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Pauanui/Tairua Cycleway - Again!

My post dated 11 July regarding the machinations that have led to Council becoming responsible for the Pauanui/Tairua Cycleway has again come to the fore. This was supposedly a project of the Hikuai District Trust – an entity established specifically to develop the walkway/cycleway from Pauanui – an admirable intent had it actually achieved its purpose without falling back on the Council to fund and undertake the work.

As with so many other admirable enterprises in this district (Thames Business Association included!), it started with the best intentions, ran into funding difficulties, and fell back on Council through ‘very close’ associations with community board members and Council staff.

I was approached by Tairua/Pauanui Board Chair – Bob Renton at the last Council meeting complaining that I should have referred my previous story on this matter to him for comment as he would have been able to “correct” some of the facts on which I had based the story. From my discussion with him at that time, I failed to see how he could have changed my view on any of the matters on which the story was based.

Be that as it may, this is a ‘commentary’ blog, and I have no obligation to ‘check’ with anyone when I am satisfied  as to the basis of a story – that is the difference with normal ‘journalism’ where cross-checking sources is standard practice. I certainly do not have the resources to run around getting ‘confirmation in the manner he suggest. As long as I remain vigilant in regard to any possibility of defamation, readers are the sole judge of the veracity of posts.

What is important in relation to this particular story is that having now read the 1 August paper presented to the TP Community Board on 14 August it is abundantly clear that for some time, the Hikuai Development Trust has played ‘second-fiddle’ to the Board and its staff in regard to this track, and it is now quite clear that maintenance of its entire 25km length will be primarily the responsibility of the Council as Controlling Authority.

Involvement by the HRT appears to be entirely voluntary, and secondary to the Council.. What this means is it is now perfectly clear that this has always been a Council project regardless of protestations to the contrary by the Board Chair and staff in their correspondence and dealings with the objectors from around Hikuai – now characterised as a “vocal minority of trouble-makers.”

The good folk of Pauanui and Tairua now have exactly what they always wanted – a Council executed, managed and maintained track. This is not a matter about which I have any ‘axe to grind’ – it is simply outlined here as an example of the manner in which many projects are initiated,  and one way or another get onto the Council’s books without appropriate consultation with all those who are affected.

These often become large-scale burdens that fall back on all rate-payers to fund, and equally often are defended by elected members with a vested interest. I hope that this project is a major success, but I am conscious of the vulnerability, and consequences to this project of major storm damage that will almost certainly need to be funded by the entire rate-payer base, as it already has!





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Reader Comments (1)

I can assure you that the Tairua community like Hikuai have had very little involvement or consultation regarding this private project of Gary & Ann Fowler's, Hikuai District Trust and the Pauanui community since it was first presented to the Community Board for funding in 2013. Many residents and ratepayers are unaware of the large amount of ratepayer money that has been given by the Tairua Pauanui Community Board the Hikuai District Trust for the project without their knowledge, input or consultation.

February 1, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGloria Rennie

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