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Roading and Transport

Prime Minister visits the new bridge site

The Prime Minister, Chris Luxon, made a surprise visit (announced lithe night before) to the new Taparahi bridge connecting the big gap in State Highway 25A.

Waka kotahi(NZTA had invited the media along with regional and national transport officials to come for a bridge visit a few days before. It was extra special to have the Prime Minister arrive. A considerable crowd gathered last Friday morning as the the final touches were being made. It was exciting and significant for everyone.

From the PM:

“We (Simeon Brown and I) came here April 13, had a conversation with Brett Gleddon, National Group General Manager for NZTA and some of his team, and we looked out at a big hole.”

Now, nine months later, we see what has been done in an incredibly compressed time period, ahead of time and under budget, and it has happened because a team of people with incredible skills have done a great job. Mana Whenua have been very supportive in facilitating the commencement; a great work of leadership has come from NZTA; the enormous skills and programme form the consortium charged with constructing the bridge, plus our local member Scott Simpson and Mayor Len Salt have been tremendous advocates for this project and for stronger infrastructure around the Coromandel.

It is incredible to experience what’s possible when we choose to come together and focus on a goal.

We want to build one of the most advanced small countries on the planet,” continued the Prime Minister.

He outlined some of the large projects ahead of the country with some points on ways to close the infrastructure deficit. Soberingly, the Prime Minister also added… “New Zealand is really challenged financially to be able to afford the infrastructure we need.” He was not complimentary about the fiscal situation left by the previous government.

There was a determination in every tone from the Prime Minister in what were very straight and considerable detailed answers. He had the Minister for Transport, Simeon Brown at his side and their agenda the next day was another infrastructure challenge related to the Brynderwyns north of Auckland.