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Rumblings of Discontent From Hahei

65 local rate-payers attended a meeting at Hahei 5 August to discuss the fraught situation surrounding peak season parking for the many tourists making a bee-line for Cathedral Cove. The Informer reported today that:

"... for the past few years a “makeshift” park-and-ride facility operated in terms of which visitors parked for free (in a paddock) at the entrance to Hahei and then could pay for a shuttle to drop them off at various points in Hahei village, including the Cathedral Cove car park. “

The problem arises from because the majority of the members of the Ratepayers Association appear to favour a ‘free park & ride’ to operate from the new Pa Road 200 car Carpark.  Chair John North is clearly dissatisfied with the proposed plan, and wants answers.

“Brett Harris, a Hahei absentee ratepayer and traffic engineer, peer-reviewed the MWH report (the Traffic Engineering consultancy employed by Council to assess parking requirements) on behalf of the Hahei Ratepayers Association. He said at the meeting that his overall impression was that MWH did a fairly good job, but he expressed concern about the possibility that visitors parking at the Pa Road park-and-ride facility may be charged. “Why would somebody pay to park further away from the beach, when they can park much closer on the street, outside someone’s property, for free?” he asked.”

But this is unlikely to find favour at Council – the entire Walkway plan budget is presaged on the basis of car-parking fees applying at both Pa and Lees Road (500 car) carparks. It simply does not work otherwise, and it would result in all rate-payers being called upon to again further subsidise this Leach inspired tourist attraction. A free Pa Road park (plus ride!) could not be justified while fees apply at Lees Road - no way!

The delays and hiccups to this project appear likely to continue. And they still have not come up with a workable solution to the Purangi Crossing – the suggested boardwalk around the entire estuary which appears the ideal solution would be dependent on Government or Lottery Board funding that appears seriously in question for a number of reasons not the least of which is the failure to make the necessary progress with the current Lottery Board funded project within the stipulated time limits.

The Hahei residents are not the only rate-payers in the mix on this issue, but their views will be causing some concern at the Castle. Bemusement probably characterises the prevailing sentiment amongst the remainder of us.




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