Local govt and the question of general competence #North

Received.
Mon, 9 Jan 2017 at 10:56 p.m.

Subject: Did you notice……

Message:
Whangarei District Council was reported on TV3 as supporting protesters who have put a road block across four roads and are not letting trucks pass because they are pissed off with the dust from the roads, and want them sealed. Not that we wouldn’t have sympathy with their cause, but how is it right for a Council to support illegal road closures?
These Councils may have been given by law the power of general competence but they sure don’t warrant the confidence of central government in hope that they may become generally competent……

protesters-set-up-four-separate-road-blocks-along-pipiwai-road-newshub-co-nzProtesters set up four separate road blocks along Pipiwai Road [newshub.co.nz]

### newshub.co.nz 15/12/2016
Northland residents block dusty roads in protest
By Wilhelmina Shrimpton
Frustrations have reached boiling point as locals of a small Northland town fight to have a notoriously dusty logging truck route sealed. Locals have had enough and stepped up protest action by blocking logging trucks from using the gravel roads. “Don’t piss me off, you either do it or you go,” one protester yelled at a truck driver while blocking the road. “What you gonna do bro? What you gonna do? Cause you ain’t going down here today!” Puti Tipene says the dense dust clouds thrown up by the trucks are unhealthy and dangerous. […] Locals say up to 50 trucks drive along unsealed routes every day, and believe the council isn’t doing enough to help. […] Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai says the council wants the roads sealed but doesn’t have the money. “We’ve had money in our budget to do it … if there was a subsidy from our partners the NZTA, that hasn’t happened. Until that happens, we don’t think it’s appropriate for the wider ratepayers to pay 100 percent of that.”
Read more + Video

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pipiwai-valley-protest-puti1-ngapuhi-iwi-nz-2Pipiwai Valley protest [ngapuhi.iwi.nz]

### newshub.co.nz 09/01/2017
Protestors block trucks from dusty Northland road
By Newshub staff
Ten people blocked off a Northland road today in a fight to have the notoriously dusty logging truck route sealed. Protesters set up four separate road blocks around Pipiwai Valley on Monday morning, an area they say is plagued by dust kicked up both water tanks and trucks. They parked vehicles across Pipiwai Rd to deter trucks, but are letting locals through. Police were at the protest, which was kept low key. Protest organiser Alex Wright says truckers may have been tipped off and taken another route. Those truck drivers that did come their way had to reverse back down the gravel road. […] “It’s affecting our way of life… It’s horrific. We can’t handle it anymore and that’s why we’re here today. We’ve tried all avenues.” Ms Wright says they’re their new campaign won’t stop until the road is sealed.
Read more

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truck-generated-dust-at-pipiwai-issue-for-more-than-10-years-graham-wright-via-nzherald-co-nzTruck-generated dust at Pipiwai, an ongoing issue for more than 10 years.
Photo: Graham Wright [nzherald.co.nz]

### NZ Herald Online 10:47 AM Mon, Sep 14, 2015
Logging and trucking industries asked to pay $132k
By Alexandra Newlove – Northern Advocate
Logging and trucking industries will be asked to cough up cash to help solve a dusty road problem that has had residents up in arms for more than a decade. Whangarei District Council had allocated $400,000 over the next two years to seal ten 100m strips along the notoriously dusty Wright, McCardle and Pipiwai roads west of Whangarei, though the work was expected to cost $532,000, said WDC roading manager Jeff Devine. “We will be asking the industry if they can make up the [$132,00] shortfall,” he said. The New Zealand Transport Agency declined a $4.5 million funding request from council early this year for a full 9km seal of Wrights Rd and McCardle Rd. Pipiwai Titoki Advocacy for Community Health and Safety Group spokeswoman Alex Wright said she was unconvinced that the strip sealing would make a huge amount of difference. “It’s our 11th year now. We’re heading in the right direction but need to do it properly and completely.” Mr Devine said he agreed that the dust was a health and safety issue. “The big issue is that when they shifted the port from Whangarei to Marsden Point the traffic direction changed. It was never planned when the forests were planted that this would be the [trucking] route.” Council would continue approaching central Government for money to seal the remainder of roads, Mr Devine said.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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1 Comment

Filed under Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Finance, Geography, Health, Infrastructure, LGNZ, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZTA, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Public interest, Resource management, Transportation, Travesty

One response to “Local govt and the question of general competence #North

  1. Gurglars

    Council should put the contract and conditions up for $400,000 (that they have budgeted) and see whether they get any takers. A far better plan than a council employee negotiating a contract with other unspecified terms!

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