Inferior road seals
Despite public opposition, Porirua City Council continues to use inferior materials to reseal Porirua’s roads, the latest examples being Spinnaker Drive and The Mainsail in Whitby.
Developers creating subdivisions in Whitby are required by PCC to seal new roads in hot mix which is superior for low tyre wear, low noise, reduced fuel usage and durability, but when it becomes their responsibility to resurface, they use the cheapest materials they can source. Talk about double standards.
Meanwhile, our cars, carpets, lawns and gardens are damaged by masses of residual stones generated by the tar and chip seal – for several kilometres each side of the work – and the additional noise generated by this extremely coarse material impacts on the quiet enjoyment of our properties.
Peter Bailey, the general manager responsible for road maintenance, is totally unsympathetic. His main concern is achieving the maximum metres of resealing for his budget dollars and he wheels out the standard excuse of having to charge higher rates if they use better surfaces. As if we don’t pay high enough rates already in this suburb to justify acceptable roading surfaces.
Let us hope that PCC is consistent in using these Third World materials when it comes to resealing the roads outside residences of our councillors and those executives responsible so they are more sympathetic of our complaints.
PETE JENKINS, Whitby. Council infrastructure portfolio holder Anita Baker responds: This is the third time the council is responding to Mr Jenkins’ letters on this subject. Personally I think our roads in Whitby are good. We have had some issues around the lake but these have been fixed.
In the end this comes down to affordable and acceptable levels of service. The council could use hotmix surfacing but this costs a lot more money (and Mr Jenkins is not correct that developers are required by the council to use hotmix).
The council continually has to decide where ratepayers’ money is best spent. Some, like Mr Jenkins, would like more expensive roads – others do not agree. We are now reviewing the city’s Long Term Plan so if residents agree that more money should be spent on roads, then this is a good time to have your voice heard. Greater Wellington Regional Council biodiversity implementation team leader Alison Davis responds: The biggest problem presented by the gorse vigorously re-sprouting in the burnt areas at Whitireia Park is the increased fire risk that it will present.
It takes 20-30 years for less fireprone native plants to emerge from under the gorse – and if there are more fires in the meantime, regeneration could take much longer and the fire risk could remain for decades. So by controlling the regrowth of the gorse, we can establish native plants more quickly and reduce the fire risk.
The herbicide that will be used – metsulfuron – is of low toxicity to humans and land-based animals and when mixed with water in accordance with label instructions presents negligible risk to humans and land-based animals situated outside the designated spray area.
The sites that will be sprayed are all more than 300 metres from residential areas and spraying will be kept well back from sensitive areas such as the coast and watercourses.
We’ll reduce the risk of unwanted spray drift by only spraying in suitable weather conditions. PCC chief executive Gary Simpson responds: The council consideration of the purchase decision involved commercial discussions which need to be undertaken out of a public forum in order to safeguard the interests of residents in ensuring the best purchase price is achieved.
The pump station that Mr Collins refers to was built on the then Whitby Golf Course land during the time when the Hutt County Council was the local authority some 30 years ago. The golf course was planned to be part of Whitby indefinitely, although its development potential as housing land was protected in the District Plan and that is the use the land is being currently converted to by a subsequent owner of the land.
While the golf course remained the site of the pump station was reasonable, being discreet and close to the main arterial network taking sewerage to the treatment plant at Titahi Bay. With the change of land use to housing the pump station needed to be in council ownership and the price paid reflected the developed value of the adjacent land. Reserve contributions are taken to purchase or develop recreation assets rather than sewerage pump stations and the very fine reserve network in Whitby is testament to the quality of the work done by the developers and the council in Whitby over many years.