Gundry's Grumbles

Simon Gundry is a Devonport and North Shore identity, and character, who is known for calling a spade a spade. He is a director of contracting company Gill & Gundry, is an enthusiastic and active sailor (past crew-member of Ceramco New Zealand, Lion New Zealand and Shockwave) and is a life member of the North Shore Rugby Football Club.

Gundry's Gumbles
Tag: Community News

Grumbling in the wet, with a few ideas... !

Well, it’s been a wet old July and pretty much everyone is over seeing grey skies and rain and the accompanying green slime decorating our footpaths.

With all this rain we have been having, I do wonder about the efficiency of the street cleaning machines. They do come around every so often, but wouldn’t it be a good idea, if there is a heavy rain warning, to send them out so that the drains aren’t blocked up with leaves and debris, turning the gutters into fast running rivers and having water pool in the streets. I’m not averse to going out in my gumboots and clearing my street drain, but not many people will do that. Just a thought.

I see Auckland Transport have been spending our money again, I recently read an article about the Calliope Road intersection and the various plans that have been suggested costing hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars. There have been two preliminary designs so far, costing close to $500,000! This is before anything is actually done, and we all know the overblown costs of doing even the simplest things. Submitters have made suggestions that have been ignored or overruled by AT.  Can you believe that one of the plans had a roundabout that would have not allowed enough space for large vehicles to get around. I’m wondering if some of these people actually leave their desks and come and look at the areas they’re tinkering with, even come and drive around these intersections to see how the land lies, or perhaps they just use Google Earth?

That brings me back to the footpath work in Albert Road in Devonport – from my sources at the coalface I hear the cost is decided AFTER the work has been completed!  How does that work? If I did that in my concrete business how do you think my customers would react? 

I’m still amazed at the Lake Road fiasco, surveys done at significant costs, three plans put forward, all of which will take some time to implement but nothing proposed to be done now. I’m sure you’d get better suggestions from the locals about small changes that would help congestion now and not several years into the future. I’m also wondering about the wisdom of deciding to go ahead with the Ryman Village, and Ngati Whatua’s plans for intensification in housing around the Belmont Hauraki area.  Apparently the Council didn’t consider infrastructure when these developments were proposed.

While I’m grumbling, I also read a little article about the free movies having to be relocated to Woodall Park, one of the reasons being the trees in Windsor Reserve. I have to say, and the tree people won’t like this, but those trees have taken over the Reserve. They are enormous, the canopy of leaves and hanging roots make what used to be a pleasant grassy reserve a damp, dark and uninviting area. I know they are magnificent specimens, but what happens if there’s a wild storm and one topples or even a few huge branches land on our new library?

I remember years ago, on some summer afternoons there’d be a band playing in the old Rotunda, and stalls selling handcrafts, jam and chutneys and various other items.  Lots of people would be wandering around, picnicking and enjoying the sun and the music. These days you’d be hard-pressed to find enough space to hold an event like that.

On a positive note, I had a wander through the Devonport Museum recently – it has been reorganised, repainted and is looking wonderful. Many hours of hard work have obviously gone into this reorganisation and there are some very interesting displays, it’s well worth a visit. 

That’s plenty of grumbles to be going on with, everyone stay warm and hopefully dry – Spring is on the way.

By Simon Gundry

Channel Magazine: Issue 79 August 2017

Columnist articles by Simon Gundry