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In the dark over streetlight risks

Local councils have not been able to confirm whether falling streetlights could pose a risk to Wairarapa pedestrians.

Several 15kg LED streetlights have fallen to the ground in the Wellington suburbs of Hataitai and Evan’s Bay in recent months, posing a lethal risk to pedestrians.

Wellington City Council [WCC] spokesperson Richard MacLean said falling lamps pose a serious hazard.

“I think it’d be safe to say that you would either be seriously injured or killed,” he said.

Wellington City Council [WCC] said that fittings on 1000 of the city’s 17,000 streetlights [or 5.88 per cent] have proven to be faulty.

The fault is not with the lamp itself but the spigot, a part of the bracket that attaches the lamp to the pole.

The faulty spigots date from 2017, when old high-pressure sodium bulbs were switched out for LEDs, which are more energy efficient and give off less light pollution.

Wellington City Council has yet to confirm the source of faulty spigots or all the areas where they may have been installed.

Masterton District Council [MDC] and South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] installed LED streetlights during a similar timeframe to WCC. However, neither council has been able to confirm if they procured parts jointly with WCC, due to staff members being busy with the current flood response,

All of Wairarapa’s councils said they are unaware of any issues with falling streetlights across their networks.

A Carterton District Council [CDC] roading spokesperson said the council upgraded to LED lights four years before the region’s other councils.

“We believe all the lights are in good condition. However, to track the asset condition in the future, we have already programmed a network audit inspection.”

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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