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Kopu Bridge Co. Ltd. 

It is of considerable disappointment that our Council had again 'missed the bus' in regard to the establishment of a service/information centre close to the Kopu Roundabout. 

Marshall Hutt and Colin Barlow have announced with some considerable satisfaction I suspect that they will build such a centre west of the bridge. See Jill Cleave's story in the HH for 28 February. It will primarily be a 24 hour service station on the BP Motorway model. It is of course a major coup for the Hauraki Council, and they will no doubt be cock-a-hoop at the business they have taken away from Thames. Just to rub salt into the wound, provision is made for an information centre.

Years ago when the Kopu Bridge plans became available, it was obvious to Blind Ned that the prize site for a service/information centre was at or adjacent to the roundabout planned for the junction with Ngati Maru Highway. Interminable negotiations ensued with NZTA, Ngati Maru, Destination Coromandel and various other interested parties, but basically what it required was for someone - preferably TCDC, to take the initiative, secure the best site from NZTA and then get on with bringing in the necessary partners. 

At least five years have passed, and there is virtually nothing to show for it. Even with fancy new titles like Economic Development Manager, TCDC proved totally inept and opportunity after opportunity slipped through the fingers. For some reason, and despite all the intent and talent, they were unable to tie down an arrangement that suited everyone. It was obvious once that Lockwood secured the key site that those who controlled the available land adjacent to the Highway had lost patience with fluffing around that had become the hallmark at TCDC. The establishment of 'District' Information Centres has been incorporated into the Annual Plan, but all too late - for Kopu at least. 

Now Marshall Hutt has seized the opportunity - he more than anyone knows the level of incompetence within the walls of the Castle. He has no doubt caused a major inquest as Leach and his cohort begin to realise that they they have let another opportunity slip through their fingers. The fact that it is Leach's good mate and election supporter add fuels to the fire. He will not be a happy camper. But on the other hand, it is on the Western side of the Peninsula, and no one-gives a toss. The futile effort that has gone into walkways and harbour development with their attendant flash consultant reports and fevered rhetoric  has obscured the obvious project at Kopu. 

With the potential loss of Southern Cross and the almost certain progress of Marshall Hutt's project to fruition, one can only wonder at just how deep the malaise, the self satisfaction and hubris that has led us to this point.  Thames has missed out on a magnificent opportunity - the stated intention of Council to establish a 'District" Information Centre at Kopu looks to have been completely stymied, and John Tredidga, aided and abetted by Marshall Hutt will be justifiably pleased at this turn of events.  




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Reader Comments (2)

Bill, I don't think it matters what side of the bridge this development happens - parochialism should not come into this issue. The employees can potentially come from Thames, in the same way many business in Thames employ people who live outside the TCDC area - the same people who spend much of their earnings in Thames. I don't know Marshall Hutt at all, but Im assuming if hes mates with Leach, then he is and will continue to be a ratepayer in the TCDC area. If its a multi national fuel company, then the profit is going elsewhere no matter where its located. Hopefully volume sale at this development will bring the inflated fuel prices down in Thames. I also suspect that many people stopping here will still largely be on their way to rest and stay in the TCDC area, so I really don't see how this development will be any barrier or negative economic impact to the TCDC area. I strongly suspect that if the roundabout was the right and proper location it would have been locked and loaded by one of the fuel companies years ago.

March 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSailing Away

I am not the least concerned about the fuel stop - as you say, it w ill go where commerce demands,
I am far more concerned about the Information Centre - it should be within the TCDC area to promote this District, and it would be ironic if they were now considering re-locating it to the other side of the Bridge. To have two centers within a mile of each other is ludicrous. I guess we just have to see what the reaction is out of the Council.

March 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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