Holding off may have kept Mauger out of trouble

A footpath that previously flooded when it rained on Pages Rd has been raised by city council...
A footpath that previously flooded when it rained on Pages Rd has been raised by city council staff. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Mercurial Christchurch city councillor Phil Mauger would probably not be in hot water if he had waited a fortnight to fix a flood-prone road.

Mauger, acting on complaints from the public, used a digger from his business Maugers Contracting Ltd to cut an unauthorised 70m trench on Pages Rd in Bexley to drain flooding.

He said the public had waited long enough for the problem to be fixed.

The flooding had been happening since the September 4, 2010, and February 22, 2011, earthquakes.

Phil Mauger.
Phil Mauger.
Even though he received a lot of public support, Christchurch City Council was not so happy.

Mauger is under investigation by city council staff, as is fellow eastern suburbs councillor James Daniels for his role in the saga. He was vocal in his support for Mauger.

But it can now be revealed city council staff had always planned to raise the footpath and address the flooding problem. But this was unknown to Mauger when he dug the trench.

“They had this [raising the footpath] in the pipeline, so to speak, before we dug the trench. We didn’t know this, of course,” Mauger said.

About 200m of footpath on Pages Rd has been raised to stop it from flooding and allow pedestrians to use it when it rains. The city council is expected to finish the work on Friday.

Pages Rd flooding last month. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Pages Rd flooding last month. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Mauger was as dogmatic as usual yesterday, saying while raising the footpath will be good for pedestrians, it would not solve the flooding problem on Pages Rd.

He said city council staff should dig a trench through the correct channels, which meets health and safety standards.

“Building the footpath up doesn’t solve the problem of the water lying there [on Pages Rd],” he said.

“If the trench was made compliant the problem would be solved.”

James Daniels.
James Daniels.
Daniels agrees: “I seriously doubt it [raising the footpath] will fix the flooding, but it will deal with the public safety issue where people were walking around the flooding on the road.

“A strategically-placed ditch would get rid of the flooding, but there are technical issues with that, apparently,” he said.

A city council spokeswoman said draft plans for flood management infrastructure on Pages Rd will be reported to the city council next month but she did not say if they include a trench.

Mauger is happy this draft will be discussed soon, but hopes he will be able to use his expertise to suggest flood reduction options.

Environment Canterbury, which also has an interest in the road, issued Mauger with a formal warning.






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