Union wades into platform debate

By Victoria White

DISPUTE: The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union has called the viewing platform a "white elephant". PHOTO/ Warren Buckland
DISPUTE: The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union has called the viewing platform a "white elephant". PHOTO/ Warren Buckland

The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union is wading into Napier's "troubled" platform project.

Hawke's Bay Today recently reported the stormwater pipe underneath the new Marine Pde viewing platform was not yet connected to an upgraded CBD stormwater system.

"First a pier too scared to put its toes in the water, then a stormwater outfall, now it's a white elephant," Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams said.

Napier City Council has maintained it was never meant to be a pier but a platform covering the pipe.

Mr Williams said Napier ratepayers should be alarmed that the council has acknowledged problems with gravel and surf having worn away concrete, claiming the design was flawed.

A Napier City Council spokeswoman reiterated that the viewing platform was designed to cover up a stormwater discharge pipe and was part of a CBD-wide solution to increase the level of flood protection.

She said: "This is a large project that will take a number of years to complete."

As a result of the time required for the project, the outfall is not fully connected to the CBD stormwater system, only to a small section from Tennyson St."

She said the outfall pipe was designed to operate with the end gate closed, as it was intended to provide access for maintenance and did not need to be lifted with every rainfall event.

"The busy summer season has shown us how popular the viewing platform is with both locals and visitors. The feedback we receive is overwhelmingly positive."

She said the council was very familiar with the long shore drift and wave turbulence from a long history of operating and maintaining stormwater outfalls along this section of Hawke's Bay.

Before the project's completion it attracted a lot of criticism from the public, however, many people had since changed their tune since it opened.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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