Bay track awaits upgrade
Toni Robinson is waiting for the day she spots someone with a broken leg lying on the muddy track opposite her home.
The Tangare Dr resident’s home looks out on to a strip of land behind Ngati Toa School. She has lived there for 23 years.
A track below the school is used by dozens of pupils and members of the public every day. It is a handy shortcut from Porirua City centre, Takapuwahia and nearby schools like Porirua School and Mana College to Titahi Bay.
Robinson said it had recently become muddy and treacherous. She has seen people keel over or get scratched by blackberry.
‘‘It’s dangerous and something has to be done,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s very steep and incredibly hard to get up and down.
‘‘You are almost guaranteed to slip at some point. Someone will break their neck or a leg.’’
Robinson has seen Porirua City Council trucks drive into the land spraying blackberry, but has been told it’s not their land.
She said she had been ‘‘bounced around’’ call centres in at least three organisations and was once on the phone for six hours.
Robinson was told it may even be Housing New Zealand land.
Kapi- Mana News confirmed with the city council that it is land returned to Maori under a Treaty of Waitangi claim.
According to the Office of Treaty Settlements, the 1.86 hectare area surrounding the track was included in its landbank in June 2012.
It was the only tract of land of that type, said deputy secretary and director Kevin Kelly.
‘‘Colliers is appointed by the Ministry of Justice to manage the Office of Treaty Settlements landbank portfolio. Colliers in turn has engaged a contractor to mow and maintain that property,’’ he said.
Kelly said the last maintenance was carried out in November, but the land would be inspected this week to assess safety.
‘‘We will also liaise with the council regarding maintenance options.’’
Ngati Toa School principal Barbara Smith said children traditionally used the track as a way into the school. She had not heard of many tumbles or injuries, but would like to see it upgraded.
Concerned: Takapuwahia resident Toni Robinson at the bottom of the steep track leading up to Ngati Toa School.