Mauger slap on the wrist for Christchurch councillor's unauthorised trench digging

Photo: Newsline / CCC
Photo: Newsline / CCC
Christchurch city councillor Phil Mauger has been slapped with an infringement notice and fined $300 for fixing a flood-prone road without permission.

Mauger has also agreed to carry out other red zone maintenance work at no cost to the city council, which will cost his business Maugers Contracting Ltd about $15,000.

This work will include repairing a walkway and cycleway under the northern side of New Brighton’s Anzac Bridge.

Phil Mauger. Photo: Supplied
Phil Mauger. Photo: Supplied
The city council’s regulatory compliance unit completed an investigation into the incident involving Mauger and city councillor James Daniels last July, when a trench was dug without authorisation on land adjacent to Pages Rd in Bexley.

At the time, Mauger said he was acting on complaints from the public about the path, so he used a digger from his business, Maugers Contracting Ltd, to cut an unauthorised 70m trench to drain flooding.

He said the public had waited long enough for the problem to be fixed, as the flooding had been happening since the 2010 earthquake.

However, the city council said today the works were carried out on Crown-owned land managed by the council without resource consent.

“The city council’s compliance unit began an investigation when alerted to the works. As a result of the investigation, Cr Mauger was issued with an infringement notice and fined $300,” a spokesperson said.

James Daniels.
James Daniels.

Mauger, who owns Mauger's Contracting Ltd which carries out earthmoving and construction, must also carry out other red zone maintenance work at no cost to council.

Mauger told Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB he might not have gone about fixing the flooding the right way - but he had to do something.

He said the "puddle" was the size of 10 football fields and it had been a problem for 10 years.

A council spokeswoman said a detailed site inspection report has yet to be received for landfill material.

She was unable to say if the telecommunication cables were live.

The Bexley trench was not the first time Mauger had taken matters into his own hands.

He also repaired the pathway under the Anzac Bridge walkway on New Brighton Rd about a year ago.

The Burwood Ward city councillor is known for getting things done, with or without city council staff permission.

In February, he ordered a $22,000 second-hand Cherrington Model 5000 beach cleaner from the United States to try and tidy up rubbish and animal waste on New Brighton beach near the pier and at the four surf clubs along Marine Pde.

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