Q'town's southern gateway neglected
Kingston Community Association member Annette Dalziel checks in from the township, saying council contractors' maintenance work is not up to scratch...
The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) trusts contractors to carry out maintenance work in Kingston, assuming it will be completed to a satisfactory standard. But that’s not happening.
A recent example of work not being completed to an acceptable standard is the clearing of vegetation from the beach front. The end result is that several plants have been missed and several have been sliced well above ground level, leaving sharp stems for people to tread on while walking along the beach. The cut foliage was never disposed of - it was left lying on the beach front at the mercy of the wind, only to be blown up onto the grass reserves and onwards to litter residents’ gardens.
Ottaseal was laid on the gravel roads throughout Kingston in 2013 as the new economic and environmentally-accepted method to control dust. The past method involved oiling the dusty roads, but that is now considered to be detrimental to the environment. The Ottaseal has been effective but has obviously not been monitored for ongoing maintenance. Several potholes are developing and many areas are being fractured by weeds growing through the surface.
Weed spraying is carried out on a regular basis, but the dead weeds and debris and never removed afterwards. The photograph on the left shows what happens if the debris is not removed.
A “request for service” is available through the QLDC website, offering ratepayers and residents a way to report issues affecting the community. The response time is variable. Response can sometimes be immediate but is often protracted. Some requests are for services which are already covered by regular maintenance schedules, so should not need any community intervention.
Planning ahead and then informing the community about the schedule of work would, if adhered to, minimise the need for constant communication and requests. This approach to undertaking maintenance tasks would surely assist in keeping the number of trips to the outlying area of Kingston to a minimum, and thus the associated expenses.
A robust and foolproof cyclic maintenance programme, combined with auditing the end results, would win the community’s confidence.
Annette Dalziel is a Kingston Community Association committee member, responsible for social visiting in the community and publishing the monthly newsletter. Annette and her husband built a holiday house in Kingston in 1985. Their two children enjoyed fishing, canoeing and tramping up the mountain track behind the Kingston railway station to look back down on Kingston. Their everlasting memories are of sharing time with friends and toasting marshmallows on the campfire at the beach. Annette and her husband have lived in Kingston permanently since 2007.