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Dissent halts pathway plans
John Wise talks
opposed to a
By CAROLYN VEEN
Judging by the
nature of some of the
phone calls, it is
obvious that some
residents are extremely
protective of the
reserve area, almost to
the exclusion of the
Road asset manager
In response to negative feedback on the
proposed Taipo Stream cycle-walkway,
Napier city councillors have decided to
revisit their plans and face the hard task
of pleasing everyone.
The proposal is a joint venture with the
Hawke's Bay Regional Council to con-
struct a shared pathway for pedestrians
and cyclists along the Taipo Stream
between Church and Neeve roads.
Letters stating the council's intention
to implement the pathway were hand
delivered to 70 addresses adjacent to the
stream, inviting residents to comment.
Sixty per cent did not respond. Of the 28
written responses, 22 were against the
Representing nine residents from
Willow Dr, John Wise reiterated the
group's objections at a council meeting
last week, asking councillors to vote
against the proposal.
In principle, we support the cycle-
walkway strategy. However, we are con-
cerned that it is being hurriedly driven
by a funded cycling agenda.
We are concerned that walkers' safety,
particularly the young and the elderly,
will be compromised by a combination of
the narrowness of the corridor, an adjac-
ent stream with a steep bank, and the
speed of skateboards, cycles and scooters.
A three-metre wide concrete path
dividing an already-narrow mown area
will limit its availability for casual rec-
reational activities,'' Mr Wise said.
The group is also concerned about the
security of residents and flooding.
However, not all submissions were
negative. Some residents welcomed the
proposal and were positive about the idea
of having a pathway that could be used in
wet weather too, as some elderly people
on motorised wheelchairs struggle along
the muddy areas after a downfall. Some
residents indicated they would be disap-
pointed if the pathway did not go ahead
because they would appreciate a better
surface on which to walk and bike.
Road asset manager Jon Schwass said
the original options, along Avondale or
Church roads, were discounted because
of the expense and not meeting the brief
of the national cycle trails, which
includes off-road paths as far as practi-
Judging by the nature of some of the
phone calls, it is obvious that some
residents are extremely protective of the
reserve area, almost to the exclusion of
the wider community. The reality is, this
is a public space . . . and that's not going
to change,'' he said.
Deputy Mayor Kathie Furlong said the
land is for all Napier citizens to use, and
many people do''.
The project isn't going to change what
the reserve is currently used for, other
than opening it up to a wider variety of
use,'' she said. By putting a meandering
pathway there, it allows a safe off-road
choice for people with mobility scooters,
pushchairs and bikes to get from the
northern end of Church Rd through to
the Taradale shopping centre.''
All but two councillors support the
project, albeit with a bit of tweaking that
would include reducing the width of the
pathway in some places and creating a
natural curve through the trees.
Councillor Michelle Pyke was not in
favour of the pathway going through the
reserve, as her preferred option would be
to use Avondale Rd. Councillor Maxine
Boag said she preferred to keep the area
as a reserve.
Mayor Barbara Arnott said the coun-
cil will make the area as sympathetic as
possible to the environment and the
residents, but nothing will go ahead with-
out more consultation.''
Students fill in on screen
Filming under way: EIT students, from left, Michael Parkes, Jake North and John
Norris are extras acting as a television news crew on Siege being filmed in Napier
The 2009 Chaucer Rd siege was a
nightmare for Napier but helping
film such an important story is a
dream come true for EIT screen
The television drama, titled Siege,
tells the story of Jan Molenaar's
50-hour standoff with police in May
Producer Ric Pellizeri says the
pool of talent from EIT has been a
bonus, helping in the challenging job
of doing justice to the siege story.
The company required a large cast
of extras to take the roles of police,
armed offenders squad officers, St
John Ambulance staff, neighbours
EIT lecturer Peter Janes is work-
ing as second camera operator. Janes
spends half his year teaching at EIT
and the other half working as a cam-
era operator, usually in West Auck-
land on television series like Power
Rangers and Legend of the Seeker.
Janes was also pleased to get a local
job and stay in the Bay for longer.
Along with the work as extras, EIT
students have been snapped up to
work as crew, Maurice Beckett is
working on sound, Richard MacDon-
ald and Andrew Blake in the lighting
department and Jessica Taylor as
second assistant director. Janes says
he is extremely chuffed'' with how
his students are performing.
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