Notorious waterhole should be filled in
9 September 2003
Council decides notorious waterhole should be filled in
Massey’s notorious Huruhuru Creek waterhole will be filled in to help prevent further drownings at the site, if the Council’s City Development Committee has its way.
Over the last decade, the popular waterhole has claimed the lives of three children, including a two-year-old who slipped in, a four-year-old who was swimming and a teenager whose hair was caught by underwater debris.
The decision to fill in the waterhole with rock was made at the Committee’s September meeting. The Committee also requested that accessways to the creek be assessed with the view of minimising dangers to the public.
A resource consent application for the work has been lodged with the Auckland Regional Council to enable the work to proceed as a matter of urgency. However, the consent process is expected to take many months, meaning the waterhole may not be filled in until next year. Meanwhile, the site will continue to receive its weekly safety audit by the Council’s Parks contractor.
The estimated $90,000 cost of filling the waterhole is likely to be sourced from the Council’s existing Stormwater Loan, provided for in the 2003/2004 Annual Plan, as currently only safety signage and fencing at Huruhuru Creek is budgeted for.
Committee chair, Deputy Mayor Carolynne Stone, says that while the Council has addressed safety requirements to minimise the risk of any future drownings, the risk elements of a natural open waterway would remain for those who chose to swim there.
“We know we can’t make every waterway safe, but we felt we should make an exception due to the specific dangers at this waterhole,” Cr Stone says.
The Council’s Chief Executive, Harry O’Rourke, agrees with the decision, saying that the death of three children at this waterhole requires “definite and final action”, especially given the Council’s First Call for Children policy.
“If there was a fault in the road that had caused the death of three children, we would have, long ago, fixed the problem permanently,” he says.