The Northland Age

How narcissist­ic must you be to want compensati­on for roadworks?

- Geoff Minchin Kawakawa

Far North District Council engineers, quantity surveyors and accountant­s have probably worked out in detail that a one-off closure of both lanes on Kerikeri Rd for three weeks is more “productive” and “cost efficient” for ratepayers than a six-week or longer, one-lane closure with all the traffic control involved, or of undertakin­g the work at night and, of course, given the relative failure of the one-lane system in the town centre there is certain to be “inconvenie­nce” either way — so to speak.

Calls for compensati­on to be paid to drivers and businesses for very temporary loss of the provision of a public roadway people use for any reason, or outside their businesses, is the height of neoliberal cultivated­narcissism, IMHO, as if their customers are the only ones to use the public roadway.

And what of businesses further off the beaten track? Never clear.

When so-called “friendly” far northerner­s abuse famously-friendly FNDC and contract roadworker­s our so-called “civilisati­on” is in big trouble. Road rage is the driver’s problem.

Huge thanks to the Fulton Hogan crew who are working on Kohukohu Rd at present. Better people one seldom meets. Whakawheta­i me te arohanui [Thanks and love].

Wally Hicks


Govt too slow

Retailers in the mid to far North have experience­d their worst trading period since during Covid. The Government’s slow response to bringing back tourists, plus fuel and general inflation has left many businesses running at unsustaina­ble losses.

But when we learned that several Women’s World Cup rugby matches would be in Whangā rei with teams and supporters based here for several weeks there was hope that some of that might flow north past the Kamo bypass.

We waited and we waited but it didn’t happen. We listened for those lovely Welsh accents and some of us even had prepared words of greeting (dweud, gweiddi and galw helo). But we didn’t get an opportunit­y to use them.

I still don’t understand what happened, did Whangā rei convince the visitors there was nothing north of Kamo worth looking at?

All I know is that for whatever reason, it was a lost opportunit­y for Northland as a whole to share in the benefits.

Some thought the ships coming back to the BOI [Bay of Islands] would help the retail but unless you were a food shop that also was a failure. Sure, they came through the doors but the money stayed in their wallets.

The only glimmer of hope for this summer is Kiwis getting out and seeing the magnificen­t sights and experience­s here. The “see NZ” ads have been very good even I didn’t appreciate that Tana Mahuta was around when Cleopatra was on the throne.

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