Message came at a cost

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 24/06/2014

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A sad situation arose in Twizel after consent misunderstandings.

The Twizel Area School Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD) erected a sign at the corner of Ruataniwha Rd and Simons St encouraging motorists coming into the area to drive safely.

The sign was unveiled by Mackenzie District Council Mayor Claire Barlow last December.

It was seen by those involved as a "wonderful community initiative". However, the team of SADD students, led by teacher Michele O'Carroll, said they did not realise they needed consent from the Mackenzie District Council, which came with a fee of $487.50.

O'Carroll said she was informed of the consent four months down the track of the project and received the bill on the day of the unveiling.

She was told by council staff to apply for grants from the council and Twizel Community Board, as the SADD team did not have the money required.

"Why did they not say you need this amount of money? We could have planned and done some fundraising."

Subsequently SADD applied to the district council and community board for funding, receiving enough to cover the bill.

In a letter to the editor of the Twizel Update newsletter, chair of the Twizel Community Board John Bishop said all members of the board acknowledged the goodwill of the SADD students and appreciated their initiative.

"It is accepted that the SADD team acted in good faith when applying for the consent and it is unfortunate that they did not consider cost at the time of applying."

While the community board agreed to pay half the costs, it requested the students assist with with a suitable community project, "so they were not getting money for nothing".

Ten students spent two days clearing 5000 young wilding pines on Rhoborough Downs Station, a solution seen as a "heavy handed" approach by one parent.

Parent Dean Nelson said the group aged 10 to 13, were doing a project they thought would benefit the community and didn't understand the consent.

"They are quite young and really didn't understand why they were made to do that."

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- The Timaru Herald

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