesn’t exactly lend to public pride, nor does it invoke a feeling of safety from a crime perspective.”
KaPai Kaiti has “touched base” with various groups, with a view to tackling the problem, and has an action day planned for Sunday, August 12.
“Our vision is to get as many stakeholders as possible involved with making Kaiti community an even better place — and not to stand back and let things happen,” says Mr Wharehinga.
“Many hands make light work, and we have gathered a great team here.
“The old-age mindset of saying that it is someone else’s problem will come up. This has already halted progress in the past. All too often, we moan about a lack of action from councillors, road personnel, construction firms, contractors and the like.
“But there are financial constraints across the board. It is time we all got off our butts and put the mahi in ourselves to make a difference,” he says.
The project has already received funding to help with paint, water blasting equipment, trucks and pruners.
School children have also pledged their support, says Mr Wharehinga.
“It is great to have a higher positive profile for police in the Kaiti area and we are proud to be associated with them on this,” he says.
“They are willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. Mahi Tahi means ‘Working as One’. Together, we will make a difference here.”
If you want to get involved in the project, contact Josh Wharehinga on 027 600 4844, or Sergeant Greg Lexmond at Kaiti police station on 868 2717.
Some of the groups involved so far include: ASAP Landscaping, Eastland Scaffolding, Gisborne District Council, All Brite Transfer Station, Gisborne Resene, Maori Wardens, Gisborne Police, Gisborne Fire Service, Larsen Sawmill, Martins Hiremaster, Fulton Hogan, City Construction and Kaiti Mall retailers.