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Residents question rates

Riversdale Beach Ratepayers Association president John Christie holding up a piece of plastic retaining material from the road at Riversdale. PHOTO/JAMES HOLLINGS

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Riversdale Beach Ratepayers Association members are wondering what they are paying for.

Association president John Christie said the council had made no investment in Riversdale Beach for up to 12 years, outside of a toilet block for the surf club.

Christie used the challenge at last week’s Masterton District Council Long Term Plan hearing to argue for funding.

The association was asking for three things.

“Tidying up and development of Bodle Drive, something to be done for the road edges of Blue Pacific, and what will happen with the planting of native trees in the southern reserve,” Christie said.

A submission requesting Bodle Drive be redesigned and refurbished and for kerbing on the block comprising Blue Pacific Parade, Pinedale Cres and Riversdale Rd was made by the association in November.

Neither made it into the LTP.

“We did a survey of the 390 ratepayers on our mailing list, asking if they agreed that we should approach the council about the development of Bodle Dr and putting kerbs on Blue Pacific Parade.

“We got about 100 responses, and 92 per cent said yes about Bodle Dr and 86 per cent said yes about Blue Pacific,” Christie said.

Christie told councillors that the growth in vehicle and pedestrian traffic with no footpaths next to these roads was becoming increasingly dangerous.

“Both Bodle Dr and Blue Pacific Parade are serious accidents waiting to happen.

“Children regularly have to receive first aid after falling. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want my grandchildren to fall on that,” he said, holding up a piece of plastic retaining material from the roadside.

A council email sent to the association on May 12 said it had considered the association’s submissions, however it had decided to defer a review until after the Wairarapa Combined District Plan review was complete.

“It’s saying nothing of any significance is going to happen at Riversdale for the next two-three years,” Christie said.

The council email also said the Riversdale Beach community was divided over urbanisation, but Christie said this was outdated information.

“It is a totally dead issue now and has been for years,” he said.

The third request from the association’s submission referred to a promise by the council to replace 1000 removed pine trees in Riversdale’s Southern Reserve with native trees in winter 2021.

Christie said at the time of the submission council had failed to give a definite answer to ratepayers’ questions about what was going to happen with the plan.

“Clearly, this is not going to happen, as committed, this winter.

“It’s a bare bank, and it’s very steep. Who knows what will happen erosion-wise when we get a lot of rain this winter?” he said.

Christie said the need for investment in Riversdale Beach was increasing because the community was rapidly growing.

“The beach is growing and thriving, the locals of Riversdale Beach are certainly pumping a few dollars into the Masterton district,” he said.

“We’re sick of raising these issues with council officers, so we took it [last week] to raise with the elected officials.”

The council will be deliberating submissions from the hearing on June 2.

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