It coats their windowsills and their washing. Some rural Wairoa residents think it might even be affecting their health. They are sick of the dust. Clouds of it billow across the hills on a windy day and each time a car, or truck, makes its way along the unsealed roads.

A petition calling for Kiwi Road to be sealed has attracted more than 240 signatures. It's one of the main alternative routes for stock trucks and holiday-makers.
This is the second time Kiwi Rd residents have petitioned, but they say they have also sent letters, emails and phoned Wairoa District Council.

Long-time Kiwi Rd resident Raymond Hawkins remembers more than 30 years ago when the first petition kick started the road's upgrade, but only portions of it were sealed.

"They left us out," Mr Hawkins says, wiping the thick brown film from his white mantle piece, something he has to do most days.


He says since moving back to the street he grew up on, he's done nothing but cough.

"I don't know if it is the dust or the weather, but the dust can't help."

Brian Webby, who lives just down the road from Mr Hawkins, says his 18-month-old granddaughter developed breathing difficulties within a month of living at the address, adding the affects his family in a "serious way".

They can't leave windows or doors open, creating sweltering living conditions during the summer.

Located at the northern boundary of the Wairoa township, the flat loop road has a speed limit of 100kmph with a couple of tight bends. Mr Webby says boy-racers also use the road to drift and do burn-outs, with several having to be hauled up from the ditch on either side. He says the car enthusiasts have voiced their disapproval at having the road sealed, but residents believe it may act as a deterrent.

Oha Manuel, who fronts the petition, says the dust nuisance is "insensitive" to the tipuna buried at the urupa, which is located on Kiwi Rd.

"Cars go past and clouds of dust sweep across the urupa and around the surrounding paddocks," she says.

Many small towns around NZ are struggling to deal with the massive increase in logging trucks, as pine forests planted 30 years ago are logged and trucked to the port, where, more often than not, they're exported as whole logs. Wairoa is no different and residents say if the council wants to encourage forestry it should also improve the roads used by forestry trucks.

Ms Manuel says Wairoa Mayor Craig Little has showed positivity towards their effort to show locals' support to have Kiwi Rd sealed. More than half of Wairoa District Council's roads are unsealed and they prioritise which roads to seal depending on dustiness, the number of residents, their proximity to the road, and the type of traffic.

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