Claim appeal to seal gravel roads ignored

Omaui residents have been concerned for years about the state of the small town’s roads. PHOTO:...
Omaui residents have been concerned for years about the state of the small town’s roads. PHOTO: ODT FILES/JOHN COLLINS
The road to Omaui is a bumpy one, and the residents of the seaside community say the Invercargill City Council has ignored a petition for it to be sealed.

Residents said a petition was written and submitted to council in 2020 for Omaui and Mokomoko Rds to be sealed, as the growing popularity of the small town increased use of the gravel road, which had degraded it.

Residents Nigel Bayne and John Collins delivered a petition to the ICC with 85% of Omaui residents signatures in 2020 for the road to be sealed.

But nothing has been done.

Mr Bayne said the use of Mokomoko and Omaui Rds had intensified over the years, especially in the warmer months as beachgoers frequent the area.

"I’d love to see a counter put on the road to actually see how many cars are going up and down."

Though the road was occasionally graded by the council, it degraded to its prior state often within a couple of days.

Omaui resident Amy Morrison, who works in Invercargill, said the shocking state of the road forced her to travel about 20km until she got to the main road.

"I’ve just got a little car and the roads are just corrugated and dangerous."

Dorothy Gilbert has lived in Omaui for about 40 years, and said the road had never been as bad as it had been in recent years.

"It’s just awful. I feel as if the car’s going to shake to pieces going over.

"There have been a lot of people gone off the road at Omaui over the years and been towed out and all that sort of thing, but it hasn’t been reported."

Travelling the road often felt dangerous, as it was also narrow and had many larger vehicles travelling in the opposite direction who did not appear to know how to correctly drive on gravel.

"In places you’ve actually almost got to stop and then carry on.

"And some people aren’t as good at pulling over to the side as others.

"There’s an awful lot of people using that road now, and on fine days especially."

All four residents’ names were on the 2020 petition for the road to be sealed.

The council did not respond by deadline.