Roadside Work

Kawiu Road, Levin 


Patikei Stream


Culvert walking strip widening after

very urgent walking surface

"levelling" (1:20 slope) 

Update, Sunday 6 January 2013

Below Photos, at early morning, to show the sideways slope of the road of 45mm over 1 metre or 1:25 .

1.The blue milk bottle tops are each 15mm thick. The tar seal at the roadedge has an 8mm step where the lighter coloured seal meets the darker, newer, seal of the rest of the road.

2.The spirit level is 1 metre long. The pile of 3 light blue milk bottle tops is 45mm high.  Allowing for the small step in the tarseal, gives a sideways road slope ratio of 1:25, which is adequate to allow heavy rain runoff.

3.Nevertheless, a Council Officer informed the writer, last December, that the current slope of the ground, beside the white fence post, closest to the road, is necessary for drainage and cannot be altered for that reason. It's slope is 1:3 . He quoted the Council Engineer to back his view. The writer finds this opinion hard to understand and suggests that it be reviewed by another roading engineer.

4.An outwards road slope of 1:25,  gives storm water drainage. Compacted hard fill to that slope, on the road edge, for safer walking, seems reasonable. Water will drain off, if the hard fill is properly compacted.  Is cost the problem? If so, the writer is willing to immediately raise funds for the job to be done professionally. 

5.The writer is unable to safely walk on the narrowest, steeply sloping, rough ground beside the white culvert fence. Nevertheless, the fact remains that, pedestrians are freely permitted to use Kawiu Road, It's not a motorway where they're normally prohibited.

6.The new culvert fence work should have given reasonable regard to pedestrians. How the site catered for their needs prior to the white culvert fence, is beside the point. Pedestrians are as important a traveling group as motorists, or cyclists, on Kawiu Road. New work on rural roads should always be respectful towards pedestrians' long term interests.

7.Council Officers have assumed that the current state of the culvert fence area for pedestrians is adequate. This means  that the writer, who has size 14 shoes, must hold onto the culvert fence and take small steps to avoid slipping over on a wet day. If there are no vehicles, then walking on the tarseal edge is safer. Even when walking on the narrowest 0.9metre wide piece of the strip of grassed ground by the culvert fence, east bound vehicles nearly always go over the centre line, for drivers' peace of mind. They know that they must give cyclists 1.5 metres of clearance when passing and naturally tend to do the same for pedestrians.

8.Public roads, except motorways, have catered for pedestrians, as rightful users, since the Roman Empire. It's ironic that Kawiu Road's vestage from the past, of it still being designated a legal stock route, permits livestock to walk on any part of it. Yet, pedestrian safety, on rural roads is seemingly of little concern to the Horowhenua District Council. The safety of sheep, cattle, goats and horses must be respected. So must the safety of pedestrians.

9.Human beings get special treatment in New Zealand for walking along rural roads, by local councils providing adequate grass verge space during planning and survey.  The Mayor, Councillors and Council Officers of the Horowhenua District Council might like to kindly please give this some further consideration and then please ensure that the Patikei Culvert area, on Kawiu Road, measures up to proper pedestrian standards, by carrying out extra work on it.

10. The white culvert fence was obviously installed where it was easiest to dig the post holes and to not strike the stacked concrete bags of the wing wall entry to the culvert pipes. The posts that are closer to the road edge than 2 metres, need to be extracted and replaced with ones that are all at least 2 metres from the tar seal edge. The fence then needs to be reboarded and repainted. The walking surface should then be raised with compacted hard fill on a 1:25 outwards slope, continuous from the tar seal edge.

11. As an essential, immediate remedial job, hard fill needs compacting to the present posts on a 1:25 outwards slope, continuous from the road edge surface. This would give a reasonable walking surface between the current two posts, that are 2 metres from the road edge. Planning for the widening of the walking strip to 2 metres, for beside all the white culvert fence posts, should then proceed without delay, to show respect for minimum pedestrian safety.



May Peace Prevail On Earth


Update, Wednesday 26 December 2012

Below Photos that show proper levels for reasonable and safe walking. For a 1:20 slope shown, there would need to be a 290mm thickness of compacted hardfill installed at the fence post indicated.

Below 1.The unpainted board is on a 1:20 slope, to indicate an adequate water run off from the walking surface. Walking would become easier, safer and enjoyable with compacted hardfill added to the height of the top of the unpainted board, under the spirit level.

2.Walking there is currently hazardous, unpleasant and extremely difficult. It's worse than many hillside sheep tracks. When people are this close to motorists, owing to the culvert fence, they should not be forced to walk on such rough and steeply sloping grass and soil. One trip could be fatal when a truck or bus is passing there in each lane, especially in rain. It's highly irresponsible for any local Council to extensively, permanently alter a section of road-side and ignor reasonable pedestrian interests, in this way. The fence posts would need many hours of work to move them back to give a reasonable two metres of walk space to the roadedge. However, removing the weeds and grass and compacting hard fill there, as suggested, is perhaps a fifty minute job.

3.Various Councillors and a Council officers have told the writer that they find no problem with the site for walkers. Pedestrians deserve far better consideration, than the insult which they have received, with its current condition. When local authority elected members and salaried staff are happy with this sort of situation, they potentially expose themselves to sharp media and general public criticism. The Council administration have a problem to solve. The writer has a civic duty to expose the site's risks to others, after living nearby and going there on foot, for over 13 years.

4.The choice of posts' closeness to the tarseal edge, at 0.9metre, and a 1:3 sideways slope, gave no regard to reasonable pedestrian access. It seems as if pedestrians are being discouraged from walking there. It's simply a well used public road with recent permanent culvert fencing. Pedestrians are a guaranteed user group on this road, who must be given reasonable regard to their safety during alterations to the verge. It must be improved, as suggested, forwith. Pedestrians are not an optionally serviced section of society but the core and fundamental basic group in a community, for a local Council's attention. Surely that prime fact is fully realised by them.

5.Motorways are not for pedestrians, but this is a local 70kph roadside that serves a close-by residential subdivision northwards to the first corner. The sections there have wide, well mown, grass verges. It's definitely not a rural area with properties essentially  dedicated strictly to farming, except at a market garden entrance. Those on the south side of the road, up to the first bend, are in the Levin township ward, moreover. 

6.Grass and weeds need removing and then hardfill road metal, must to be placed three metres either side of and towards the stream, from the post shown and compacted to the height indicated. This is merely in the best interests of basic pedestrian safety.

7.A very narrow strip of roadside pedestrian access is provided outside 143 Kawiu Road but is flat. Ironically, a wide verge is above it, that's blocked with a fence which the writer asked the Horowhenua District Council to remove a few years back. They said there was adequate room down at road level and that the fence should stay. They certainly would not expect Her Majesty The Queen to walk down there. It's now time for reasonable pedestrian access, on Kawiu Road, up to the first bend northwards, to be appreciated


Below The fence outside 143 Kawiu Road that pointlessly blocks safer pedestrian access.


Update, Wednesday 19 December 2012

Photos of the boundary plan for the Levin Ward of the Horowhenua District Council, 7 May 1998 S0  37862

The boundary line goes along the centre of roads. It shows the culvert fence being outside 128 Kawiu Road.  It's outside what's shown as Lot 5 DP 25375, which is the inwards corner of the boundary line, to the right of the top left hand corner. 

What does this indicate for the culvert fence? Possibly that the Council officer considered the site has a rural standard of pedestrian access. That would be a wrong view because there are residential sections in the Levin Ward, on the other side of the road, further north, which is served by the walking space by the culvert fence.


Update, Wednesday 12 December 2012  Photos to show location of small tree stump and where trees were at 1.6metres from the tar seal edge. The yellow rope with white tags and green pipe are at 1.6metres from the tar seal edge, to indicate the old tree line.




Update, 10 December 2012 Horowhenua District Council Contracts Supervisor, Mr Mick Longley, reconfirmed, by phone, last week that, there will be no more work done at the site in the foreseeable future. He claimed that the trees, which were there before the culvert fence was installed, were the same distance from the tarseal edge as the culvert fence is now. The culvert fence is 0.9metre from the tar seal edge. I measured the distance to the tree stumps this morning. The trees had vertically straight limbs. The stumps are 1.6metres from the tarseal edge and not 0.9metres, as Mr Mick Longley claimed the trees were. That extra 0.7metre makes a great deal of difference.

Google Street View of 128 Kawiu Road Levin covers the culvert site well. I used that strip many times from May 1999 to September 2012 and knew very well how much wider it was for walkers, than the culvert fence gives now.

The culvert fence is a substandard job and should be moved back to at least where Mr Longley claims it is. That is, at 1.6metres from the tarseal. The white fence's primary purpose is to alert motorists to the culvert cavity and secondly, to protect pedestrians from falling into a flooded stream. Passing vehicles pose far more risk to pedestrians than a very occassionally flooded stream.

It's criminally neglegent that the new culvert fence has made that side of the road more dangerous for pedestrians than before.

The white fence needs to be urgently moved back to at least 1.6 metres from the tar seal edge and hardfill compacted to give a 1:20 slope for ease of walking and adequate water runoff. However, if that remedial work was to be done then the * mid term solution below would be easier, owing to the simpicity of driving a longer post into the stream bed.


Update, 3 December 2012  The Horowhenua District Council Contracts Supervisor has confirmed, by phone, that it will be left as it is at present. There were no assurances of any improvements in the near future, such as compacted hard fill to ease the sideways gradient from 1 in 3 to 1 in 20. A two metre wide strip is easily achieved with one post in the stream bed and others set into the concrete bag, wing wall. This would be by chipping away holes at the side of the concrete bags for two posts and setting them in a concreted plastic pipe with sand, for easy repair if crashed into. Other posts would go in firm topsoil.



Original, Main Explanation for this page.

A New White Painted Culvert Fence

It's outside 128 Kawiu Road Levin, above the Patikei Stream, but leaves only 900mm from the tarseal for walking. It's also too sloping from the road edge, to walk on properly and could cause a person to stumble and fall onto the road. However, many walkers, upon seeing the hazardous slope, especially after rain, might choose the road instead. This is unacceptable and an insult to pedestrian safety. It's often essential for walkers to get off the 70kph road surface as cars or trucks pass them. Strips of, now removed, black, self adhesive tape, on the bases of the posts, in the photos, show the level points from the tarseal edge.

A.  Immediate Work, Without Delay. A serious pedestrian hazard exists  

Hard fill placement and compaction, level, from the tarseal edge, to each post, between the ones that are two metres from the tarseal. Tin cans mark these two posts in the photos below. 

B.  Mid Term Solution

The walkable road edge needs to extend two metres from the tarseal, out level, to the posts. This is easily achieved via an H5 tanalised post, driven well into the stream bed, beside the stacked bag culvert entrance wall.

This pointed, H5 tanalised, driven-in post is for a remade handrail and white painted barrier boards. It would also hold H4 retaining wall tounge and groove timber, to contain the levelling hard fill.

The yellow rope, in the photos below, is between the posts, with tin cans, that are two metres from the tarseal. The stream bed post would be driven in where the rope is over the stream, with a stake hanging. A post would also be on the the stacked concrete bags west of and next to the stream bed post. It would be fastened to a 25mm diameter, hot bath dipped galvanised rod, with welded wings for attachment.  A concrete cutting specialist would bore a 25mm diameter hole, 800mm down into the stacked concrete bags for this rod. The other posts, eastwards, would be on firm stream bank, shown by the yellow rope. 

C.  Permanent  Solution

Two more culvert pipes, a precast, "Humes", concrete wing wall entrance, with a painted, dressed, H4 tanalised fence and a grassed, full width verge. Pipes and wing wall delivered price is $11,000, on a "Humes", verbal, October 2012, quote to the writer, M.R.Tingey.

Below the 2009 situation showing a barely adequate walking space on the road edge at the above centre right side of the photo. Trees below the arrow on the blue roadsign obscure the culvert entrance. November 2012 situation photo three down for comparison. It shows slightly less grass verge width to walk on after instalation of the white culvert fence.

Below November 2012 white culvert fence in the centre of the photo that prevents proper walking. There was more walking room, even though sloping and difficult, before erection of the fence.  Black tape strips on the posts mark the level points from the adjacent tar seal edge. The yellow rope marks the two metre wide, proper walking strip edge. Please note the knot and hanging stick, for reference.


Above and Below Stick from rope marks the driven in, stream bed barrier post position, for the two metre walking width. The stream bed level of this post to upper ground level, would have a galvanised "colour steel" sheet metal "V" shaped deflector, to prevent stick debris from catching during heavy rain. 

Below Firm ground for other posts


Below  The board is at a 300mm in one metre or 1 in 3  slope, to match the above slope from the tar seal edge, to the post.

Transit rules for all state highways allow a 500mm minimum road metal strip at a 1 in 6 gradient or 150mm in one metre. ...... 6.1.3  Minimum seal widths for state highways.

Walkers on rural roads without footpaths, like cyclists, must be passed by motorists with a gap of 1.5 metres. .....  "Safe driving around cyclists"

For both walkers and cyclists, the gap between the tarseal and the white culvert fence is too narrow at a mere 0.9 metre.

It should be at least 2.0 metres and with a slope of 1 in 20, or a 100mm fall in 2 metres.

Above The board is at a 300mm in one metre or, a 1 in 3 slope to match the current slope from the tar seal edge to the post.

Below One metre long spirit level at Tiro Tiro Road near the Kings Drive corner showing a 25mm fall, or a one in forty slope.




Fire Hydrant


Opposite 124 A Kawiu Road Levin


11/1/2013   Yellow triangle faded and needs repainting


22 December 2012

Blue catseye now fitted


22 November 2012.

New concrete surround at road level but no blue catseye on the road yet.


Work Needed

Photos taken at 4:45pm 19 February 2009 by Murray Richard Tingey  Levin  New Zealand



Yellow triangle to be repainted on road and blue catseye glued on the tarseal after recent resealing and road marking. The repaint and the replacement of the blue catseye was missed.........update 9 April 2009.....yellow triangle painted on road.


2 Concrete rim around cast iron lid holder to be cast in place flush with ground. This needs to be steel rod reinforced and to be larger than the typical ones set in the carriageway tar seal, because the ground is soft. Before making the concrete boxing for top quality strong concrete, the gound around the hydrant needs to be first compacted to roading standards. This is because the ground around the hydrant was dug out last year to rectify a pipe leak or spring water softening of the wider grass verge. A black drainage pipe into the adjoining ditch successfully now keeps the verge from being the bog that it was. 

Below Tiro Tiro Road entering Kawiu Road via stop signs.

Below Kawiu Road.    Flag on verge marks fire hydrant                             

Above Fire hydrant lid and holder iron casting. These must be in a wide, reinforced, cast in situ, high quality concrete rim to extend inside the tar seal and below to form a solid box to endure heavy trucks and protect the brass water outlet thread from being covered in gravel. When the photographer cleaned grass away on 17 February 2009 and the lid raised, there was gravel completely covering the fittings inside. Hense, this appeal for highest priority urgent action.

                                               location for the blue catseye                                                 This yellow catseye is by the line above

         by yellow line    ↑near yellow lineone centimetre above this arrow


Above Three arrows  indicate the repainting location of the yellow fire hydrant triangle.


Photos taken at 4:45pm 19 February 2009 by Murray Richard Tingey  Levin  New Zealand

Known as Richard Tingey, who is the author of the above text as well.