Waihi resident Clinton Bowerman has kicked off an investigation by Hauraki District Council after concerns over the roading material used on a residential street.
Clinton, who suffers from asthma, questioned the council after cement dust and loose
metal was sent flying around the front of his elderly mother's home and other houses on Kensington Rd, where many elderly people reside.
"Contractors told me they were using cement but didn't know why they were using cement, which is usually for highway stabilisation.
"Normally they grind it up and put asphalt on top. I know they put the highway stabilisation on main roads because it's cheaper, I would argue they shouldn't be using it on residential streets because of the cement dust, which is a bad pollutant."
Sandbags had been placed at the roadside gutters that feed into stormwater drains on the street, showing the hardened cement that had washed off the roadworks.
A council spokesperson said in a statement that the council was notified of the issue on September 15.
"[We] have since been working with our contractor Downer NZ Limited to find out more. The cement stabilisation material we've used is standard for this type of residential road repair work so we're continuing our investigations to find out what's caused this specific issue and how we can prevent it from happening in future.
"We're sorry to hear of this gentleman's health issues and the concerns raised by nearby residents about dust from these road works."
Clinton's concerns were raised with Mayor Toby Adams, who discussed it with the council's transportation manager.
The council said the contractor had been using a stabilising agent known as General Purpose Portland Cement –Type GP.
"Our contractor confirmed that they have been operating in accordance with approved industry practice."
Product information for the cement cautions that it is hazardous and may contain crystalline silica, which can potentially cause respiratory, skin and eye irritations, and serious lung diseases including cancer if inhaled repeatedly.
The manufacturer recommends it for pavements and general construction and civil engineering projects.
The council said its contractor had assured HDC it aligns with the best-practice guide for stabilising pavements.