On the Road for the summer

Published on 19 November 2021

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Back to their hometown for internships at Council over the summer are twins Alyssa and Breanna Greaney, and Joel Kunnethedan, all working with the Roading team.

Alyssa and Breanna are working on a joint project with the Waitaki District Council and the University of Canterbury to conduct research regarding how primary/intermediate and high school students travel to and from school. This survey will help identify the transport needs and concerns of ŇĆamaru’s school community. People involved in the survey are already identifying some interesting problems with transportation for students, which is a really good thing, as research into rural transportation is thin on the ground, one of the reasons why Waitaki’s Roading Manager Mike Harrison was so keen to jump on board with this project.

The sisters say attitudes to transport are revealing; people will drive their kids to school rather than deal with the bus zoning system or leave their kids standing on the side of a state highway, which is rather unsurprising. Another subject that has come up is that there’s not a lot of options for kids after school and so they wander aimlessly about town, something the twins say was a problem when they themselves were at school.

Joel is out and about in the district, checking every sign, every culvert, every barrier and updating the conditions of these assets to a database. “There’s lots of measuring, a lot of pulling over,” he says. Each stop is often more than he bargained for as people come up to him and say, ‘Good to see you guys here,’ and stop for a natter. Not a lot of people recognise him for the local boy he is (might be the high vis vest) but people aren’t backwards in coming forwards to tell him work that they think needs doing.

All three are enjoying a peek at what working for local government looks like and council staff are enjoying having some young faces in the building, even if two of the faces are near identical.

Joel has enjoyed an insight into a professional environment, seeing how office work and field work combine so that a site visit results in inputting information into the mapping of a much larger transportation system as a whole. “Its fascinating to see the big picture come together,” he says.

Honestly, he had us at professional. Welcome aboard, have a great summer at home here in Waitaki!