While the Tara Iti golf course development must further enhance the profile of Mangawhai, and holidaymakers are enjoying the long spell of dry weather, not everyone sees it in quite such a positive way.
In fact Lee and Greg Bellam from Black Swamp Road don’t see it at all – thanks to the dust.
The Bellam’s are the last house in Kaipara, situated just prior to the Auckland boundary on a metal stretch of road. But since the golf course development began, the traffic flow has become several times greater than usual thanks to logging and concrete trucks, contractors and trades vehicles.
“The dust is just horrendous,” says Lee Bellam. “Often it’s just a white-out with zero visibility. It just invades our home getting into laptops, printers, washing on the clothesline, and even the dishwasher though our water supply which is tank water.”
The dust means the family cannot use their property to its full extent as it is impossible to sit at the BBQ table for any length of time, and doors and windows cannot be opened.
Lee says she can no longer walk her dog down Black Swamp Rd as vehicles do not slow down, and the poor visibility makes it too dangerous.
Though it appeared barely necessary, recent repairs were done to the already-sealed Tern Point development entrance.
“I thought ‘wonderful they are sealing the road’,“ said Lee “but to my bitter disappointment they packed up and left, leaving behind all the pot holes, corrugation and dust. And on the odd day it has rained it turned into a mud bath.”
Following an appeal to Kaipara District Council the Bellam’s were visited by roading contractor representative Jim Hales in mid-February, who thought the dust problem was one of the worst he had ever seen.
It is understood that the road had previously been listed for upgrading work but that date had gradually been pushed further out and Mrs Bellam has been told that future works on the road are two to three years away.
While it seems little may be done in the short term, Council has asked their roads department to re-open the Bellam’s request in the hope things may be resolved given that the traffic flow is only going to increase over time.
HAZE: A passing truck sends another dust cloud over the Black Swamp Rd property.