TMV work ‘off to a bad start’

Thursday May 01, 2014 Published in Letters to the Editor
In a picture taken by the letter writer, the backfilling of this trench is being done at height contrary to specifications laid out in the TMV master plan. 14043005 In a picture taken by the letter writer, the backfilling of this trench is being done at height contrary to specifications laid out in the TMV master plan. 14043005

Dear Editor, Work on the Te Mato Vai project has started on the Ara Metua in Atupa – and I was saddened to see that it is off to a bad start! 

On page 82 of the Draft Master Plan there is a very clear specification that backfill over the pipes shall not be dropped from a height of more than 300mm – the length of a school ruler.  Driving past the work site yesterday, I was dismayed to see the T&M Heather Bobcat dumping in fill from at least three times that height. I photographed and videotaped the work.

The engineers who developed the plan had a sound reason for specifying the drop height – almost certainly to protect the pipe from damage and reduce the likelihood of leakage in the future. 

What is the point of having qualified engineers develop a plan if the contractors ignore it?  What happens to the so-called “guarantee” on the job when, right from the beginning, the Master Plan is ignored?

The country is spending a vast amount of money on this project and I am sure we all want it done right! So where is the oversight? Where is the due diligence? Where was the site engineer (if there is one)? Why is the primary local contractor, a company owned by DPM and Minister of Infrastructure Teariki Heather, not doing the job in accordance with the plan? After the Minister's fervent assurances at the TMV public meetings we are entitled to expect better!

If this is not to be another Sheraton fiasco, we need the job done right – from the beginning –with careful attention to detail and proper oversight by a qualified, honest and independent site engineer. 

From my perspective, the pipe should be torn out and re-replaced with new pipe, in accordance with the specifications in the Master Plan – and at the contractor’s cost, not the taxpayers!

Anaru in Ruaau

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