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Kopu Bridge Society Submission

The Kopu Bridge Society Submission goes to Council on 12 March, and it should form the basis of an interesting discussion.

Gary Blake has been an assiduous advocate for the retention of the bridge against a background of indifference, if not outright hostility on NZTA. The attitude of the Council has been clouded by some very diplomatic language in the covering Paper that goes to Council, but Leach has made his feelings perfectly clear in the past. He has stated that he considers any imposition on rate-payers unacceptable, and in particular any arrangement whereby TCDC becomes the ultimate guarantor for the Trust. 

NZTA appear to have made their concerns in this regard quite clear, and will likewise resist any arrangement that would make it liable should the plans of the Trust plans fall over, now or in the future.

I cannot say that I disagree with either position, and if it is followed through by the full Council on Wednesday, I suspect that the Trust will be left in a very difficult position, in spite of its undoubted sincerity, and the huge amount of effort that has gone into proving NZTA's assesment of the state of the structure wrong.

No matter when any of us stand as individuals in this matter, the risks involved with retention, repair and maintenance are just too great to impose on the ratepayers of this District. Hauraki want nothing to do with it, and John Tredidga has apparently indicated the willingness of his Council to sell its interest (half the bridge!) for $1. That I guess says it all.

I will be an interested spectator on Wednesday as our Councillors wrestle with possible political fall-out of opposing the proposal. On the other hand I guess that the 2,500 odd signatures on the retention petition don't really amount to a "hill of beans."

I have the greatest admiration for the effort that has gone into this by Gary and his team, but I just don't like their chances.




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