Plea to close off steps falls on deaf ears

The long drop onto rocks from the broken steps and vandalised barriers. Local residents fixed timber and tape across the clifftop entrance themselves.

An Army Bay resident is fuming after repeated attempts to contact Auckland Council about a dangerous clifftop hazard failed to result in any action.

The Pacific Parade householder phoned and emailed Council repeatedly after vandals removed a metal barrier preventing anyone from entering a clifftop stairway, from which the entire bottom section is missing.

“There’s a walkway that goes along the clifftop, and halfway between Fisherman’s Rock and Army Bay, there’s a set of steps where the bottom four metres got washed away in a storm,” said the man, who wishes to remain anonymous. “I moved to the area around 18 months ago and it was like it then. At the beginning of this year, some hoons went down there, took the barrier from the top and threw it on the beach. So the steps were open.”

He rang Council three times on January 5, but no one replied, so he emailed them on January 7.

“I had a ‘we’ll get back to you in 5-10 working days’, followed by a ‘sorry for the delay’ on January 18.

On January 26, as there had still been nothing done, I took a photo and emailed that, to which I got a further ‘we’ll get back to you in 5-10 working days’. Since then Council have still done absolutely nothing.”

On January 28, a group of neighbours took matters into their own hands and put up timber and signs to stop people from going down the broken stairs.

Council’s head of area operations for community facilities, Julie Pickering, said she was disappointed to hear the customer had difficulties contacting Council via phone and email, and suggested the best way to report such a problem was via Council’s Report a Problem webpage at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/report-problem

“When problems are logged, they go direct to the contractor and are prioritised if they relate to health and safety,” she said.

She added that the entrance to the damaged stairs in Pacific Parade coastal reserve had now been fully secured.

“A project to repair the stairs and secure the rock face to prevent them from being damaged again will commence in the upcoming months,” she added.

The Pacific Parade resident remained unimpressed, however.

“For the record, both of my emails went to the Council ‘Report a Problem’ address,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you do the right thing and basically they ignore you. I’m done with it and will not waste my time reporting anything to Council in future.”

He added that the top entrance to the stairs remained just as local residents had left it.

“The council have not touched it. They must think we have done a good job.”


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