Alarm­ing road in­ci­dent

South Waikato News - - OPINION/NEWS -

For over four years now, with­out in­ci­dent, I have reg­u­larly driven from Ara­puni to Toko­roa and back via Old Taupo Rd. This road has sev­eral nar­row, windy sec­tions and a sur­pris­ing amount of heavy traf­fic, so it is a road that I drive with care. My habit is to drive each cor­ner keep­ing well to the left, as if there may be a milk tanker, log­ging truck, big agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cle or an an­ti­so­cial driver com­ing the other way. To­day, Tues­day, March 25, there was an an­ti­so­cial driver.

As I came round a downhill cor­ner about half­way be­tween Wilts­down Rd and Hod­derville, I saw a small grey car more than a me­tre on my side of the cen­tre line pulling out from be­hind a truck as if to pass it. In the sec­ond or so that I had, I think I pulled a lit­tle more to the left. There was a loud bang. I thought ‘‘This is it’’. I stopped on the grass and re­alised that I was OK, and that my wing mir­ror was hang­ing by a thread. The truck and the car had gone.

I pulled a bit fur­ther over on to the grass and ex­pected to see the other car com­ing back. It did not come back. I got out of the car to see if there was any other dam­age, and for­tu­nately there was not. Though we were at some point less than 10 cen­time­tres apart, only the mir­rors touched. I picked up the re­mains of my mir­ror and a big grey plas­tic piece of the wing mir­ror from the other car, gave my­self a few min­utes to stop shak­ing and went on home.

There was no time to see the driver, no­tice a make and model of car or get a plate num­ber. I will just have to cover the in­sur­ance ex­cess and put up with in­con­ve­nience of hav­ing the car off the road. I ac­tu­ally feel very lucky to be alive. I hope the other driver re­alises that if I was driv­ing a log­ging truck or a milk tanker, he or she might not be alive.

Wendy Haigh many times about the process to fol­low to es­tab­lish a com­mu­nity board for Toko­roa and other wards. For the ben­e­fit of the wider com­mu­nity, there is an op­por­tu­nity to es­tab­lish lo­cal com­mu­nity boards dur­ing Coun­cil’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tion Re­view in 2015. Mr Young - and any­one else - can make a sub­mis­sion to the Lo­cal Govern­ment Com­mis­sion on this is­sue.

Com­mu­nity boards are part of the leg­isla­tive frame­work of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, not a TANGS-like or­gan­i­sa­tion, which was a busi­ness pro­mo­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion funded by coun­cil a num­ber of years ago be­fore it was wound up. Coun­cil would ap­plaud Mr Young if he worked with oth­ers to recre­ate a TANGS-like or­gan­i­sa­tion. This could be pro­gressed through coun­cil’s An­nual Plan con­sul­ta­tion process. As al­ways, I await some pos­i­tive ac­tion by Mr Young.

Coun­cil is cur­rently seek­ing ideas from the com­mu­nity on how to in­vest the $5 mil­lion (held within coun­cil) and the $20m (held by an ex­ter­nal trust) in com­mu­nity and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment that will ben­e­fit the district as a whole. Our coun­cil continues to be com­mit­ted to our two key strate­gic ob­jec­tives of district pro­mo­tion and cre­at­ing more jobs. The Draft An­nual Plan 2014-15 is open for con­sul­ta­tion, as are sug­ges­tions for projects for the $5. Ev­ery­one is wel­come to sub­mit and we look for­ward to read­ing your pro­pos­als. Mayor Neil Sin­clair



Life saver: South Waikato Sports and Events Cen­tre man­ager Heather Gaby, front cen­tre, holds the new de­fib­ril­la­tor with Ro­tar­i­ans pres­i­dent Brenda Watkins, right, and Jenny Shat­tock. Pic­tured are fel­low Ro­tar­i­ans Ian Fer­gus­son, back left, Richard Ewing, Mar­got Crate and Nancy Un­der­down.

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