Please fix road – Northern Advocate – 27th August 2014-08-28

Road Madness

As we live off Cemetery Road we can use State Highway 14/ Maunu Road or Otaika Valley Road to go to State Highway 1 if we are going south. Over the last couple of years we chose to use the SH14 option, as Otaika Valley Road has high accidents numbers, safety concerns and the road is in poor condition.  

Saturday, off early, we went south to watch our grandson play soccer. 

We decided to go via and check any improvements to Otaika Valley Road.

Why do I say this?  I attended a meeting that concerned residents of Otaika Valley Road held on 27th August 2013.

It was before the October 2013 local body elections, where from memory, candidates Sheryl Mai, Councillor Phil Halse, Councillor Greg Martin, Councillor Sharon Morgan, Councillor Shelley Deeming, Councillor Warwick Syers, Whangarei District Council Roading Manager Jeff Devine told a packed hall how they were going to fix the issues of speed, road conditions, accident rates and logging truck issues with a working group initiated on that evening.  

So our venture, on this road, which we had been avoiding, was well timed in the early morning and low traffic volumes to observe any improvements.  

Were we surprised of what we found? 

No!  Unfortunately some of those, by my observations, who every three years tend to suffer from verbal diarrhoea, on election campaigns, have done nothing more than vent off as usual to capture votes. We found the road atrocious, with potholes, substandard repairs everywhere and one having to move away from the left on numerous occasions to avoid possible tyre, wheel rim and mechanical damage to ones vehicle, enabling us to transverse this road in a safe manner. 

Those that were elected, in the last year, appear to have done stuff all to improve this dangerous road so they need to hang their heads in shame.  One of our neighbours lost their life on this road, so how many deaths and injuries will it take before Whangarei District Council and those who made the commitments, at that meeting, prioritise this and take it serious ahead of their habit of building more ‘fluffy dice projects’?  

This is just basic core infrastructure requirements that council has an obligation to address for the safety and well being of our community.  

There was one sign there ‘thanking the trucks for slowing down’; obviously erected by a resident; but councils input was obvious by its absence.  

Remember, actions speak louder than words; just get on and fix it!

Warren Slater



Items that were abridged by the Northern Advocate are in italics, (for their published copy)