It’s not lights out for troubled alley
The Weka Place alleyway in Tokoroa, which runs through to Balmoral Drive, will not close.
South Waikato District Council has decided to leave the walkway open and increase its lighting.
During last week’s Community and Assets Committee meeting councillors were given three options: that the walkway be closed; the walkway remain open with increased lighting; and that the walkway remain open but gated at night.
According to the meeting’s agenda, Southtech, who carried out the investigation, spoke to Tokoroa police who highlighted that 38 occurrences of wilful damage have occurred over the last six years.
Deputy Mayor Jenny Shattock said: ‘‘Of those occurrences 34 of them were to one particular household.’’
Councillor Adrienne Bell suggested the issue was personal.
Weka Place resident Bob Gabolinscy who, along with his wife Margaret, suffered head and facial injuries during an assault in the alleyway earlier this year, said South Waikato District councillors had made a mistake.
‘‘You see what will happen . . .With some of these lights all you need to do is belt them once and they will go out.
‘‘Then they will have to replace them,’’ Mr Gabolinscy said.
‘‘They [councillors] have absolutely no idea what they are doing, they really don’t. I am really disappointed in them.
‘‘They didn’t speak to anyone who actually owns a house around here, only those who are renting . . .
‘‘Some houses have been vacant for two years,’’ he said.
Mr Gabolinscy said the installed lights would become a target for more anti-social behaviour.
‘‘If you put a light down the alleyway and all the perpetrators will do is belt it and then it will go off.
‘‘Then someone will have to come and fix it and who knows how much that will end up costing us,’’ he said.
Mr Gabolinscy said more in-depth investigations should be carried out and did not appreciate that 80 per cent of those questioned during the council’s public consultation process, were children. ‘‘They need to investigate. ‘‘We need to have people to go down there and do reviews.’’
Council’s Group Assets manager Roger Fisher said staff would investigate the cost and location of any lighting included in the alleyway.
At the conclusion of the debate councillors Warren Lee and Lyn Corban voted against the motion, while councillor Brenda Watkins abstained from voting. Tokoroa Senior Sergeant Graeme Hill is urging families under stress to seek help instead of turning on each other. This message comes after Tokoroa Police had to attend 16 family violence incidents last weekend. Bay of Plenty regional coroner Dr Wallace Bain will visit Tokoroa Central School today to be part of a lesson around bullying.
These Forest View High School year 9 and 10 students received South Waikato mayoral awards for gaining 380 merits: Hayley Gibson, David Murray, Camryn Nicholas, Caleb Nunn, Anisha Te Hiko, Shavaughan Uerata, Liam Van der Putten, Mikayla Pennefather and Cody Taylor. Tokoroa rugby player Chelsea Alley has been called up to play for the NZ Black Ferns. Alley, who attended Forest View High School, was flown to London to join the squad on Monday night. December 6 at Glenshea Park in Putaruru. Youth Council is coordinating the events. Council’s community development team is planning a series of neighbourhood parties, the first was on November 16 in Tokoroa. The final party for the year will be at Pioneer Reserve in Arapuni on November 30. Tokoroa Central School’s new administration building was blessed on Monday and opens this week. It was opened and blessed by Robert Toki.