I have to say from the get go, I am not a Ashhurst resident, having said that I spend a great deal of time there – you could say “its” my second home.
Unfortunately, since September 2015 nature has had a hand in changing the landscape and not for the better. Recent flooding over the past couple of years has seen the Manawatu River, decimate the river banks and take out big chunks of land, including some of the walking tracks.
Just recently the river claimed more land including part of the car park as well as access to the river.
The question now is, how much more land is going to be lost and what is going to be done to prevent it.
The PNCC and Horizons were made aware of the problem as soon as it happened, back in September 2015. They seem to have procrastination and excuses down to a fine art, in other words, it wasn’t a priority for them.
A lot could have been achieved during the summer months to help fix the problem, if PNCC and Horizons hadn’t spent so much time procrastinating.
Now the problem is 10 times worse and will probably cost 10 times more to fix and winter hasn’t begun yet.
In a recent article in the Manawatu Standard 7th April 2017 entitled “Hundreds of metres of Ashhurst Domain washed away” Horizons stated:
“The problem with managing the area was that it was outside Horizons Regional Council’s lower Manawatu river management scheme, while the domain is owned by the Palmerston North City Council.
Horizons group manager for river management Ramon Strong said the city council had been told about the possible solutions and potential ramifications of doing nothing.”
Well really, if both Horizons and PNCC knew what the ramifications of doing nothing, really meant and were that concerned about this “public asset of quite high value”. Surely they could have come to some arrangement and worked together to prevent further damage, or am I being too naïve?
I doubt very much that the $80,000 the regional council have put aside to “help” will be nearly enough now.
Actions speak louder than words and the phrase “talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is or shut the (bleep) up” comes to mind. Below are some of the photos I have taken from September 2015 – April 2017 of this sorry state of affairs.