Wingate: Scrub Fire

Emergency services arrived at the blaze just after 2.30pm above Pick-A-Part Wingate.

The fire while initially small increased in size as a strong breeze picked up from the south. The Eastern Hutt Road, Peterkin Street and Cambridge Terrace were closed as the fire increased.

Wingate bridge was also closed.

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A helicopter from Helipro and eight fire appliances were at the scene fighting the blaze.

By 7.30pm the fire is still been attended to.

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No houses were being threatened by the flames.

A large crowd watched throughout the afternoon.

Thanks to Megan Leith for Photos

More comprehensive coverage here from Hutt Valley Fire Police Unit

Eastbourne Speed Limits around the Bays

The Eastbourne Community Board is continuing to recommend a reduction in the speed between Sorrento Bay and Days Bay from 70kph to 60kph. This is despite a second round of investigation into the matter, which saw crown agency NZTA do an assessment on the road, and recommend it be dropped to 50kph because a mere 10kph drop in the speed would not be enough to register with drivers the change from the adjacent speed limits of 50kph.

You may remember a call for feedback from Hutt City Council over this very issue last year. Seventy percent of respondents to the submission process did not want to see any change to the current mix of 50kph and 70kph speeds around the Bays.
A survey in the Eastbourne Herald, to which more than one hundred people replied, suggested 97% of locals wanted the speed retained as is.
On top of this, council officers have twice recommended that no change be imposed.
So what does the ECB do? Vote for a change to 60kph.
This is just a recommendation by the board, and now must go through the usual council channels: The Operations and Compliance Committee, and then on to a vote by the full council on June 21. 
It will be extremely interesting to see what the council does – if it votes the same way as the ECB the public may rightly see huge holes in the consultation process. However, if it votes to retain the status quo, where does that leave the ECB?
ECB member Geoff Rashbrooke is on record as saying the council submission process conducted last year is flawed, with group responses from residents’ associations around the bays counted as one vote, the same as individual votes. However, this is the way HCC has always counted responses to its surveys, and while this system is indeed flawed, changing the way these things are done is an entirely separate issue: Mr Rashbrooke has not voiced any concerns, as far as I’m aware, with the veracity of earlier consultation carried out by the council on other topics.
Anecdotally the issue seems very divisive: People living in Eastbourne proper seem to want the speed retained as is, while Bays residents seem to prefer a drop to either 60kph or 50kph.
What can you do? It’s not too late to voice your opinion, by filling in the form on Pg 28 of this month’s Eastbourne Herald and post it to PO Box 41-128, Eastbourne or take part in the survey at here.
via Eastbourne Herald blog