Motueka Senior Constable Grant Heney warned the Mapua community that complacency about security can “catch you out.” Speaking on a “security and safety” panel at September’s MDCA meeting he warned that over the past 18 months “idiots” have been coming to Mapua to commit commercial burglaries and citizens need to be vigilant about locking doors and storing away private property. “Mapua is a lovely village,” Constable Heney stated, “Not much tends to happen in Mapua, so it’s very easy to get relaxed and let your standards drop. These idiots think ‘Wow, it’s nice, small and remote.’ It’s away from police stations in Mot and Richmond and it gives them an opportunity to do their crime and bugger off.”
Making reference to a recent theft of a trailer on Higgs road, Heney stated, “You don’t have to live in a fortress, but on the other hand you do want to make it as difficult as possible for some of these people or else they just keep doing it. Word gets around: ‘Mapua is really easy.’ Yes, Mapua is a lovely quiet place, but the main road is just outside and the whole world can come into Mapua. Don’t be complacent.”
Updating the progress on installing 12-14 security cameras at the Wharf and Village, Constable Heney stated the project is nearing completion. The cameras’ recordings are sent to and monitored by the Motueka police station and have the capacity to store 3 months of activity. The cameras will be publicly notified with signage and easily seen. The video footage will only be accessed by police personnel when investigating any reported crimes. Heney reported the system is already working having captured the license plate of the Higgs Road trailer thief leading to his arrest.
Roger Ball, Regional Manager for Civil Defense Emergency Management for Tasman District and Nelson City, explained the primary hazards we face in our area: severe weather (the flood of 2011), tsunami and earthquakes (make sure your own property is safe – are your bookshelves tied back, your wall mirrors secured and crockery capable of withstanding a severe shake?) And join a Neighbourhood Support group because “There is no army in the cupboard, we are the army.” It’s not a matter of if a major earthquake will hit, but when. “That day is coming, probably a lot sooner than most people think. Within the next 50 years, we have a 30% chance or greater of being involved in a magnitude 8 or greater event. And communities like this will need to rely on resources that are available to them locally for some time.” Figure 3-7 days, potentially, without power. Regarding Tsunamis, our area does not have a siren alert. But Civil Defence will have a smart phone app going active in November that will alert you, wherever you are in NZ. And think ahead: if you do have to leave your house, what will you take and where will you go? When should you evacuate? Remember: “Long and Strong – Get Gone.” Civil Defense evacuation centers locally are Hills Community Church and Mahana School.
Also on the “Security and Safety” panel was David Herd of the Motueka/Tasman Neighbourhood support region. David reported that Mapua is well covered with 23 neighbourhood groups helping each other stay alert to local crime and prepared for any natural disaster. Per Constable Heney, “If there is ever a serious natural disaster – earth quake or tsunami – you’re going to have to sort yourselves out for a day, a few days, a week.” Your local Neighbourhood Support group can be a life saver in such situations.
In other business, Wayne Chisnall reported that tenders were soon to go out for construction of a kea crossing on Aranui Road at the Mapua Drive/Stafford Drive intersection, immediately opposite Mapua Country Store, to facilitate pedestrian traffic to Mapua School. There has been considerable dissatisfaction amongst the Mapua community over this location, considered as by most as extremely unsafe. It was resolved that Wayne should seek to delay the tendering process, send a letter to Jamie McPherson (TDC Transportation Manager) and set up a meeting with Dale Vercoe (owner of the Mapua Country Store Property), the Store leasee and the Mapua School to clarify the situation. The community and Dale Vercoe believe that children coming down Mapua Drive should be directed through Aranui Park to a crossing sited south of the Store near the clothing bins.
Concern also was expressed about the unsafe conditions at the new Mamaku Drive/Dominion Road school bus drop off location. Recently 40 kids were seen disembarking and being met by 20 cars creating an congested and unsafe pickup situation. It was resolved to contact Cr Tim King to seek a resolution with the NZTA of either creating a safe parking zone at this location or dropping off the children in Mapua.
In additional news, David Davison reported the Riwaka Croquet Club has been trying to raise support for a croquet club in Mapua. Noting that croquet is a growing sport, David is trying to get 2 greens (25 x 30 meters) set up alongside the bowling club. He has the backing of 3 clubs in Nelson area and is applying for national support. They are planning an open day and are encouraging everyone to come along when that happens.