NZTA opened up the $16.5 million developments at the top of the Rimutakas to two way traffic last week. With a weekend in the Wairarapa it was a chance to capture developments in this ongoing project.
This work has seen the removal of the notorious hairpin Muldoon corner (so named because of how tight it is), don’t think I followed politicians when I use to regularly take the motorbike over the hill for a blat. The Tin Hut wasn’t as posh either (normal watering hole)
But certainly from a travellers perspective whilst the works only shave seconds of the trip, it will make the journey a lot safer, with clear visibility to oncoming traffic, and most certainly for the large rigs.
The job is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
Police report that the trampers have contacted family and said they were safe and well, and are in the process of making their way out of the Park after crossing the Orongorongo River.
What with the atrocious Spring weather over this last weekend concern has been raised over four trampers who failed to return from an overnight trip in the Rimutaka Forest Park.
The group, all in their 20s, with at least one described as “reasonably inexperienced”, left on Saturday for the Orongorongo Valley.
They were supposed to return yesterday.
Acting Senior Sergeant Steve Braybrook said the conditions were bad last night with heavy rain, which would have prevented the group leaving the valley.
The rivers were still high and impossible to cross.
“It’s not a surprise they have not come out as of yet,” he said.
Rimutaka Prison to get 60 bed container unit
1:05PM Thursday Aug 27, 2009
A 60 bed container unit is to be established at Rimutaka Prison as the Corrections Department seeks ways to house a burgeoning prison population.
The Government previously announced it would use containers as cells to boost capacity and Corrections Minister Judith Collins said today the unit would help the department evaluate whether they can be used in other prisons.
“This project is the first of its kind at a New Zealand prison and we hope it will point the way to how we can build extra prison capacity faster and much cheaper than in the past,” she said.
“Corrections is forecast to run out of baseline beds early next year. We have to take immediate action to ensure that prisoners are securely locked away and the public is kept safe.”
A tender process had started and cells would be used from March.
Each bed would cost between $53,000 and $63,000 which Ms Collins said was far cheaper than for a new prison.
Well Rimutaka Prison, its not as though they dont have enough problems on their own without shackling them with this. Probably the only reason its here rather than anywhere else is the close proximity to Corrections Head Office in Wellington.
I’m not for them or against them, but I know one thing that they better insulate them well given how cold it can get in the Hutt Valley in mid July. In fact I think they are already insulated, or so are some of the containers I see on the wharfs, or is that refrigerated, which is probably the likely outcome on an inmates being in these in the middle of Winter.
I’m going to be prophetic here and say that they had better get world class advice on this issue to avoid the human rights debacle that will befall Corrections if they dont construct them well (anyone else using them?).
My guess is they wont, we will end up being chastised on the world stage, and in the long run it probably would have been easier to have a new private enterprise prison built from scratch.
Better keep my nose clean, Rimutaka container unit in July holds zero appeal for me.