$50,000 taxpayer bill due to poor judgement
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.