Couple stuck with 'horrible green thing'

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2014
Robert Young and wife Brenda Stickley
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ
UNSIGHTLY BOX: Robert Young and wife Brenda Stickley say the green fibre access terminal installed outside their Sunrise Boulevard, Tawa home has encroached on their property.

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A Tawa couple feel the look of their house has been ruined after Chorus erected a Fibre Access Terminal in front of their newly landscaped home.

The green pillar, just under a metre high, is one of thousands of such edifices that will be deployed across the country to enable the roll-out of ultrafast broadband.

Homeowner Robert Young said Chorus contractor Downer had miscalculated and the pillar encroached by about 15 centimetres on to his section, which was recently surveyed with new boundary markers.

However, he acknowledged his concerns would remain unless Chorus buried it or moved it right to the side of his property.

"It is very unsightly. When we came home one day it was there.

"If you own property you spend a lot of money, thousands, to improve it, and then this horrible green thing gets plonked right in front of it."

Chorus spokeswoman Elissa Downey said it had been advised the pillar was "completely sited within the road reserve."

Telecommunications Forum chief executive David Stone said there was nothing people could do about RMA-exempted infrastructure being erected outside their properties, but he did not expect that would stem complaints "given we are a nation of ‘Nimbys' ".

Individuals might have concerns, but there was also "the greater good" to consider, Stone said.

The last Labour government relaxed Resource Management Act rules governing the installation of telecommunications infrastructure in 2008, after the Environment Ministry calculated economic benefits of $80 million.

The Telecommunications Industry Reference Group had said red tape was strangling the industry.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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