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John Tregidga To Stand Again

It is no surprise that JT has decided to throw his hat in the ring once again. He is a popular and uniting figure in the Hauraki area who has little in common with our Mayor, and even less time for him. He is unlikely to be challenged.

But he cannot get away with some of the reasons that he has stated have inspired him to have another go. For one thing, the Hauraki Rail Trail has been nothing short of a disaster - nothing to do with the concept, simply the incompetent people that have been chosen over the years to run it - mainly at John's instigation. He, and others responsible have simply not understood the commercial imperatives required to make this business (and that is what it is) work effectively.

The fact that it appears that (we have no way of knowing for sure) Audit New Zealand recommendations have not been followed - in fact we are yet to see last years Trust  and Audit Reports. Heaven knows what the current state of the accounts is.

People have rotated on and off the Trust Board like on a merry-go-round - I suspect 'off' after they have been able to gauge the state of affairs, and some of the apparently intractable problems it has faced. In addition, their is a noticeable suspicion of malfeasance that has not been calmed by any of the reports that have become available.

John has to take a great deal of responsibility for this state of affairs as the lead agent in getting the project up and running. I would bet my bottom dollar that he would prefer at this stage that it simply went from Paeroa to Waihi so as avoid all the problems he has had with the two extensions to Te Aroha, and to Thames, now to Kaiaua.

Its future seems to rely very heavily on being able to attract riders onto the Kaiaua end and ensure that the ride over the stopbanks is sufficiently attractive for this purpose.  Forgive me if I remain a skeptic -  I am unconvinced that adequate research has been done into the maintenance requirements of those stopbanks, and the effect that this  will have on the ability to continue to attract riders.

For all that, Johns major success with his "food hub" at Kerepehi should not be underestimated - it is a real success story to date, and looks like it will provide high paying jobs well into the future. It has made our efforts look puny, or ill-directed by comparison.

However, his enthusiasm for the aquaculture industry in the Gulf should be tempered - he has always taken the most optimistic view, and one suspects that the sudden release of the CMFZ tender may reflect electoral interest rather than reality. Let us just wait and see on that one.

John has clearly taken a lead role in the Settlement process (along with Leach it must be said), and hopefully we will get to see the content of the documents before too long.

All I can say is to wish him good luck for another term, and to hope that he can get the HRT sorted, sooner rather than later.




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