Plea to save tower continues
Health and safety requirements continue to delay attempts to save the Tokoroa Airfield tower from demolition.
During South Waikato mayor Jenny Shattock’s open public forum on Thursday airfield user Gordon Hudson pleaded with the district councillors to allow him to carry out repair works on the 15-metre-high movie prop tower at his own cost.
But deputy mayor Jeff Gash said he was unsure if health and safety requirements could be met if permission was granted.
Last month the council discussed possibly demolishing the disused tower which has become a local landmark due to it falling into disrepair over the years and becoming a safety risk.
During the forum Hudson, who has approached the council on numerous occasions offering to pay for repair works, once again made the offer.
‘‘I have had an engineer out to have a look at it, it is all galvanised steel and there is only a weeny bit of surface rust,’’ he said.
‘‘It is very sound and very strong. It has got a good internal staircase up through it and it has a handrail around the outside so it will be extremely safe for anyone to do any paint work.’’
Deputy mayor Jeff Gash thanked Hudson for his offer but said he was still concerned about health and safety requirements being meet.
‘‘My concern is around the health and safety of anyone working on the structure at heights and whether you are able to meet those requirements,’’ he said.
‘‘It is a big part of the proposal to go back to the airfield users [for discussion about the tower’s future] and I am not sure if you are able to do that.’’
Hudson said he would need guidance on what was required.
Chief executive Craig Hobbs also questioned Hudson on whether the engineer’s assessment was in writing.
‘‘I don’t dispute the ability of your friend to make that assessment but certainly from a health and safety perspective we will need something a bit more formal,’’ he said.
Hudson said he was willing to cooperate.
Tokoroa Airfield users David Rio, Bruce Simpson, and Gordon Hudson want to save the airfield’s tower.