Chorus listens to the Moana Rd community

THE PROTEST: Moana Road residents John Martin, Gail Martin, John Puddick, Mark Clapham, Jude Harbott, Councillor Pat Seymour, Shelley Sisam and Gray Clapham protesting Chorus’ overhead optic fibre cables in 2015. File Picture

MOANA Road residents are today celebrating the successful end to a two-year campaign to get telecommunications giant Chorus to change its Ultra Fast Broadband plans for the street.

Chorus began hanging fibre-optic cables from power poles along the length of the street in October 2015, creating what beachfront residents termed an environmentally-unsound eyesore.

Although the 15mm-diameter cables were taken down swiftly, Chorus had previously stated that it could not provide UFB to the whole street any other way.

However, at a public meeting last night Chorus representatives told the community it had listened to their concerns and would now put the cables underground and deliver UFB to the street that way.

“The feeling of the people who were there was one of great relief and pleasure that Chorus had seen the light and were treating us with respect and have listened to our concerns”, resident Mark Clapham said.

“We’re very pleased and very grateful.”

Chorus first installed overhead cables along the whole road in October, 2015, before opposition from residents led to the cable being taken down two months later.

Mr Clapham said a second “up and down” plan, put forward by Chorus, would have put the cables underground in some places but left overhead cables in front of some properties.

“However, as far as the community was concerned we were very, very concerned that the whole thing went underground.”

Chorus stakeholder communications manager Jo Seddon today confirmed that the company had listened to Moana Road residents and would now make every effort to put the new fibre cables underground.

“We took on board that the Moana Road community considers this to be a significant landscape so we have decided to try to get the new network underground.

“We are still facing the difficulties of possible archaeological sites, terrain and encroachment but we hope we have found a solution that works.”

Miss Seddon said fibre cables were originally inadvertently installed at the incorrect height.

Chorus removed them after becoming aware of the mistake and had since worked with Gisborne District Council and explored suggestions made by residents in order to find a resolution.

She also pointed out that changes to the national environmental standards meant that Chorus would be able to use the existing poles to put the cables overhead without needing consent from council.

“However, we believe in working with our communities so we have chosen to try undergrounding.

“Chorus takes its relationship with our community very seriously and again we apologise for any distress that has been caused. We worked really hard to find a solution and will keep local residents informed of progress.”

MOANA Road residents are today celebrating the successful end to a two-year campaign to get telecommunications giant Chorus to change its Ultra Fast Broadband plans for the street.

Chorus began hanging fibre-optic cables from power poles along the length of the street in October 2015, creating what beachfront residents termed an environmentally-unsound eyesore.

Although the 15mm-diameter cables were taken down swiftly, Chorus had previously stated that it could not provide UFB to the whole street any other way.

However, at a public meeting last night Chorus representatives told the community it had listened to their concerns and would now put the cables underground and deliver UFB to the street that way.

“The feeling of the people who were there was one of great relief and pleasure that Chorus had seen the light and were treating us with respect and have listened to our concerns”, resident Mark Clapham said.

“We’re very pleased and very grateful.”

Chorus first installed overhead cables along the whole road in October, 2015, before opposition from residents led to the cable being taken down two months later.

Mr Clapham said a second “up and down” plan, put forward by Chorus, would have put the cables underground in some places but left overhead cables in front of some properties.

“However, as far as the community was concerned we were very, very concerned that the whole thing went underground.”

Chorus stakeholder communications manager Jo Seddon today confirmed that the company had listened to Moana Road residents and would now make every effort to put the new fibre cables underground.

“We took on board that the Moana Road community considers this to be a significant landscape so we have decided to try to get the new network underground.

“We are still facing the difficulties of possible archaeological sites, terrain and encroachment but we hope we have found a solution that works.”

Miss Seddon said fibre cables were originally inadvertently installed at the incorrect height.

Chorus removed them after becoming aware of the mistake and had since worked with Gisborne District Council and explored suggestions made by residents in order to find a resolution.

She also pointed out that changes to the national environmental standards meant that Chorus would be able to use the existing poles to put the cables overhead without needing consent from council.

“However, we believe in working with our communities so we have chosen to try undergrounding.

“Chorus takes its relationship with our community very seriously and again we apologise for any distress that has been caused. We worked really hard to find a solution and will keep local residents informed of progress.”

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