$50,000 tax­payer bill due to poor judge­ment

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - Sun dance: By CHE BAKER

The crowd starts to amp up dur­ing the Rip­pon Fes­ti­val in Wanaka on Satur­day. A ca­pac­ity crowd of just un­der 4000 at­tended the 10th bi­en­nial fes­ti­val at Rip­pon Vine­yard. The line-up in­cluded Home­Brew, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Phoenix Foun- Pop­u­lar neu­ro­sci­en­tist Nathan Mikaere Wal­lis, pic­tured right, will present an evening to ex­plain why teenagers think, feel and act as they do. He will dis­cuss the lat­est re­search on al­co­hol and drugs in teenage years and help­ing par­ents un­der­stand and com­mu­ni­cate with their teens. The event is open to the com­mu­nity da­tion, Ladi6 and Die! Die! Die! as well as sev­eral other well known artists. The fes­ti­val crew would meet to as­sess the suc­cess of the fes­ti­val, bal­ance the books and check ‘‘en­ergy lev­els and men­tal heath’’ be­fore de­cid­ing whether to host another fes­ti­val in 2016. Photo: CHE BAKER for a gold coin dona­tion. It will be at the Wanaka Pres­by­te­rian Com­mu­nity Church Cen­tre from 7.30pm on Fe­bru­ary 10. A re­view into the de­ci­sion to in­stall un­safe jud­der bars at Cardrona, which were re­quired to be re­moved and cost ratepay­ers $52,000, has found ‘‘bet­ter judge­ment’’ was needed to avoid the un­nec­es­sary cost. The Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil re­view was or­dered by coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Adam Fee­ley af­ter it found a traf­fic­slow­ing ‘‘rum­ble zone’’ to be a safety hazard. All up it cost the coun­cil $12,000 for thresh­old beams, $10,000 to in­stall them and $30,000 to have them re­moved. It was part of a wider project to slow driv­ers down which also in­cluded land­scap­ing and street light­ing. It was hoped the cost of the beams could be re­cov­ered and the beams used at another site. Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict mayor Vanessa van Uden said ‘‘there is no sug­ges­tion that any staff mem­ber or con­trac­tor wil­fully dis­re­garded safety is­sues or failed to fol­lowed re­quired pro­cesses in the de­sign or con­struc­tion of the project. ‘‘How­ever good in­ten­tions are not enough when it comes to spend­ing pub­lic money. The er­rors of judg­ment need to be ac­knowl­edged and, more im­por­tantly, the pub­lic need to be as­sured that steps have been taken to min­imise the risk of this oc­cur­ring again,’’ she said. A de­ci­sion to raise the level of the river stones dur­ing the con­struc­tion stage ex­ac­er­bated safety risks, and was a mat­ter that should have been dis­cussed more widely within coun­cil prior to the ac­tion be­ing taken, she said. Mr Fee­ley said that the pub­lic in­ter­est in man­ag­ing costs de­manded greater care with the in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice pro­vided to coun­cil and steps had al­ready been taken aris­ing from the in­quiry. ‘‘I am sat­is­fied that the is­sues which have arisen are not symp­to­matic of any sys­temic fail­ures. This was a one-off lapse of judg­ment from an oth­er­wise pro­fes­sional team which is com­mit­ted to de­liver high qual­ity and cost ef­fec­tive trans­port projects, and the lessons learned have been in­cor­po­rated to op­er­a­tional pro­cesses,’’ he said.

Hard at work: Ful­ton Ho­gan in­stall a ‘‘rum­ble zone’’ as part of the $217,000 Cardrona Traf­fic Calm­ing Project, which was later re­moved be­cause it was un­safe.

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