By Scott Simpson National Party MP for Coromandel.
I’m delighted the wait is almost over and State Highway 25A will be reopened by 20 December 2023.
When the road collapsed in late January, it was obvious that our region was in for a very long year of heartache and financial anxiety. Hardships usually bring out the best in people and it’s been heartening to see our communities, especially those on the eastern seaboard, rally around each other and keep their spirits high. No doubt there were numerous sleepless nights worrying if businesses would be able to keep their doors open or how long a round-trip to Thames or Waikato Hospital would take.
The imminent reopening of SH25A is a very welcome early Christmas present for everyone on the Peninsula. It’s certainty that we’re back in business and we can all worry less about how to get from point A to point B.
For NZTA to be ahead of their schedule by three months is great news for the Coromandel, but I can’t help but wonder where we would be if they’d been more proactive in the wake of the road’s closure. It’s no secret that I’ve been critical that it took six months to get the repairs underway. Not only did this delay cause immeasurable hurt to local businesses and make it extremely difficult for people to go about their daily lives, larger events, like the music festival in Whitianga, were also cancelled because organisers couldn’t risk the uncertainty.
Putting that aside, I couldn’t be happier that everyone who resides on the Coromandel and those visiting us over summer will be able to travel around the Peninsula more freely. I must applaud the professionalism and hard work of everyone working on the ground. We were told that reopening the highway by Christmas was not possible, but through their tireless efforts we are on the verge of fully reconnecting our Peninsula. An absolutely fantastic outcome.
Roll on summer and the chance to welcome everyone back for another classic holiday on the Coromandel.
Caption: Scott Simpson National Party MP for Coromandel.