Standoff over pub's potholes

Potholes in the West Melton Tavern car park have caused a dispute between the leasees and landlord. Photo" Geoff Sloan.
Potholes in the West Melton Tavern car park have caused a dispute between the leasees and landlord. Photo" Geoff Sloan.
Who fixes potholes in a tavern car park has turned into a dispute between the leasees and landlord.

Carol and Richard Hansen, who lease the West Melton Tavern from businessman Alan Edge, say he is responsible for filling them in.

But Mr Edge says under the terms of the lease it is Mr and Mrs Hansen’s problem – and cost.

“The lease says they’re responsible. They use it, I don’t so I won’t be fixing it,” he said,

The Hansen’s reject that claim and say they only lease one-sixth of the property from Mr Edge, which covers the building and one car space, and he is responsible for the rest of the car park.

“We are now just hoping he will come to the table and fix the holes but if not, we may consider taking legal action,” Mrs Hansen said.

The lease began in 2007 and ends in 2021.

The issue came to light on the West Melton Community facebook page when the Hansens made a post saying the potholes were out of their control.

Mrs Hansen said they wanted to share their side of the story as they have been criticised for the car park by customers.

“It’s not our fault and we’re the ones who have become the laughing stocks and we are the ones people are criticising.”

“We have fixed the damage in the past but this now is way out of hand. We aren’t looking at a quick fix and we’re not liable for the type of maintenance that is required.”

The Hansens think the potholes are being made worse by drivers using the car park as a thoroughfare to avoid the State Highway 73 and Weedons Ross Rd intersection.

More and more motorists have started doing it after the West Melton Village Retail Centre opened in 2016, Mrs Hansen said.

“The problem is huge now. You really have to pull in here so slowly because it’s just that bad.”

“Even if we fixed it ourselves, in a month it’s going to be back to where it was because of all of the usage.”

She said they think the New Zealand Transport Agency should step in and stop it from happening.

“NZTA should be putting their hand up and saying we will help you guys because they have created this problem with that intersection.”

An NZTA spokesperson said the car park is private property so it is over to the owners to manage it for their purposes.

“We advise all drivers to take care around busy intersections, slow down and obey the road rules. Avoid distractions like cell phones and get home to their destination safely without endangering other road users or pedestrians.”