Assets Group Manager's objective to "...achieve better value for the community.".

James Russell made this Official Information request to Waitaki District Council

Response to this request is long overdue. By law Waitaki District Council should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: James Russell

Dear Waitaki District Council,

Assets Update; memo to Waihemo Bd. [2.16.] 8th December 2014 (today), from Assets Group Manager, [Neil Jorgensen] advises of a report submitted to Council concerning the proposed walkway and funding options, and advises "...to see if we can achieve better value for the community."

1.As the WDC are a long time aware of extensive damage to a road, being two thirds of the proposed walkway that Neil refers to at Shag Point. Does the Council know who caused the damage, or who permitted the damage to be caused? Please advise, if it is known, who is responsible.

2. With the objective in 'achieving better value for the community'; Did the Council investigate the parties who caused or permitted to cause the extensive damage to the road, and attempt to recover costs?

3. Has the been any communication with the party/s that relates to the damage referred to here?

4. As a "funding option" option, would there not be "better value" as claimed, for the community, in pursuing those responsible for the damage, rather than plunder our Shag point Amenity Rate?

5. As the contracts for the repairs (walkway construction) is now secured. Would there still be better value achievable, in recouping costs from the road wreckers, as now, with the tenders sorted, the WDC know exactly the financial extent of the damage?

6. Did the same party, who secured the tender, have a hand in the damage?

Yours faithfully,

James Russell

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From: noreply@waitaki.govt.nz
Waitaki District Council

Please do not reply to this email

Thank you for emailing Waitaki District Council.

Our Customer Contact Team checks emails regularly during business hours (8.30am – 5pm Monday to Friday). We ensure requests are forwarded to the appropriate Council Officer or contractor for action.

If your enquiry is urgent please call our Customer Contact Team on 03 433 0300.

Regards

Customer Contact Team
Waitaki District Council
Web www.waitaki.govt.nz Office 20 Thames Street, Private Bag 50058, Oamaru 9444

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From: Lynley Scott
Waitaki District Council

Dear Mr Russell

In response to your request for information of the 8th of December 2014, this request relates to a damaged section of a road.

Points 1-6 of your email relates to damage to Shag Point Road, we are unaware of such damage to the legally formed road. We advise if a road way is damaged then we encourage a CRM for repairs to be lodged with our customer contact team at [email address] or by phoning 03 433 0300.

The Waihemo Community Board Meeting of the 8th of December 2014 reported that an amenity rate projects as follows: "Shag Point Walkway and Drainage Project quotes have been received for $14,000 with $10,000 being funded from the Amenity rate and $4,000 from Council".

Kind Regards

Lynley Scott
Administration Officer - Records and Purchasing

Phone 03 433 0300 Email [email address]
Web www.waitaki.govt.nz Office 20 Thames Street, Private Bag 50058, Oamaru 9444

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From: James Russell

Dear Lynley Scott,

Denying, as you have, knowledge of damage to the road is untrue. “…we are unaware of such damage to the legally formed road.”

Roading Manager M. Voss to a 2012 complaint about the damage wrote, “WDC has never authorised the destruction of perfectly good sealed road.”

Just because WDC have already charged Shag Point ratepayers through their Amenity Rate to repair the unauthorised damage that Voss speaks of, does not escape the Council’s responsibility to peruse persons known to have caused damage and attempt to recover costs from them and replenishing our ‘Amenity Rate’

Section 357 Local Government Act 1974
Penalties for damage to roads

(1) “Every person commits an offence who, not being authorised by the council…”
(c) “…digs up, removes, or alters in any way the soil or surface or scarp of a road;”
(j) “…does or causes or permits to be done any act whatsoever by which any damage is caused to a road…and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1000…and may be ordered to pay costs incurred by the council…in repairing any damage caused as aforesaid.”

Section 357 applies here, and it is no good after contracting Fulton Hogan to repair the damage, now deny knowledge of the damage.

WDC were first advised of the damage in 2012, and advised through complaints to the CEO on 31 October 2014 and 6 November 2014 to Neil Jorgensen in 2014, prior to the Fulton Hogan contract.

Please do not continue to deny knowledge of the damage, answer if you will, the questions, 1 through 6.

Yours sincerely,

James Russell

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From: James Russell

Dear Lynley Scott,

To reiterate; When you say "...we are unaware of such damage..." You can not be speaking for Voss, who was aware in 2012, or Neil Jorgensen, who was not only cc'd notice to CEO of damage 6 November 2014, he received the CEO's notice of damage on the same day as he was acting CEO.

So, who is the "...we...' you refer to Lynley??

Yours sincerely,

James Russell

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From: Lynley Scott
Waitaki District Council

Dear Mr Russell

In response to your email below.

To reiterate, council is unaware of any damage to legally form road and are therefore unable to answer your questions 1-6.

As quoted in your email Mr Voss advised - WDC has never authorised the "destruction of perfectly good sealed road". Once the boundary surveys were completed, the road was subjected to alternative use.

Lynley Scott
Administration Officer - Records and Purchasing

Phone 03 433 0300 Email [email address]
Web www.waitaki.govt.nz Office 20 Thames Street, Private Bag 50058, Oamaru 9444

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From: James Russell

Dear Lynley Scott,

Denying the undeniable. How does a response such as this go with in a mile of achieving better value for the community.

I am not satisfied with the Assets Group Manager's response. It is incredulous given information provided to support WDC were not only advised of the damage, were advised as to who in the WDC were advised and when, and were advised in 2014 who destroyed the road.

Notwithstanding any of the previously unsatisfied questions, I have added 7 more.

I advised South Roads this week of a pothole on Lower Shag Point Rd, and they advised that they would get someone out immediately to repair it. It seems that reports of damage to Council roads are taken seriously, so;

1. When Voss was advised in 2012 of the damage to 30 meters of the same road;

What action did he take?

2. When Ross, and Jorgensen were advised in 2014, of 40 more meters of damage (now 70 meters)

What action did they take?

3..How can WDC employ Fulton Hogan to completely re-build the road, and claim to have no knowledge of the damage?

4. What do the WDC believe happened to the seal that ratepayers at Shag Point through their amenity rate will now pick up the tab for?.

5. When staff members visited the site earlier and determine that re-sealing was necessary as the 70 meters or so of what was once a sealed road, was unsealed road, Did not one of them after walking over a pile of rocks, wonder what happened to the road, (the ground beneath their feet) discuss this with any other person, or make a record of it?

Your reply. "Once the boundary surveys were completed, the road was subjected to alternative use."

6. How does this relate or go any way to answer any of my questions? I do not even know what you mean by this.

7. Who completed the boundary survey that you report as being completed?

Yours sincerely,

James Russell

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