Mt Barker residents keep pressure on Wanaka road sealing projects

Russell Lovelock at an Otta sealed section of Mt Barker Road.

Russell Lovelock at an Otta sealed section of Mt Barker Road.

Mt Barker Residents Association chairman Russell Lovelock*, 77, makes no apologies for sounding like a broken record over road sealing issues in his rural Wanaka neighbourhood.

The retired farmer leads at least 110 residents who have crusading against the Queenstown Lakes District Council to get several dangerous roads sealed.

Former chairman Philip Melchior achieved the sealing of Faulks Road several years ago but Lovelock said he feared he would die before Ballantyne Road and Mt Barker Road followed suit.

Mayor Jim Boult was supportive at an annual plan hearing earlier in June, so Lovelock hopes the end of the road is in sight and he can turn his attention to the Otago Regional Council and rabbit control and water table issues.

Mt Barker residents mourn teen driver's death on Ballantyne Road
Residents castigate council for slow progress on Ballantyne Road

"They [councillors and board members] must think "Oh my giddy aunt, here they go again". But the dripping tap gets the washer, the squeaking wheel gets the oil. In the Bible, there's a story about the widow who wanted her case heard and the judge finally said if he didn't hear her, she would never leave . . . It is about perserverance," he said.

Former Wanaka Community Board members Ken Copland and Bryan Lloyd had advocated for the association without earning much credit from annoyed residents, but it was important to defend them and thank them for their work, Lovelock said.

"Ed Taylor has not long been on the board but he has done well . . . I was pleased to hear Jim Boult say something will be done. I think Ed's been like a wee limpet and annoyed the hell out of him," Lovelock said.

Residents remained "emphatic" Ballantyne Road must be permanently sealed, particularly after the death of a teenage driver on Ballantyne Road in October 2016, he said.

Lovelock was also "hammering away" about Mt Barker Road because drivers were losing control of cars there.

Ad Feedback

Although there have not been any deaths on Mt Barker Road, the council has agreed to cover about 2km of gravel sections of that road with a temporary seal known as Otta seal – except, Lovelock explained, the Queenstown Lakes recently decided to call it "notta seal" so people understood it was "not a proper seal".

"It is a dust suppressant, so they call it notta seal. But we have had it along here [Mt Barker Road] and we are very happy with it. But we don't get the same heavy traffic that Ballantyne Road gets," Lovelock said.

Last year, the council estimated it would take just about all of Wanaka's Otta seal budget ($150,000 of $200,000) to Otta seal Ballantyne Road's gravel sections.

​It wants to do a full upgrade with permanent seal at an estimated cost of $2.4 million. A cost sharing case is being put to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Boult warned at the annual plan hearing it would not be easy to get what was wanted from the agency.

However he reassured Mt Barker residents the "blow torch" was firmly on the project to do it sooner rather than later.

* Russell Lovelock was mistakenly referred to as Russell Blackgrove in a report on June 5. We are sorry about that, Russell!

 - Stuff


Ad Feedback
special offers

Gunman 'likely dead' video

A house reportedly belonging to the gunman could be seen on fire from outside the cordon.

Police say gunman who shot dead two women in rural Northland is "very unlikely" to have survived after house went up in flames.

WWI memorial rescued

The Auckland War Memorial Museum will sit above the proposed WWI memorial.

Councillor booted off war memorial decision-making group as mayor Phil Goff takes over.

Living on a benefit in Auckland

Auckland Action Against Poverty is an advocacy group which works to help beneficiaries and those struggling in Auckland.

What is life really like for a beneficiary in the country's most expensive city?

EDITORIAL: Make your voice count

At the ballot.

EDITORIAL: If you've been driving around South Auckland lately, you will have noticed a colourful change to our streets.


Kiwi dies while walking in US

Hastings man Jonny Russell, 36, died unexpectedly in Colorado on Sunday.

Jonny Russell, 36, was walking along a footpath when he collapsed in Colorado.

Caught twice in a week

Caught drunk driving twice in a week he was both times more than four times the legal limit.

Driver caught more than five times over the limit was on his way to get more booze.

Council under 'urgent' investigation

Wellington City Council is being investigated by the Ombudsman over its failure to release information on the ...

Ombudsman probing Wellington City Council's refusal to release Shelly Bay info.

Drink driver charged over crash

Sione "Bah" Tuiano with his daughter, Anne, 5.

Man, 35, charged over crash which killed rugby man Sione "Bah" Tuiano.


Last person to see McGrath

David Benbow outside his house in Halswell on Wednesday.

The prison guard at the centre of the missing builder inquiry has talked about when he last saw him.

Queues for hours video

Adrian Allen loads firewood into his vehicle at City Firewood. He had a big load delivered after Christmas but has burnt ...

Hundreds of people queued for hours to buy firewood as harsh wintry conditions loom.

Man's 'burden' of killing wife

Timothy John Houlden will carry the burden of causing his wife's death for the rest of his life, Judge Mark Callaghan ...

Southland pensioner sentenced for car crash that killed his wife of nearly 50 years.

Car dealer's road rage

Christchurch car dealer Nigel Thompson motors admitted assaulting a man after a collision, but escaped conviction "by a ...

He got angry after a crash, punched a man who told him to calm down, but avoided conviction.


No sea, no problem for cup visit video

Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton with year eight student Daniel Over, 14.

Grant Dalton stopped by on Wednesday to share the success with a Te Kauwhata school.

Creepy cop's betrayal

Sergeant Gregory David Waters, 53, appeared in Hamilton District Court on Wednesday after earlier being found guilty by ...

The police sergeant was there to teach self-defence but he indecently assaulted a vulnerable woman.

Waikato DHB boss a no-show

Waikato DHB chairman Bob Simcock is disappointed a "confidential human resource issue" was leaked to the media.

Waikato health boss goes on leave as questions remain over spending habits.

Driving eases family's struggle

Anita Annan, 4, suffers from a progressive illness affecting her nervous system.

When you're dealt a heart-breaking hand, sometimes little things make a big difference.


Conductive education arrives 

26072017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/STUFF.  A new Conductive education unit is set to open at Westown school thanks to a ...

Taranaki children with neuro-motor disorders will soon be able to access specialist education right here in Taranaki.

Regions need help 

Should tourists help pay for an upgrade to the infrastructure around Mt Taranaki.

Should a portion of tourism GST be returned to the region?

Pine trees turning red

Pine trees affected with red needle cast which has been seen in Taranaki

It may look like they're dying but these pine trees are just sick.

The best four

The Crusaders know how to work collectively to shut down opposition.

Crusaders should meet the Hurricanes in the Super Rugby final.


Crash metres from Plaza

Two cars crashed at a busy intersection outside the front doors of The Plaza on Wednesday afternoon.

Afternoon traffic disrupted by fender bender in Palmerston North.

Closure an opportunity

The Manawatu Gorge is closed indefinitely.

A "significantly more resilient route" is expected if the gorge will never reopen.

Privacy complaints over emails

Christine Toms is disappointed her emails were being intercepted by Horowhenua District Council's chief executive.

Under-fire Horowhenua council could face privacy probe.

Horowhenua councillor cleared

Horowhenua councillor Ross Campbell is not in breach of his council's code of conduct, an investigation has found.

Under-fire chief executive "dulled" down findings, cleared Ross Campbell councillor claims.


10 underrated NZ towns

Paeroa should be world famous in NZ for more than L&P.

Motueka and Murchison feature on a list of towns worth your while.

Dying man fulfills wish

Doug Murcott and Sally Tolliday on their wedding day at the Nelson Tasman Hospice.

Doug Murcott loses his fight with cancer days after fulfilling his wish to marry his partner.

New direct flight route

Originair will offer direct flights between New Plymouth and Nelson from late-September.

Nelson and New Plymouth are to have a direct air link.

Anatomy of a shooting

Ford Hurinui who was shot by Police in Motueka on August 20, 2015.

Holding a shotgun and surrounded by police Ford Hurinui was "prepared to die".


Abseilers on a mesh mission

Abseilers working at the top of a bluff at Ohau Point, with a view down to the Pacific Ocean.

Ohau Point is the only place roading contractors can't reach, but abseilers with a head for heights are working to change that.

Truck rolls on SH63

Police are attending to a crash near St Arnaud.

The alternate highway claims another truck, but luckily nobody was hurt.

Cycle trail will happen - advocate

A cycleway will run along the edge of this damaged stretch of SH1, just south of Ohau Point, as part of $231 million of ...

Government chips in to build stretch around Ohau Point, deemed the most difficult section.

Time to fix 'scary' highway

The section of State Highway 6 from Okaramio to Havelock is the most dangerous stretch on the Blenheim to Nelson road, ...

The road from Blenheim to Nelson has claimed 12 lives in 10 years. Now it's a priority.

South Canterbury

More rain and snow on way

Federated Farmers meat and fibre president Miles Anderson has advised farmers to be prepared for the predicted bad weather.

Farming leader questions how much more rain water-logged soil can handle.

Infected cows must go

Labour spokesman for primary industries Damien O'Connor is calling for all the cows on the property where Mycoplasma ...

The 150 stricken cattle on a South Canterbury farm should be put down, MP says.

Luxton to meet with ECan

Rangitata Labour Party candidate Jo Luxton.

Labour candidate to push ahead with efforts to have ECan change woodburner policies.

Council hotly denies claims

A smoky chimney in Timaru.

ECan shoots down claim by former policeman it could be caught by peeping tom rule.


Resident wants to beautify wharf

Bluff resident Cherie Chapman stands near the closed Bluff Wharf which she wants to see it beautified and made open to ...

Bluff resident Cherie Chapman has put her case to the Bluff Community Board to restore the old Bluff wharf and return it to the public.

Let sleeping seals lie

The seal is believed to have travelled up the nearby Waiau river, and was found about 10kms from the sea.

DOC is asking the public to trust its judgement when it comes to dealing with wild animals.

MPI proposing changes

10082016. News.Kavinda Herath. Southland Times/FairfaxNZ-Uplift of oysters to tanker in  Big Glory Bay, Stewart Island today

MPI is hosting a public meeting about proposed changes to the aquaculture industry.

Coroner reminds hunters of gun safety after death

Cromwell man Garry Tall, 61, was killed in a hunting accident on the Old Woman Range in March 2016.

Cromwell man Garry Tall was an experienced hunter but on March 3, 2016, he died after shooting himself in the stomach after a hunt.

Ad Feedback