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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

KEEP THE SWALES

Bravo! to Kate Hastings for making a fervent plea for the swales [shallow drainage ditches beside roads lined with grass or rocks or coarse gravel]. Her point is deeply underscored by the effect of climate-change. All the expensive, unnecessary kerbing and channelling that Auckland City Council 'recommends to' us (foists on) will be chucking ever greater volumes of road-grimed water into the ocean. Auckland is engineering our roads for a planet that no longer exists.

Auckland's fetish-worship of concrete kerbing and channelling is one element that is citifying the charm out of the island, as well as wasting a fortune and destroying a system of drainage that works with nature instead of against it. It should be stopped.

Even worse, as the figures published last week show, their bad management over the years has deprived the islands of up to $8.5 million in government roading subsidies.

Backward-looking, unsympathetic, inappropriate engineering, inept financial management all comes under one heading: Auckland City Council.

The only way of getting Auckland decisions off the island is to get Auckland off.

Under Thames-Coromandel community boards are virtually mini-councils. They have far more control, so decisions are made where they should be--locally. Not by some disengaged, careless City-Brained Empire. Over there isn't one.