Quick-fix choice worries councillors

By Christine McKay

Add a comment
Council chief executive Blair King.
Council chief executive Blair King.

Although the Tararua District Council has agreed to help a group of desperate Woodville residents sort flooding on their properties, councillors are concerned residents have opted for a cheap, quick fix.

Residents owning properties bounded by Ormond, Ross, Weber and Station Sts regularly have stormwater ponding even in moderate rain and the council has received multiple service requests over the past 10 years seeking a remedy.

During storms council has used its roading contractors to help pump water from the properties.

One Ross St property has been flooded 49 times, with water ankle deep in the garage, workshop and radio recording studio, while the owner of another Ross St property is unable to use the rear of his property at all during winter.

The owner of an Ormond St house has said he's about to walk away, knowing he will never be able to sell and Weber St resident Rob Henderson said his woodshed had been flooded more than 10 times this winter alone following storms and heavy rain.

After contacting councillor Peter Johns, the residents were presented with three options and have decided on the cheaper option of installing a series of 160mm novacoil/novapipes, as well as ensuring there are drainage easements in place.

Councillor David Roberts said he was concerned about the option the Woodville residents have decided on, especially considering suggestions that particular fix wasn't adequate.
"I'd hate to see this fall back on council," he said.

However, Mr Johns said the decision on which option to take wasn't for council to make, but one for the affected residents.

"Residents in this area are beside themselves because of the flooding," he said.

Tararua District mayor Roly Ellis was also concerned about the option chosen by residents.

"My personal worry is by them going for the cheaper option in five years time they will be coming back to council again. I believe in doing this once and right."

However, Mr Johns assured councillors if the fix doesn't work, it will become the residents' problem.

"We have done all we can to help them, they're aware it could silt up again," he said.

"The only way to have a guarantee is to take on the job ourselves and charge them. But if council takes on the job, how do we get back the money?"

Council chief executive Blair King said he was nervous of stepping in. "When council does the easement and the physical work, it's very rare council comes out well."

Councillor Jim Crispin said he felt for the residents.

"This is a historic problem and to know someone is feeling so distressed they're thinking about walking away isn't good."

A suggestion council organise the easement suited Mr Johns.

"By putting in an easement, if they (residents) choose the cheaper fix option in five or 10 years time if it blocks up they can fix it," he said.

"We are providing them with an opportunity to fix this out of the goodness of our hearts. We don't have to."

Councillors agreed to facilitate the development of easements on the affected properties to enable a drainage pipe to be installed, as well as contributing $3000 towards the development of the easement, conditional on the property owners agreeing to commit to pay their share of the costs, and to proceed to complete the work required to remedy the situation.

- Hawkes Bay Today

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 26 Feb 2017 12:03:20 Processing Time: 280ms