Omaui roads cause concern

    Omaui resident John Collins is concerned about the state of the small town's roads.

    CONCERNED Omaui residents have this week appealed to their community board to get their busy roads sealed, saying they are just waiting for a bad accident to happen.

    John Collins had lived in Omaui for 10 years and, in that time, had seen how road usage to the small coastal village had increased.

    This was driven by beach visitors and a new subdevelopment in the village.

    He told the Bluff Community Board on Tuesday evening about 40 people had signed a petition to get Omaui and Mokomoko Rds tarsealed.

    The petition was delivered to Invercargill City councillors and staff, and the group aimed to get the community board’s backing.

    Mr Collins said both roads were dangerous, with ruts, corrugations, potholes and metal drifts.

    “Cars have left the road because of them.

    “These accidents go unreported because locals tow them back on to the road and nobody has been seriously injured yet.”

    He said road maintenance only lasted a few days because of the roads’ heavy use.

    This resulted in a dangerous stretch of about 4km, he said.

    Among the petition signatories were the rural delivery man and YMCA South, which has its camp based in the village.

    Its accompanying letter explained children walk from the camp to the beach, which was dangerous with no curbing and vehicles passing.

    Board chairman Raymond Fife said the group had some good, valid reasons, and agreed it was not that great a road.

    In support of what was said, a comment committee member Noel Peterson made was a memory of his first drive down the topical roads.

    “When I came to Bluff four years and 11 days ago, I went to Omaui in my little Ford Ka car. I just about wrecked it going up and down on the corrugations, so I decided I wasn’t going to venture down that road too often.”

    Invercargill City Council (ICC) roading manager Russell Pearson was at the meeting and suggested a submission be made in the consultation for the Long Term Plan, and said the board may wish to have a position on it.

    He said ICC was tasked with taking care of about 600km of roading, 120km of which was unsealed.

    “I guess for every one you will do, you’ll find somebody will be unhappy.”

    He also noted ICC did not require a development contribution.

    “So a whole lot of the benefits of actually getting subdivision are a cost council bears in future ongoing developments.”

    He said a 4km road would cost about $1 million, and it would be unlikely to be subsidised by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.