Board fights to keep paths safe
Matamata Community Board is fighting to give retailers in the town centre a voice against skateboarding and cycling on footpaths.
In a meeting on June 13, the board decided to follow up on the cost of signs and stencilling. It also decided to request council support to resolve the issue.
Matamata Community Board chairman Daryl Anderson said: ‘‘We believe that the problem is not going away and we need to give some teeth to the retailers to point to the kids that you cannot ride here.’’
The board had previously raised the issue two years ago. At the time, Matamata-Piako District Council had said it would cost too much to make stencils. ‘‘ We didn’t agree with the council’s pricing that came through so we actually got back on it now and asked for fresh pricing because they came up with some silly price for stencils,’’ Mr Anderson said.
Matamata-Piako District Council is investigating other signage options and associated costs. If young people are caught using skateboards on footpaths, then according to the council, the skateboards can be confiscated.
It is an offence to ride a skating device on a footpath in a manner that endangers any person or property, according to Public Safety Bylaw 2008.
Constable Bruce Warrender from Matamata Police said if anything was brought to their attention then based on the time, place and circumstance the police would take action. ‘‘If someone is skateboarding in a way that is potentially unsafe then we definitely take action.’’
The board was adamant that something must be done before there was a dangerous accident.
‘‘We are going to fight for a better pricing, get it in the budget and get it on the footpaths,’’ Mr Anderson said.