16 May 2023
Media: Rotorua Daily Post
Topic: Water leaks in Park Road and Tutanekai Street
I have interviewed a resident who lives on Park Rd in Western Heights about four water leaks on council property on Park Rd.
He contacted the council about two water leaks outside 16 Park Rd, Western Heights in March via phone and in person at the council's office.
There are also two water leaks outside 33 Park Rd, which Alan noticed about three weeks ago. He has not yet reported this to council.
How many complaints has the council received about water leaks on Park Rd?
At what stage is the council at for fixing/addressing these water leaks outside 16 and 33 Park Rd?
Regarding the water leaks outside 16 Park Rd, why has this still not been fixed when it was reported in March?
What is the standard procedure for fixing water leaks on council property?
Comments for right of response:
“If we have to pay the water rates and we have to save water, what’s this doing to us?”
“There’s the park opposite us and there’s a lot of kids going to play in the park. Now, is that good hygiene for them to go through that gushing water to go to the park?”
He said there was “a hell of a lot” of water which was damaging the grass.
“It doesn’t impact me at all - it just irritates me. If I have to go out for a walk ... that’s what I see.”
He also believed if the water leaks were not in Western Heights and in a different suburb, they would have been fixed by now. He believed that the council not fixing it in a timely manner showed that the council didn't care.
I’ve just interviewed Reg Hennessey as there have been water leaks outside his bar on Tutanekai Street. Please find some additional questions and comments for right of response below.
What stage is the council at for fixing/addressing these water leaks on Tutanekai Street?
Why has it taken “months” for these to be fixed?
Reg Hennessey said water leaks in front of his business and in the car park behind it had been “unattended” for “months and months”.
“There was a major one that became quite a big sinkhole that we contacted the council and people on numerous occasions.
“That one out there was particularly concerning because people were driving over it and it looked like it could have really collapsed and given way.”
Hennessey said he had been reporting the water leaks to the council for “months,” however, Rotorua Lakes Councillor Conan O’Brien was “the only one” who showed interest in fixing it.
“There’s been water leaks up and down the streets for a long time now, off and on ... some do get fixed, to be fair, but it takes far too long I would’ve thought.
“Maintenance is everything - we spend a lot of money on maintenance and time and effort on our personal business, like I’m sure so many other business owners do, so our council facilities around us, we would expect the same sort of support I guess.”
From DCE Infrastructure and Environmental Solutions Stavros Michael:
Once a water leak is reported to council, this is passed directly to our contractor, Infracore, who inspect the issue and prioritise and schedule the repair work.
In 2023, council has received 11 separate reports of leaks relating to six different faults on Park Road.
The leak at 33 Park Road was inspected on 11 May, and was determined to be coming from the homeowner’s private pipework. The resident was advised to engage a plumber to repair the leak.
Our records show the leak at 16 Park Road was reported on 13 April and is expected to be repaired this week.
This timeframe is longer than we would like and expect, however these types of jobs are often delayed due to weather, subcontractor availability and the occurrence of more urgent jobs that are resource heavy.
The wet weather we have had, alongside staff resourcing challenges, have been contributing factors to delays experienced this year. Council works with contractors to monitor and minimise the effects of these issues on levels of service as much as possible.
Follow-up response to Reg Hennessey:
After discussing this follow up enquiry with the reporter further, it was determined that Mr Hennessey had contacted the council several times about a number of separate leaks (in front of his business and in the car park behind it). He said some of the issues he had reported had been fixed. RDP no longer needed a response to the questions they had asked regarding Mr Hennessey’s comments other than confirmation that Council knew about two leaks near Hennessy’s.
Council confirmed that a leak at the rear of Hennessy’s Bar was repaired some time ago and the leak in the cobbles in front of Hennessy’s Bar was being repaired today.