Waitaki Herald : December 10th 2014
36 WAITAKI HERALD, DECEMBER 10, 2014 NEWS/SPORT Subsidence detour deters visitors People fed up with road closure want more council action By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD Moeraki people have voiced their frustrations about the ongoing closure of Haven St at a Waitaki District Council meeting held in the town recently. Between 50 and 60 locals attended the extraordinary council meeting at the Moeraki marae to make it clear they want more council action regarding the issues surrounding Haven St. It has been closed for about 18 months because of land subsidence along an area of 350-450m. It hasn’t been possible to keep the road open and traffic now takes a detour along Tenby St. The council plans to establish a single-lane shingle road across the unstable land area, however it is expected to cost about $100,000. It plans to fund the project through all district ratepayers who would contribute $50,000 and another $50,000 from Moeraki residents, paid for by rates at current levels, donations or in kind. Waitaki mayor Gary Kircher said the council would be reluctant to increase rates in Moeraki to cover the cost, given they are already around some of the highest in the district. The problem the council faces with the plan is it can’t secure a New Zealand Transport Agency Slipping away: Moeraki people are frustrated at the continued closure of Haven St because of land subsidence issues. Photo: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD/FAIRFAX NZ subsidy for the project, which would cover 55 per cent of costs. Moeraki Holiday Park co-owner Kristina Mitchell said the major issue most Moeraki people had were around safety and the impact on tourism. ‘‘People are getting lost coming in, that’s the problem. Coming in across the sea front is a real wowfactor. Heading along Tenby St, people are getting lost and end up driving out again.’’ Mitchell would like to see signs with arrows showing exactly how to get to the village and harbour area via Tenby St. She also wants there to be more emphasis on safety. ‘‘Tenby St is not wide enough and there are a lot of blind corners. For a truck and a campervan to pass each other, it’s quite difficult. It’s an accident waiting to happen.’’ Mitchell would be content with Haven St being opened as a oneway street and said it would help reduce traffic flow along Tenby St, particularly at the height of the tourist season. ‘‘The way things are at present, it’s not even safe to walk along the side of the street.’’ While there is still frustration among residents, she said most left the meeting feeling a little more positive about what the future holds. ‘‘The council didn’t turn around and say they wouldn’t do anything about it. That gives us something to hold on to.’’ Kircher said the council was determined to resolve the issue. ‘‘We are all on the same page as far as wanting to get the same solution here. We will continue to work with the community to make it happen.’’ Cracker day at the races but no Rudolph By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD daniel.birchfield@waitaki herald.co.nz Colourful: Jill Oamaru harness racing’s biggest day took place at the Oamaru Racecourse on Saturday, with Christmas at the Races again proving to be a winner. Hundreds of punters streamed to the track in the hope of making some extra Christmas spending cash and while some left disappointed, for others the day was fruitful. Race six on the 10-race programme was dedicated to Kevin Greaney, who died recently. He was associated with the club for 30 years and was made a life member in 2001. Oamaru Harness Racing Club president David Heffernan said all of the Christmas tent spaces were snapped up quickly, but he would have liked to see a few more people around the course’s green spaces. ‘‘It’s gone pretty well. The green space is an area we are trying to develop and that’s hopefully what we can build on. But there’s a lot of other activities on . . . if you play cricket on a Saturday you’re not going to come to the races. I’m happy enough with where it’s at without breaking records.’’ While the kids kartz races took place this year, one of the more popular events, the reindeer race for charity, wasn’t on the programme. ‘‘We’ve got to get nine horses to cover Santa’s reindeer and that’s quite difficult when you’re struggling to get horses to fill race fields. ‘‘A lot of goodwill over the last two years has made that happen . . . we haven’t dropped the rein- Best threads: Waimate’s Lisa Fleming and Oamaru’s Josh McAuley won the best dressed women’s and men’s categories at the fashion in the field event. deer race, but it’s on the shelf at the moment.’’ Fashion in the field filled the vacant slot and Heffernan said the former is ‘‘a must’’ for next year. He said there weren’t as many horses and drivers available In town: Santa arrives at Christmas at the Races in style on Saturday. Photos: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD/FAIRFAX NZ because Methven held its Christmas at the Races on Sunday. ‘‘It makes it hard to draw those Canterbury horses down, there’s a bit of internal competition for horse population.’’ However, he was pleased with the strength of the field racing. McCabe proudly models her flamboyant hat at Christmas at the Races at Oamaru Racecourse on Saturday. Big day out: Jayden Forbes, left, Joshua Buchan, Hannah McCannachie, Hamish Mitchell, Andrea Buchan, Vicki Jamison, Raelene Anderson and Daryl Anderson look the part.
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