Vanessa van Uden.
''Better judgement'' could have avoided costly mistakes
being made in the installation of traffic safety improvements
at Cardrona, a review has found.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council review into the
construction of traffic safety improvements at Cardrona in
October has found that, while proper processes were followed,
there were instances where ''better judgement in the
implementation of the project could have avoided unnecessary
The review was ordered by council chief executive Adam Feeley
after traffic-slowing rumble strips at either end of Cardrona
village had to be removed a month after installation because
they were a safety hazard for cyclists and motorcyclists.
The cost of installing and removing the $50,000 devices was
$55,000, shared between the council and the New Zealand
Transport Agency (NZTA).
QLDC Mayor Vanessa van Uden said there was no suggestion any
staff member or contractor wilfully disregarded safety issues
or failed to follow required processes.
''However, good intentions are not enough when it comes to
spending public money. The errors of judgement need to be
acknowledged and, more importantly, the public need to be
assured that steps have been taken to minimise the risk of
this occurring again,'' she said.
The project, including the budget, was approved by the Wanaka
Community Board and was in keeping with the Cardrona village
design guidelines. NZTA provided 100% of the funding for half
the work and 53% for the remaining costs.
''While the proposal of a rumble zone of river stones was
intended to be an effective and visually pleasing solution,
the novelty of the solution was such that alternative options
should have been considered in greater detail and presented
to the community board for consideration,'' Ms van Uden said.
''The decision to raise the level of the river stones during
the construction stage exacerbated these safety risks and was
a matter that should have been discussed more widely within
council prior to the action being taken.''
Mr Feeley agreed the public interest in managing costs
demanded greater care with the information and advice given
to the council. He noted operational changes had already been
made as a result of the inquiry.
''I am satisfied that the issues which have arisen are not
symptomatic of any systemic failures,'' Mr Feeley said.
''This was a one-off lapse of judgement from an otherwise
professional team which is committed to deliver high quality
and cost-effective transport projects, and the lessons learnt
have been incorporated to operational processes.''
QLDC general manager infrastructure and assets Erik Barnes
said no decision had been made yet about alternative traffic
calming measures for Cardrona.