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  • Andrew von Dadelszen

Planned $520m Highway upgrade a huge win for Western Bay

Minister Simon Bridges’ announcement last week is huge for the Western Bay and Tauranga in particular. The Bay of Plenty Regional Transport Committee, chaired by Councillor Jane Nees, had for many years prioritised a new motorway out past Rotorua’s Airport above Tauranga’s Northern Corridor. This was plain madness, with strong growth in Tauranga and the Western Bay, and negative growth in Rotorua. Last month NZ Transport Agency announced that the Rotorua Eastern (out to the Airport) proposition had been scrapped, saying the land held for this would now be sold. I argued for this as far back as 2007, so am delighted. The commitment of $520m for the Highway between Tauranga and Waihi shows recognition of not only a huge safety problem, but also of the rising significance of this route for our ever increasing tourism. Simon Bridges and NZTA need congratulating for making the right decision, rather than continuing to pander to a parochial Rotorua.

One rule for all update

Thanks to the countless people who emailed me regarding the squatter in our (your) park. I got just two emails that inferred I was a racist for raising the issue, but that was to be expected! Has he been removed – unfortunately not… To get our Council off its backside, I think the next move might be to put a big sign up beside the motorway saying “Freedom Campers Welcome.” My thanks to Councillor Bev Edlin for at least trying to get her Council staff to take action.

If you have a view on these or any other local government issues, I invite you to email me

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