Plugging potholes for free
It's a sign of the times.
A Waiwhakaiho businessman is advertising "free" road repairs for ratepayers.
Max Brough says roads aren't getting fixed unless someone complains to the New Plymouth District and that's not good enough.
So he's erected a billboard in Waiwhakaiho spelling out how people can have their potholes fixed for free.
The contact number on the billboard leads the caller straight to the council, where they can lodge a complaint.
Someone needed to advertise the service, or otherwise nothing would get repaired, he said.
"Roading is the poor cousin of the council's services and their budgets," he said.
"It's like you're in Beirut or a Third World country with all the potholes that are around."
Brough is no stranger to roadside advertising.
Last year he erected the infamous "silver bullet" billboard supporting councillors who voted against extra Len Lye Centre funding.
This year's sign is "authorised by Crapper - Concerned Residents Against Poorly Planned and Executed Roading."
Brough pays rates for his home property, as well as $15,000 for his workplace and as such believes the roads he uses should be safe.
"With this sign I'm just putting my 10 cents worth in for my 15 grand."
Max Aves, council's manager of roading assets, said the message Brough's billboard was sending was correct. "In fact if the community has any concerns about roads, potholes included, they should call the council," he said.
"We are reliant on the community to give us feedback."
Aves said there had not been an abnormal spike in the number of calls to the council's roading team since Brough's sign went up earlier in the year.
Complaints in winter often rose slightly because full repairs could be delayed by wet weather.
Brough said something also needed to be done about early morning and after school traffic jams. The holidays had proven that New Plymouth's traffic woes, especially in the Waiwhakaiho, were because of school traffic.
Taranaki Daily News