Mauger goes behind council's back again to repair road

By Louis Day

Phil Mauger carried out repairs along Birchfield Ave in Dallington. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Phil Mauger carried out repairs along Birchfield Ave in Dallington. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Christchurch city councillor Phil Mauger has gone behind the council’s back once again to complete maintenance works in the eastern suburbs.

Mauger repaired 50 lineal metres of road along Birchfield Ave in Dallington following complaints from nearby residents living in Sutton Pl about potholes. It cost his company, Maugers Contracting Ltd, $4000.

The was done without the knowledge of the city council and comes only two months after Mauger undertook repair works to a walkway beneath New Brighton’s Anzac bridge without the permission of the city council.

The council said at the time it would work with Mauger to ensure he acquires the correct authorisation before undertaking work on council assets in the future.

However, Mauger said he decided to take matters into his own hands again after he found he was “getting nowhere fast” with the city council.

Birchfield Ave before the repairs were carried out. Photo: Google
Birchfield Ave before the repairs were carried out. Photo: Google
He said it was “just common sense” to fix the road.

“The road was more or less made out of potholes, it was a quilt of potholes, there were more potholes than there was road, it was awful,” he said.

Sutton Pl resident Kathryn Ferris said potholes in the area had been an issue since the earthquakes and that council repairs failed to fully remedy the problem.

A city council spokeswoman said the council would not be taking the matter any further.

“Councillor Mauger raised this issue in November and was advised that as this section of road was on the boundary of the residential red zone the council had agreed to delivering a reduced level of service, undertaking only minimal repairs while the final plans for this area are finalised,” she said.

City council head of transport Richard Osborne also said the council did propose to do some minor smoothing to some of the roads in the area in March and April but the works were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mauger decided to take matters into his own hands with Anzac bridge after he came across a local resident attempting to restore the two walkways beneath the bridge, which had constantly flooded since the 2011 earthquakes, with a shovel and a trailer load of shingle.

This is when Mauger stepped in and decided to fill one of the walkways with shingle using a Bobcat, making it about half a metre higher than it used to be, allowing for pedestrian access by preventing constant flooding.

Even before he was elected as a councillor he was not afraid to take matters into his own hands.

During last year’s election campaign, Mauger used a digger to remove piles of shingle in a car park near Bower bridge on Wainoni Rd, which had been there since the earthquakes, even though the city council planned to remove the shingle at a later date.

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