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Local Government

Esplanade – Tsunami Sirens

This is Mayor Len Salt’s Councils first  LTP so it will be interesting to see if all the promises made prior to the election will finally be acted on. I have found no sign of it in the LTP to date, and there appears to be a lot of other information missing.
 |  Ady Cole-Ewen  | 

I question the millions allocated to the “Esplanade Fund”. No-one can tell me what it is all about and there has been no public consultation. Are there some extreme health and safety issues at stake that we have not been advised of? Safety issues are a prime concern. Indeed – we are asked by Council whether we feel “safe” here.  The simple answer is “No”.

Where are the costs allocated for Tsunami Sirens? Whitianga is one three places in New Zealand notified as being at high risk of being wiped out by a Tsunami – yet we have no workable warning system in place.

Two tsunami towers are required to protect Whitianga and Wharekaho. They are freestanding and solar powered, so, very importantly, not reliant on electricity. They have the capacity to broadcast information across the community in the event of any kind of disaster and come at a cost of $80,000 per tower. “Safety Personified” and peanuts compared to the 12.5 million planned spend on the Esplanade, and the staggering 78 million allocated to Thames.

Note: – At the last Grey Power AGM the proposed Tsunami Sirens were unanimously  approved with a 100% vote for immediate action.

It is reported that the Esplanade’s “nice-to-have” upgrade is the brain child and pet project of Councillors, Deli Connell and Rekha Giri Percival. I am sure they mean well, but at a time of emergency, and funding shortfalls, this initiative appears to be completely out of touch with reality.   

Communication, transparency, and honesty achieve the united communities that TCDC professes to aspire to. Hidden agendas achieve the opposite. What we regard as essentials and that the Council sees as ‘nice to haves’ just make people angry.  The LTP is an opportunity to hear and heed the ratepayers. Simple, really.