What do you do when your council won’t help? Auckland Council continues to rape and pillage Rodney ratepayers while at the same time they are neglecting the region’s roads so much that residents are forced to make their own running repairs on the third-world roads in the region.

Rodney district is part of the Auckland Super City. It covers more than 2,246 square kilometres, so it is the largest district within Auckland Council, making up 46% (almost half) of the Super City’s land mass.

A motorist tired of waiting for council to fill in a road of potholes that resemble Swiss cheese has taken to fixing it himself – and he’s sending a bill to the local authority for the repair.

The gravel rural road in northwest Auckland was left with more than 20 holes on a 20-metre stretch so densely pitted there was no way for drivers to avoid running into them.

A post has appeared on a local northwest Auckland Facebook page featuring the efforts of locals making running repairs on the pock-marked road.

One person shovels gravel from the bucket of his digger into the rain-filled holes, while another on a bike further up the road manages oncoming traffic.

An Auckland Transport spokesperson said they were aware of the situation and understood road-users’ frustration but would not be paying the man’s bill.

“We do need to ensure all work is done under AT’s authority.”

NZ Herald

What is more galling however is that the NZ Herald ran to the two people most responsible for the degradation of Rodney’s roads, Phelan Pirrie and Beth Houlbrooke, for comment.

Rodney Local Board chairman Phelan Pirrie said while he could understand locals’ frustration, turning to DIY was not going to solve the problem.

“Just packing some gravel in when it’s wet, you can’t compact it.

“I don’t know about billing, they can try,” said Pirrie.

“I think every local Facebook group has got a pothole story at the moment.

NZ Herald

Let me guess Phelan, another targeted rate? You and Beth Houlbrooke have never met a rates increase you haven’t liked. Pelan Pirrie has let this problem get worse and worse and worse while he votes and supports increased rating on Rodney residents. This clown is a member of the Act Party, yet he promotes increased taxes with every breath.

Local Board deputy Beth Houlbrooke said the problem was not limited to Taupaki, Huapai and Kumeu.

“We’ve got 670 km of gravel roads in Rodney and they’re all mostly in a similar state”, she said.

“It’s not often that people post to say that they’ve fixed up the road themselves but it’s not uncommon either.

“A lot of small communities, they do go out and fix the roads up themselves and of course they shouldn’t have to.”

No Beth, they shouldn’t have to, but they do, because they aren’t blowhards who fail to practice what they preach. God knows how your son, the former Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, looks you in the eye when all you ever do is promote ever higher rates burdens on the residents of Rodney, all the while letting systemic problems like this fester.

Beth Houlbrooke and Phelan Pirrie are part of the problem, not part of the solution. A quick perusal of their voting record shows that the Rodney Local Board tends to vote through that they “support” new rating ideas to go out for public consultation. However, they certainly have never opposed any of the following being publicly consulted on:

  • Every general rates increase under Goff (including a 5% increase last year 2021/22)
  • Beth Houlbrooke was Chair of the Rodney Local Board when she introduced a Rodney Local Board Transport Targeted Rate (RLBTTR) in 2018. This was equivalent to a 7% rates increase, on top of a 3.5% general rates increase = 10.5% rates increase.
  • Accommodation Providers Targeted Rate. Minutes of vote can be accessed here.
  • Natural Environment Targeted Rate
  • Water Quality Targeted Rate
  • Climate Action Targeted Rate
  • Waste Management Target Rate
  • Have not supported defining what core business is
  • Have not supported 10-20% cost savings

Those two clowns have betrayed the Rodney ratepayers and now they have the temerity to tut tut and express concern over something they have actually presided over for more than enough years.

Where are the targeted rates when you need them?

Apparently, Auckland Council paid $403,000 for three days at the LGNZ (Local Government New Zealand) conference. That would have bought more than a few truckloads of metal for Rodney’s unsealed roads!

The good news is that Beth Houlbrooke is going to take her increased taxes record to the voters; bizarrely trying to stand against the hardworking and popular Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers, who will no doubt take every opportunity to tell ratepayers just how bad Beth Houlbrooke’s record is.

Of course, there is the small issue that she will have to explain how, as the deputy leader of Act, she managed to get herself offside with Act Party members so badly that she was ranked in an unwinnable position last election. Perhaps it was her appalling record on rates that did her in. Either that or her propensity to start fights she never wins with locals, which is why she’s been booted off numerous Facebook Community forums.

Rodney’s rates need to be spent in Rodney, not on white elephant projects that benefit South Auckland. The state of the roads WILL become an election issue.

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Council Won't Help

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...