A New Fuel Stop for the Township of Pongaroa

Monday 22nd May 2017 was a special day for the township of Pongaroa, as it marked the day the first sod was turned for the new Pongaroa Fuel Stop.

From left: Wright Broughton, Allan Benbow, Paul Peetoom, and David Monk.

From left: Wright Broughton, Allan Benbow, Paul Peetoom, and David Monk.

The new unmanned 24/7 Fuel Stop is well needed by the township of Pongaroa who lost their only fuel outlet two years ago. With a local population of approximately 120 people, residents, farmers, contractors, tourists and police, have had to resort to driving to the nearest petrol stations in Danniverke or Pahiatua, approximately 60 kilometers away, to fill up 20L petrol containers to get them through.

In the past two years fuel has been sold by a number of residents when people turn up in dire straits. “Although it was illegal, we did it, but we can’t carry on,” Mr Monk told Tararua District councillors. “Route 52 is a very popular tourist route, with fuel available in Masterton and Waipukurau, but tourists think there will be fuel in Pongaroa and they get caught out.”

A 3D digital render of the fuel stop being built currently in Pongaroa

A 3D digital render of the Fuel Stop being built currently in Pongaroa

In a courageous move the community of Pongaroa fundraised to contribute to the $500,000 project, making this a remarkable and quite possibly a landmark case for New Zealand. Allied Petroleum were chosen as a partner after offering to invest alongside the community with specialist equipment (all tanks, pumps, and payment terminal). We also set about bringing the right partners to guide design and construction. Allied Petroleum’s slogan is ‘never run out’, and while most people associate that with a reliable bulk delivery service, we think it relates well to our role in keeping fuel available to the Pongaroa community.

The Fuel Stop is being built on land donated by Wright Broughton’s family, and will provide service on the same site where a boarding house stood 100 years ago. “The boarding house was a stopover for those travelling from Hawke’s Bay to Wairarapa and Wellington and when it burnt down, the replacement became my family home in the 1940s,” Mr Broughton said. “After my mother died in 1962, the house was dismantled in 1964 and taken away, so it’s wonderful to see the land is going to be useful again for the community.”

The Fuel Stop is expected to be finished late July, with an official opening in August. Pongaroa resident Jason Ellmers said the Fuel Stop was desperately needed and the community were very grateful to the committee who had “gone the extra mile.”

To keep up to date with the progress on site, visit pongaroathewaytogo.org.nz

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