By Farida Master
For someone who has advocated for safer footpaths for years, it’s unfortunate that Councillor Sharon Stewart tripped on the Pakuranga Rotary walkway and fell flat on her nose.
It was just minutes after people had spotted her at the Rotary Community River Carnival on Sunday afternoon.
Looking at Sharon’s post on Facebook with a bruised upper lip, chin and a bandaged nose it was obvious the Councillor was in a lot of pain.
“After visiting the Rotary River Carnival down at Bramley Reserve I was heading to my sister Lorraine’s apartment for a cuppa and tripped on the uneven surface. I became another victim of this issue plaguing many parts of Howick/Pakuranga and Botany areas,” she says.
“There were so many people cycling and walking their dogs and with the flax hanging over the footpath, I tripped and fell. Luckily I fell in the bush and not on concrete. The Auckland Transport health and safety team were very helpful and immediately came to my rescue. They cleaned me up before I went to East Care Accident and Medical Clinic for a dressing,” she says.
Sharon’s longstanding war with footpaths continues.
The councillor had a knockout moment in 2015 when she was out delivering her campaign pamphlets and tripped on an uneven surface. She was knocked unconscious for a few minutes with a cut lip and bruised chest.
“We need to have an audit done on footpaths, because it’s council core business,” Stewart had said.
Her husband David too had a fall a couple of years ago and had injured himself badly.
Sharon’s post on Facebook got a lot of response. Anne Candy commented saying: ‘Sharon that is shocking! For years you have asked for safer footpaths and now you become the victim of inaction. Get well soon Councillor.’
Liz Gensen commented:‘OMG Sharon get better soon. I see accidents like yours waiting to happen when I take my grandson for walks. Have complained before only to get a botched up job done.’
Brenda Goodfellow posted: ‘Ouch hope you have a speedy recovery Sharon, I so know how you feel. I myself had another footpath fall while walking and snapped a tendon in a finger now in a splint for eight weeks and if it doesn’t mend, thanks to the council, not impressed at all!’