State highway liaison meeting (21 March)
The traffic liaison meeting was held on 21 March 2014 between the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and council. The meeting is chaired by the NZTA so an agenda and minutes are not recorded by council (at least I could not find a record anywhere on the council web site).
Of interest to me were two discussions. First, a truck effluent station, to be located on the old scrap metal yard near Three Brothers Corner (see http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/9426081/Stock-effluent-dump-site-coming, http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/8094223/City-to-build-effluent-site-out-in-Hope). And the second, was concerns raised over the efficiency of the Queen St and Gladstone Road intersection.
Apparently the truck effluent station was something Nelson council required, but were unable to find a suitable location. Hira had been suggested but proved unsuitable. An alternative location was explored in Brightwater (next to the stock yards), but apparently the local school held concerns, so this was vetoed. Accordingly, it was considered that the three brothers corner area was the best location as trucks would be coming or going to either the Brightwater or Moutre\Motueka areas. Mock up designs were presented and assurances were given that the projected 10 stops per day would not in any way hinder existing or projected traffic use of the round about. NZTA would also be looking to improve lighting around the intersection and access way to the truck station.
In my opinion, the Gladstone Road traffic lights (on both the Queen St and Oxford St) are a nightmare – the phasing is just wrong. A round about would work so much more efficiently. On this point I also raised ratepayers bewilderment as to why they were prevented (at least officially) from turning up into Queent St from the deviation. I was advised by council staff and NZTA that the Gladstone Road and Queen St traffic management system was being reviewed to make improvements. All parties acknowledged it was not working that well.
I also raised a question over the Oxford St intersection. In my opinion, the Oxford St intersection should also be a round about so that cars can manage their own way out of the petrol station as well as in or out of Oxford St. However, I was advised that the road width could not sustain a round about, so that idea had to be ruled out. Similarly I think a round about at the Queen St intersection would be much more efficient than the lights. The roundabout in stoke (on the highway bypass) works very well in keeping traffic flowing. The fact a lot of traffic bypasses Gladstone Road’s traffic lights in favour of Hill St or Wensley Road shows the lights are not working.
Audit subcommittee meeting (26 March)
The audit subcommittee meeting was held on 26 March 2014. Cr King and Cr Sangster submitted their apologies. All other councillors (Cr Higgins, C Inglis, and myself) were in attendance.
As the information from the Auditor was considered confidential this meeting was closed to the public. Accordingly I am unable to report much on what was discussed. However, I can say that I came away from the meeting with confidence in our overall performance and reporting. Noting that our debt levels continue to be a major area of concern.
a copy of the agenda and minutes of this meeting can be found at http://www.tasman.govt.nz/council/council-meetings/subcommittee-meetings/audit-subcommittee-meetings/?path=/EDMS/Public/Meetings/AuditSubcommittee/2014/2014-03-26.