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Vale Historic Kopu Bridge

The NZ Transport Authority has finally pulled the plug on the Historic Kopu Bridge (as self-described by the Trust), and let it be known that they are proceeding with the resource consent documents for the demolition. This was indicated in a presser fromTCDC today. Next will come the tender documents.

The futile if praiseworthy efforts of the Trust - mainly driven by Gary Blake, with the support of a few stalwarts have come to nothing. There is no way they could meet the requirements laid down by Council at the October 2014 meeting :

1. Supports the retention of the Historic Kopu Bridge in principle conditional upon the following measures being achieved to remove all risk of future cost to the ratepayer:

  • A long term transferable resource consent for future demolition being successfully achieved by NZTA;
  • Certainty of operation, maintenance, and financial self-sustainability by an external management entity and;
  • Certainty of the adequacy of future demolition funding received from NZTA.

2. If the Bridge is demolished Council will oppose any partial demolition proposals that retain only part sections of the bridge structure.

3. That if the Bridge is demolished the swing arm be located on land at a site agreed on by Thames-Coromandel District Council and Hauraki District Council, and at NZTA cost.

These were reasonable conditions, but far too onerous for the Trust to ever meet. It is clear that their tactics have centred entirely on gleaning public support to put pressure on the Council, but that was always bound to fail. The public support faded when people realised that the cost would eventually come right back on to rate-payers.

I have huge respect for the promoters, but frankly, Gary was out of his depth, and simply caused the eventual demolition to be delayed by a year or two. The sooner the job is completed now the better. Mayor Leach seems to think so too, and makes all the right noises while suggesting that if the conditions cannot be met that the resource consent process would be under way by the end of the year.

That should be the end of it.



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