Not all of our work is done in the office behind a keyboard. We have recently finished recruiting panel members for ‘Our Porirua City’, a Citizens’ Panel for the Porirua City Council. As well as the traditional phone recruitment we went along to three community events in Porirua this month to engage with Maori, Pacific Peoples and those under 40.
The festivities were held on the shoreline of Te Awaruao-Porirua Harbor and included a day of cultural activities and performances along with delicious food including fruit salad and ice cream served within the shell of a pineapple.
The day wasn’t all just fruit salad, ice creams and culture, we had a job to do. We had three recruiters at the event armed with iPads signing people up to Our Porirua City. In amongst enjoying the performances, eating kai and enjoying the sunny weather on the shoreline the recruiters signed up 106 new panel members. The representation of Maori and Pacific Peoples on the panel was significantly increased as was the representation of those under 40.
Whiteria New Zealand Orientation Lunch
A DJ, freebies, sausage sizzle and photos with Mike Tana the Mayor of Porirua.
Orientation at the local Polytechnic provided an excellent opportunity to engage with youth who are often a hard demographic to reach and often a missing voice at the table. The Council put on a sausage sizzle and very quickly there was a queue. A lot of the students were very keen to be part of the panel and have a say in their community, many of the students were studying Nursing or Social Work which may have had something to do with the level of buy-in. The Council also had pamphlets about the Panel as well as information on the Long-Term Plan which is due to go out for consultation shortly.
All to quickly lunch was over as the students headed off to their afternoon lectures, the sausages had all gone without me having a chance to grab one.
Sun, food, rides and performances with Stan Walker headlining the day.
Creekfest is a community event in Eastern Porirua. Again the weather played along with a nice sunny day allowing families to enjoy the rides, dance to the music or as the day wore on and it got hotter find a shady spot and just enjoy the performances.
It was another chance to focus recruitment on Pacific Peoples, Maori and those under 40. The three recruiters worked amongst the crowd signing up a further 77 panel members, the vast majority identifying as Pacific Peoples or Maori (96%) with almost 70% of those recruited on the day being under 40.
It wasn’t all work though, we took the chance during the day to watch various performances and dance-offs, had a break enjoying Stan Walker and one recruiter kept looking for an opportunity to have a play on an inflatable monster truck.
Going to the community events proved to be a fun and successful way of achieving the targets set for ‘Our Porirua City’ and an efficient way of increasing the representation of the Panel.