By Trevor Amundsen
If you wish to achieve something it makes it easier if you plan to achieve, whatever it is you wish to achieve. Pretty simple really, how can anyone argue with that statement? Well the people that do seem to be drawn to become politicians, because it seems specifically planning anything is woefully lacking.
Our political leaders, both national and regional are not serving us well. They seem to be more focussed on job retention and silly ideology, rather than achieving something that will benefit their communities. There were exceptions to that rule; one is the previous National Government’s Ten Roads of Significance plan where they defined ten roading capital works projects which needed to proceed. As these projects neared completion, the next Ten Roads of Significance were announced. Continuity was offered to the contractors, the people and the next Government.
Unfortunately, this programme ground to a halt when Winston Peters inaugurated the Labour Party to rule the country. That Government immediately closed down the roads of significance programme, possibly due to ideology, possibly due to idiocy, most probably both. This has resulted in the last two terms of the Labour Government producing no major project commencements with the exception of the Manawatu Gorge replacement; which was kicked off by the previous National Government. So where does that leave us?
It leaves us stuck here in a town with million dollar properties serviced by ten cent roads. As I stated in my last Editorial there has been precious little political impact in addressing the Coromandel Ten Cent Road issue and you have to question why. if the destruction of the Roads of Significance programme had remained in place, then despite Government change, our political representatives could focus on having our needs met by inclusion in this programme. Possibly the focus of residents should be on getting that programme re-instated, but that would mean a change of Government. Should I pause for tears? It may also mean that we need a more effective representative; as the incumbent did not achieve much for us, regarding roading, in the nine years when he was a member of the John Key Government.
The roading system in the Coromandel Peninsula is extremely important for health, personal freedom, economic and social reasons - available 100% of the time and in extreme cases, alternatives are made available. The Council should not just sit back and blame the Waka lot for our problems but be planning to upgrade regional roads such as the 309 or Tapu - Coroglen roads so they can provide an alternative route. I understand there are reasons why this cannot be done immediately, but it should be done. This requires a plan, has anyone seen it?
The plan for our roading system is quite simple. We do not need motorways, but we do need a State Highway with berms that enable the growing number of freight trucks and tourists to pull over in comfort and safety. We do not need motorways, but we do need our roads lifted above known flooding spots. We do not need motorways, but we do need lengthy safe passing lanes. We do not need Harbour Bridges, but upgrading the one way bridges to dual way would be nice.
I am quite willing to help our politicians prepare a plan for the roading requirements of the Coromandel. So Len, Scott; come down to Gracie’s (Grace O’Malley’s) sometime with a piece of paper and a crayon and I will detail it for you.