Well, that was such a crazy couple of months we had over January and February. The humidity, the beautiful afternoons, the tropical downpours, the grass growing out of control.
Lawn mowing contractors were going crazy, complaining about being overworked, whereas back in November they were complaining about there being nothing to mow.
One of my great predictions came true, that was the flooding of the Northern Motorway, when the perfect storm came with the king tide, the severe Northerly wind and the rain. Hopefully Auckland Transport or whoever runs the motorways, has a plan to lift the height of the motorway as they did over on the North Western motorway between Waterview and Te Atatu. I think from memory it was lifted about 1.5 metres. We must start looking at this as a matter of urgency.
So with the Northerly winds and the high tides and low tides comes the seaweed, washing ashore and truckloads of it, all caught up on Cheltenham, Narrow Neck and Takapuna beaches, and the East Coast beaches also. It was left in huge piles to rot, in the humidity and beautiful afternoon sun, and smell it certainly does. Why can’t the Council clean this up? There are a few greenies out there, and I could name a few, who think the beaches should be left in their natural state and let nature take its’ course. But unfortunately until it does, all we are left with is a huge smelly pile of rotting seaweed with all the unfortunate little sea creatures caught up in it, attracting sea lice, sand flies, rats and all sorts of vermin.
Talking about the waterfront of the North Shore, the harbour side of Devonport between Torpedo Bay and Devonport Wharf, a hundred years ago, was a Mecca for the local boat building industry, with a vast collection of different small companies building yachts and commercial craft from the kauri that was readily available from Great Barrier and from by Coromandel. Today, they have all gone, the only evidence of the industry can be found at low tide when walking the foreshore, one can pick up copper nails, old bottles, broken crockery, that give away the history of yesteryear. A hundred years ago there was a huge wharf at the bottom of Church Street, that protruded right out over the water. There was a wharf at the base of Victoria Road, Devonport, and two wharves that ran from where the Devonport Yacht Club is now. There was also a wharf running from the foot of Duders’ Avenue where the Tainui Reserve now is, and also at the base of North Head, now known as Torpedo Wharf. Many years ago, there was the threat of removing the Torpedo Bay Wharf, due to its state of disrepair, but a hard fought fight by the locals saw it reinstated, it was rebuilt and will last another 100 years.
Devonport Ferry Wharf has undergone such a number of changes over many years – a ferry wharf, a vehicular ferry wharf and it was also for many years a yard for J J Craig Ltd. They used to pick up the sand between the scows that moored at the wharf, with swing buckets loading trucks with sand to be taken throughout the North Shore for building supplies. I can remember, as a kid, J J Craig had a large building supply yard in Fleet Street, where the Devonport New World carpark is now. I can still remember, as a child, seeing trucks winding their way up through Devonport, loaded up with sand, some so wet it poured out onto the street through the back tailboard, and it was left to dry before some enterprising Devonport citizen would pick it up on their trailers and take it home to be used as hand mixed concrete for their pathways.
What I’m getting to is that the Devonport Yacht Club Wharf has been in disrepair for a couple of years. Auckland Transport came along and removed the steps and the landing area that enabled yachtsmen to access their dinghies to row to their boats moored in the bay. I have it on good authority that Auckland Transport put the reconstruction of the steps and landing area in the too hard basket. So it may sit there for another couple of years before somebody reminds them.
Someone should remind them that to earn their salaries they may have to actually do something to earn them, and that their employers are the Ratepayers of Auckland.
I see also, over Christmas, that contractors to the Council, are ripping up perfectly good footpaths in Kerr Street. I walk those footpaths a lot, and thought they were perfectly alright. They are ripping up perfectly good footpaths just like they did in Albert Road, last year. Who the hell authorizes this,? Does it go up for public tender? I’d love to know what the criteria is to authorize this kind of works.
I tell you what, it would be a good time for Maggie Barry our local MP, now that she is sitting on the Opposition benches down at the Beehive with virtually nothing to do after she lost her portfolios to the Winston Peters’ hijacked Government, to look around her constituency at the mounting problems – to sum them up – Lake Road, Northern Motorway, dirty beaches, civil reconstruction that is not needed and the weed infested gutters and gardens. It’s time Maggie asked some questions and got some answers. Maggie, if you’re there, I’d be pleased to help and show you around the trouble spots.
Maybe it is time for a bit of civil disobedience, nothing seems to be happening apart from ever increasing rates and charges by our Council. Maybe we need to rise up and demand some action on these issues that affect all of us?