A quacker of a question has councillors in fits

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:03 03/09/2014
 Nick Lane
FAIRFAX NZ
DUCKS IN A ROW: A duck crossing sign is proposed for Koromiko.

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A discussion on road signs had Marlborough District councillors and staff "quacking up" yesterday.

Councillor Jessica Bagge asked Marlborough Roads highway manager Frank Porter about providing signs to warn drivers in Koromiko about ducks and their ducklings crossing the road.

Even temporary signs for the few months that mother ducks had ducklings would help, Bagge said.

The request sent Porter and other councillors into fits of laughter, particularly when Porter said he had been asked to provide "weka warning" signs on Queen Charlotte Drive.

There were "seal warning" signs on State Highway 1 near Kaikoura where the road ran along the coast for safety reasons, he said.

"If you hit a 200 to 300kg seal, there's going to be a real mess," he said.

"And not just for the seal.

"I don't know how to answer . . . if there is an overwhelming desire for animal signs on the state highway network, we can consider it."

There was no reason it couldn't be done, but cost and a "cluttering up" of the state highway with signs had to be considered, too.

Councillor Jenny Andrews said signs about crossing ducklings had been up on Battys Rd and Middle Renwick Rd in Springlands, which was also State Highway 6.

She recalled seeing a "six-wheeler" truck coming to a rapid halt early one morning at that site to allow a duck and ducklings to cross the road safely.

The hilarity became more raucous when councillor John Leggett pointed out that ducklings had only a slim chance of making it to adulthood anyway, with the survival rates about 6 per cent.

That was a "quacker of an answer", committee chairman Terry Sloan said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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