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Upper Hutt Leader : July 20th 2011
59 UPPER HUTT LEADER, JULY 20, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Wire rope spares emergency rooms By JIM CHIPP Since 2005, 69 vehicles have hit the Centennial Highway wire rope median barrier, but none of the accidents have been fatal. Prior to the barrier being installed, from 2004, the road between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki had a lethal record. In the five previous years there were seven fatal accidents, three serious injury accidents, two minor injury accidents and five non-injury accidents reported on it.At the same time as the barrier was installed, the speed limit was reduced to 80kmh. In the following five years, there were 27 accidents from drivers crossing the centre-line, but no deaths and no injuries. NZ Transport Agency Welling- ton operations manager Mark Owen said from the agency's point of view, the barrier had proved very satisfactory. From a car damage perspec- tive, it's a bit softer on the car. Generally, [people can] can drive away.'' That means accident sites are more promptly cleared and the road was quickly flowing again, he said. It's also very easy to repair -- just pop the posts out, replace them and then re-tension the wire, or we can pop the posts out and move the traffic to the other side. It is a lot more flexible.'' Similar barriers have since been placed on Hayward's Hill, and on State Highway 2 around Silverstream, and a new one is being installed between Silver- stream and Moonshine, Mr Owen said four new barriers were under investigation on State Highway 1 from Paekakariki to McKay's Crossing, further north between Otaihanga and Waikanae and on State Highway 2 further north. There will be more as NZTA's roads of national significance'' were built, he said. The barriers were the subject of intense criticism from motor- cycling groups when a motor- cyclist was killed on Auckland's southern motorway colliding with the wire. Air force jet finds new home Heading our way: One of the Royal New Zealand Air Force's recently retired Aermacchi jets will soon find a home at Hood Aerodrome. Wairarapa MP John Hayes says he's very pleased to have secured a significant piece of New Zealand's aviation history, an Aermacchi jet trainer, for the George Hood Aviation Museum in Masterton. Originally bidding for a Skyhawk it became apparent that the available hanger space was insufficient to house that size of aircraft. In consultation with Tom Williams, the plan was changed to securing an Aermacchi, capable of flight. Mr Hayes said after careful con- sideration the Skyhawk would have required an extension to the current museum building to allow for public viewing. Furthermore, the Skyhawk would have been available for static display only. Also, the Aermacchi is the last plane flown by 14 Squadron, which was formed in Masterton in 1942. This happened in response to the bombing of Darwin, the Japanese invasion of New Guinea and Japanese reconnaissance air- craft flying over Auckland and Wellington -- chased ineffectually by the RNZAF's Lewis gun-toting De Havilland Tiger Moths. The RNZAF's first fighter unit, No 14 Squadron, was formed under Squadron Leader J N MacKenzie at Masterton on April 25, 1942, equipped with North American Harvards until P-40 Kittyhawks could be obtained. The Aermacchi will come to the museum with an engine, electronics and the capability of flight. Mr Hayes understands resources needed to fly the Aermacchi, including engineers, and pilots, are available in the Wairarapa and he hopes it will be possible to see the plane flying at Wings Over Wairarapa in 2013. Ebb and flow: Coastal erosion on the Kapiti coast does not appear to be anything new, says Raumati resident Bill Lambert. The past week's storms have exposed sea walls and concrete steps that dunes had long since buried. Mr Lambert has lived in the area for 20 years and seen the sand rise and fall, but this is the furthest he had seen the dunes recede. The dunes appear to have receded to where they had been many years ago. Mr Lambert has experienced the tides' rises and falls before in a different situation. He was elected to Parliament for National in Western Hutt in 1975, but said: ''I came in on the Muldoon tide and I went out with it.'' Photo: JIM CHIPP
July 13th 2011
July 27th 2011