So today was the day. The first day of the project. It almost didn't happen as we haven't had our pre-start meeting with Auckland Council yet. I sent my request for a pre-start meeting into Council on 15 November and somehow it got over looked and it was only once when I didn’t hear back from anyone I started trying to call Auckland Council and the call centre who were very reluctant to put me through to talk anybody in the Development Engineering office. After a couple of calls to the call centre I finally managed to speak to somebody in the Development Engineering office who seems to have kick started the process of getting our pre-start meeting organised. However they then set the date of that meeting for 5 December, which is 4 days after we are meant to start works on site!
So I then had to call the Development Engineering office back again and ask for a meeting date on 1 December only to be told that they were fully booked. So I tried to negotiate to be allowed to start on 1 December and hold the pre-start meeting later and the office told me to ring one of the Development Engineers on their cell phone to ask if that was possible. Apparently it wasn't as she told me in no uncertain terms that the pre-start meeting had to occur before works could start on site.
So I decided to escalate and have a small hissy fit. I started making noise and I then got an call from the 2IC of the the Development Engineering office who asked what works we were going to start on 1 December. I explained that we were only going to be digging out the holes for 2 of the 6 required 50,000L water tanks. He asked how close to the boundary they were going to be and I explained that they would be at least 3m from all boundaries and no more than 3m deep. Luckily he was very pragmatic and said that we could go ahead with that piece of work before the pre-start meeting. YAY! I really like it when I can find sensible and pragmatic people in positions of authority.
So after all that we were allowed to start digging the holes today. The big 10ton digger arrived at 7am and started digging! And dug all day and made a very big hole!
But then there was an oops. A big oops. Overnight it appears that the walls of the side of the hole collapsed! Last night the bottom of the hole was nice and flat and clean. This is what it looked like first thing this morning. All of that stuff should not be there! A bit of furious digging ensued so the tanks could go in!