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I wonder how many Thames residents are aware that the wondeful Visitors Centre, opened by the then Prime Minister - Helen Clark, just five years ago, has been closed for repairs for over three months.

For some reason, the polyurethane floor coating has delaminated from the polished concrete floor into which some intricate punga designs were worked. The mess of white dust surrounding the building this morning appeared less than salubrious, but I was assured by a DOC staff member at the Thames Office that is was simply "baking powder used in the process of removing the polyurethane".  Mnnn.....

The sign on the door indicates that the Center will be closed "indefinitely" - that must be a disappointment to DOC as well as to the hundreds oif visitors that have obtained pleasure  from being able view the amazing displays in comfortable surroundings. It was truely a delight to be able to take vistors  to the Centre and spend an hour or two taking in all the information about the valley, and in particular the removal of the Kauri, and all the associated botanics.

I cannot remember having heard anything about this in other media, but I would appreciate it if someone could enlighten me in that regard. There was certainly no widespread publicity about what must be a major headache for DOC. It again beggars the question about building standards in this country - surely the task of laying a polyurethane coating is not one that should lead to such a major problem.

It also raises questions about the quality of supervision, control, signing-off, and just who is paying for this balls-up.? Is the original builder being held to account, or is is outside the work guarantee period, and just what is the cost of this restoration job?

Perhaps our Member of Parliament should be asked to undertake some research in order to ensure that the causes, effects, and just where  blame lies can be established before the whole mess is buried in a bureaucratic miasma.  

In the meantime, perhaps our local DOC people could be a little more forthcoming about when the task will be completed, and the Centre restored to its former glory, and open for business. I enquired this morning and was told "who knows?"




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