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Kopu Access

The debate over the Kopu access has been joined, and as usual, the Peninsula Press alone has sought to set out the issues. Unfortunately, there was some missing information that I will endeavour to highlight, because memories appear short.  

Before construction started Messrs. Schuler, Rennie and Young as Kopu Ratepayers Association representatives fought to get a two-way access onto the new bridge from the end of Kopu road. Clearly this would not work as it would require a tunnel under the highway, and when that became obvious, they settled for a ‘slip-road’ off ramp only.

These same representatives resisted the suggestion that the fourth leg off the roundabout that they are now demanding, be completed instead of the ‘slip-road’. Strenuous efforts to convince these representatives that trucks and trailers would not be able to make the sharp left hand turn off the bridge on to the ‘slip-road’ went unheeded. The Council contention has now proved correct – trucks do need to go all the way to the roundabout.

Council was on thin ice at the time because consent had never been granted for the fourth leg, so it needed to rely on the support of the Association for the road to be completed – not forthcoming. Funds that had been set aside for the fourth leg were instead used on the ‘slip-road’ as demanded. In fact, TCDC put in another $12k before last Christmas so that the ‘slip-road’ could be completed. Transport New Zealand had made it very clear to all concerned that they would fund the 'slip-road', or the fourth leg - not both. Completing the fourth leg will now be the sole responsibility of TCDC, unless TNZ can be persuaded otherwise, and there appears to be no provision in the TCDC Ten Year Plan for such an extravagant project, despite warm fuzzies provided through the PR machine. 

These representatives may need to be reminded that there is only one legal retail section in Kopu - the dairy/café. Hunting ‘n’ fishing obtained a belated approval after being wrongly advised they could sell from an industrial warehouse. Bendon was always to have been a ‘seconds’ factory shop only - not full blown retail, and others are there by default. Council zoning enforcement has been negligent over the years, but retailers have only themselves to blame if they now find themselves out on a limb.

Perhaps they should consider that if the area does generate $40m in exports, then perhaps it should remain industrial only as originally intended. But that is unlikely.  Veiled references to Ngati Maru intransigence regarding completion of the fourth leg are irrelevant, and some will suggest, mischievous.





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