Rere Falls and rockslide 'asking for a fatality'

Safety fears over road, jumping off falls.

Safety fears over road, jumping off falls.

POPULAR SPOT: The narrow road into Rere Falls, blind corners, rubbish and falls jumping were among concerns Rere residents raised at Gisborne District Council’s hearings committee meeting this week.Picture supplied
RISKY BUSINESS: Rere residents have major concerns over safety issues with the roads to Rere Falls and people jumping off the falls as visitor numbers increase. Photoshopped image of one person jumping, supplied.

INCREASING numbers of visitors on the narrow road to Rere Falls and rockslide is “asking for a fatality”, Gisborne District Council’s hearings committee was told this week.

The issue was raised while the committee was hearing submissions on the council’s draft freedom camping bylaw.

The committee was also told of what was seen as a growing risk of injury to people jumping off the falls.

Kerry Worsnop said it was disappointing that they had to come back again to the council on this issue.

Residents had previously made their feelings clear to the council.

This was a place where motor caravaners would like to camp but they were likely to find the car park full and the toilets overflowing, and have to return to Gisborne.

“It is a site area that needs a lot more attention from the council,” she said.

The falls and rockslide sites remained unsuitable for camping for all the reasons they put forward last year.

“We still believe that there needs to be a lot more investment in infrastructure,” she said.

Rockslide not safe

The council was one of a number of parties pushing the rockslide as a destination, but it was not safe and it was at capacity.

In her opinion, the width of the road, the one-way bridge and the narrow road leading to the falls itself were “asking for a fatality”.

Sandra Matthews said concerned residents started meeting with the council in 2008.

There had been a huge increase in the number of visitors, not just during the summer period, but all year.

Rubbish was a significant issue as well. She produced pictures of rubbish on land and in the river.

She also showed pictures of blind corners on the road leading to the falls. This road was used by stock trucks.

Falls jumping was an accident waiting to happen.

They want Rere classed as a prohibited site for camping. That would protect access to the area as well as the health and safety of residents.

Residents were involved in a water quality management project with the council and it was really disheartening to see all the rubbish, she said.

Council strategic planning manager David Wilson said staff were aware of the concerns of residents and that was why they had recommended an amendment to the draft plan.

Freedom camping was not now recommended at the Rere Falls and rockslide carparks or the Rere Falls paddock.

INCREASING numbers of visitors on the narrow road to Rere Falls and rockslide is “asking for a fatality”, Gisborne District Council’s hearings committee was told this week.

The issue was raised while the committee was hearing submissions on the council’s draft freedom camping bylaw.

The committee was also told of what was seen as a growing risk of injury to people jumping off the falls.

Kerry Worsnop said it was disappointing that they had to come back again to the council on this issue.

Residents had previously made their feelings clear to the council.

This was a place where motor caravaners would like to camp but they were likely to find the car park full and the toilets overflowing, and have to return to Gisborne.

“It is a site area that needs a lot more attention from the council,” she said.

The falls and rockslide sites remained unsuitable for camping for all the reasons they put forward last year.

“We still believe that there needs to be a lot more investment in infrastructure,” she said.

Rockslide not safe

The council was one of a number of parties pushing the rockslide as a destination, but it was not safe and it was at capacity.

In her opinion, the width of the road, the one-way bridge and the narrow road leading to the falls itself were “asking for a fatality”.

Sandra Matthews said concerned residents started meeting with the council in 2008.

There had been a huge increase in the number of visitors, not just during the summer period, but all year.

Rubbish was a significant issue as well. She produced pictures of rubbish on land and in the river.

She also showed pictures of blind corners on the road leading to the falls. This road was used by stock trucks.

Falls jumping was an accident waiting to happen.

They want Rere classed as a prohibited site for camping. That would protect access to the area as well as the health and safety of residents.

Residents were involved in a water quality management project with the council and it was really disheartening to see all the rubbish, she said.

Council strategic planning manager David Wilson said staff were aware of the concerns of residents and that was why they had recommended an amendment to the draft plan.

Freedom camping was not now recommended at the Rere Falls and rockslide carparks or the Rere Falls paddock.

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