North Otago had about half its annual rainfall over a couple of weeks which left many, mostly rural, roads in need of repairs.
That work was going to take time so Bill Pile, a farmer who happened to have a grader, spent several hours patching dozens of pot holes.
And did he get thanked?
No, he got this:
Council roading manager Michael Voss said he understood Mr Pile’s wish to see the road, which services his property, back in serviceable condition sooner than the council had planned.
However, Mr Pile’s actions could have caused problems, Mr Voss said.
If his actions had created “any incident” that had “the potential to endanger other road users”, the council would be in a difficult position, Mr Voss said.
And had the pot holes caused any incident with the potential to endanger other road users such as the school bus, milk tankers and other motorists wouldn’t the council also have been in a difficult position?
”For example, all works on the public road must be undertaken with a compliant and approved traffic management plan which lays out the operations and how works are to be undertaken. This is a legal requirement and for the safety of all road users, which Mr Pile contravened.”
Councils have to work to the rules and it’s not Mr Voss’s fault the reporter asked a question to which he was bound to give the bureaucrat’s answer.
But reading that response made me feel like I was swimming in treacle with gumboots on.