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The Gauntlet: Issue #5

Newsletter #5 - 20 October 2016

Wow! What a week! We got the first of our billboards up (another will be erected for this weekend), Steve Hathaway has gathered some great drone footage so far, the documentary crew filmed us over the weekend, and the worst traffic weekend of the year starts on Friday! We’ll be out in force to collect data and footage.


Thank you to Leigh at ECM Signs and our donors for getting our billboards made. The billboard campaign we have in store will hopefully generate discussion.


John Key has been making the right noises about Hill Street. Thank you, Ben Donaldson, at LM Live for cornering him. Our Prime Minister and part-time Omaha resident said "the quicker that it can be resolved, the better.” Check out the clip here:

A little bird told us that he had a close call pulling out of Elizabeth Street on the way to his place at Omaha.


Talking about being cornered, thank you to everyone who honked their horns at us filming on Kowhai Park. The traffic noise and weather was bad enough, but we had to use the toilet block to re-film some audio. We got some strange looks from rubberneckers when we emerged. One chap even posted on Facebook a film clip of us emerging.

By the way, another reason to fix Hill Street now is to replace that toilet block and dumping station. It’s not a good look (or smell) for Warkworth.


One thing that the film crew and our team noticed was all the vehicle and sign debris around the intersection, especially on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Sandspit Road. There have been two accidents in that position in the past week. Two signs are missing and a give way sign is rotated 90 degrees.

Watching traffic leave Kowhai Park, it became apparent several safety issues. Firstly, the camber is so high the opposing road markings are not visible (if traffic isn’t already obscuring it). Secondly, the opposing give way and stop signs aren’t noticeable. Thirdly, many vehicles turning out of Elizabeth Street do not indicate, thinking that being in a turning lane suffices (the right turning lane also means that they are heading straight towards Kowhai Park.) Fourthly, knowledge of the give way rules is a significant problem.

It must be noted that, from December, traffic leaving Kowhai Park will no longer be able to enter Elizabeth Street but can still turn left and right.

Being a stop sign, New Zealand’s give way rules are different to most other countries. The 2012 give way rule changes was to bring our road code into harmony with other countries. The one rule that wasn’t changed was the status of stop signs versus give way signs.

In most countries, a stop sign is a give way where vehicles must come to a complete halt. Where a stop sign is opposite a give way sign, the normal give way rules apply where both controls are given equal status. Check out this clip:

In Queensland, A gives way to B.

In New Zealand, however, stop must give way to all other traffic, including give ways. Check out this link: .

This raises several questions. How many returning expats and foreigners are aware of this rule? How many New Zealanders are aware of this rule? How many accidents at Hill Street have resulted from ignorance of this rule? Is this the next give way rule that needs to change?

Here are the changes that were brought into force in 2012:

Here is the view from Kowhai Park. Can you see the road markings and give way sign on Elizabeth Street?