Snow survey: QLDC could do better

Vanessa van Uden
Vanessa van Uden
Queenstown-Lakes Mayor Vanessa van Uden believes the council could have done "a lot" better during this winter's polar blasts.

The council surveyed residents to gauge their feelings on how they felt the QLDC handled the two winter storms.

An online survey on the two big snowfalls was answered by 104 people, with 70% satisfied with the council's information-sharing.

While people were happy with the way they were kept informed, satisfaction with the clearance of secondary roads and footpaths was less flattering with 56% and 57% respectively, pleased with the council's efforts.

Ms van Uden said she believed from her own observations and the survey results that the council could improve.

"I am now very clear that we need to do a hell of a lot better." Areas needing work were "ground management" of the response, appropriate plant dedicated to the council, and the deployment of trained, experienced staff.

Some frustrations were reflected in the survey, particularly concerning the time it took to clear roads in Arrowtown, in Kelvin Heights, Moke Lake, Dalefield and Quail Rise.

"My expectation is we will learn from this and I have no doubt we can improve the response," Ms van Uden said.

Tricky conditions for pedestrians - including one incident in which a person fell and broke an arm - were of note in Queenstown's centre.

The Crown Range Rd also generated frustration for drivers, including the council's reported failure to clear the "zig-zag" section early enough.

"Get out of bed and do your job coz the pixies won't come in the dark and do it for you," one of those surveyed said.

The "idiots" that stop in the middle of the road to put chains on copped some criticism, as did shop owners for failing to clear snow quickly enough, council transport manager Denis Mander said.

The survey showed respondents believed main roads were dealt with well but the responses gave the council good material to help it plan for future storms, he said.


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