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Eke’s main street a bit of a mess

Run-off into the carparks along Eketahuna’s main street about two weeks ago. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Dodgy roading job leaves bitumen streaks marring town revamp

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An untidy reseal of Eketahuna’s main street has left some residents and business owners feeling let down.

The work began over two months ago, but due to cold overnight temperatures during the reseal, the road was left in a bit of a state.

Eketahuna Community Board chairman Charlie Death said the community was “angry” initially.

The town’s main street had undergone a revamp, and for this to happen it was disappointing, he said.

Chip from the main street was making its way up the side streets, Mr Death said.

New Zealand Transport Agency regional transport systems manager Ross I’Anson said the agency was aware of the road sealing issues in the town.

Since the sealing problems about two months ago, the agency had completed an inspection and had a “series of repairs planned”.

Work will begin soon with the aim to be finished by the middle of May.

Tararua District Council chief executive Blair King said NZTA had kept the council in the loop about the progress.

On the morning of the sealing mishap, the agency contacted the council immediately to warn them.

Mr King said it was obvious something had happened to the road, “but after a few years it will be a lot less visible”.

Lisa Seator of Ryli’s Kiwi Kai said the work was “a bit messy”.

“It makes us look a bit like a second cousin,” she said.

The worst of the work was at the southern end of town, but “it’s still not great” in front of their shop, she said.

Part of the seal was lifting at the other end of town, Mrs Seator said.

Samantha Ifill of the Tabu sex shop said it was annoying, “but not the end of the world”.

The loose gravel on the road was proving to be frustrating as it would stick to customers’ shoes before coming into the store, she said.

While state highways are the responsibility of NZTA, the agency contracted the work out to Higgins who undertook the reseal.

Tararua Mayor and Eketahuna farmer Tracey Collis said she had been in contact with NZTA and Higgins about the work being done.

She had been told the work around the Kiwi statue had been remedied.

Mrs Collis had received feedback from the community board and a handful of residents.

Mr I’Anson said the reseal had been undertaken at night, to minimise disruption to the community and travelling public.

“Unfortunately, temperatures dropped overnight to the point where the bitumen wasn’t setting as it should and caused the streaking of bitumen across the parking areas,”.

He said Higgins “acted quickly” to clean-up the footpaths and parking areas.

The car parks along the main street were owned by NZTA but the council would maintain them.

“In this instance, NZTA will be ensuring they are cleaned up back to the standard they were before the reseal occurred,” Mr I’Anson said.


  1. This is becoming a New Zealand wide problem and as usual the weather gets the blame. There must be a few retired road sealers out there who could tell the current crop where they’re going wrong.

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