Ropes could tempt bad choices
‘‘I can see someone dying from it’’ Lew Findlay
The high ropes course proposed to be built on Palmerston North’s Railway Land could be a death trap, a city councillor says.
The high ropes course would be run by Tekton Ltd, complying with WorkSafe rules about removing equipment and leaving only poles and guy ropes in place when the site was not supervised.
A small group of city councillors have voted against allowing the course, but the majority have supported allowing planning to go ahead.
Other high ropes courses were fenced off at night, Councillor Lew Findlay said, and he could not support something that would be a temptation and a hazard for young people on their way home from pubs at night.
‘‘It is going to be so easy for young people who have had too much to make very bad decisions,’’ Findlay said.
‘‘I can see someone dying from it.’’
Cr Chris Teo-Sherrell said that argument against the facility did not hold water.
‘‘Citizens need to take responsibility for not going out and getting pissed on Saturday nights and then climbing things.’’
Cr Jim Jefferies said concerns about safety were part of the ‘‘bubble wrap society’’, where young people were deprived of taking risks and did not have enough opportunities to develop physical skills and confidence.
Committee chairwoman Susan Baty said the high ropes course would be packed up when unsupervised.
‘‘If we were that worried about safety we should close the skate park, and pull out all our sculptures. We might as well put fences around everything and stay inside our houses in case the kids fall over.’’
Property manager John Brenkley said Tekton could operate the course as safely as anyone.
Other councillors said the council was giving the licence away too cheap, at a proposed $2000 for the first year, and that many people would not be able to afford to use it
at the proposed cost of $37 per person.
The full council on Monday approved the committee’s recommendation to take the next step, which is to seek Conservation Minister Maggie Barry’s consent for the licence, which is needed because there is no reserve management plan in place for the Railway Land.
An artist’s impression shows how the high ropes course might blend in to its surroundings on Palmerston North’s Railway Land.