Te Puke residents up in arms over single-laning, parking, and other issues affecting their town will have the chance to have their say at a public meeting this Friday.
The meeting will be held at 7pm in the Te Puke Memorial Hall, and follows the council meeting last month that saw a large contingent of Te Puke residents turn up to voice their concerns.
A mix of local business owners and residents used the public forum to express their dissatisfaction with the way the town's main thoroughfare has been redesigned.
Several people turned up to the Te Puke council offices instead, thereby missing the meeting at Barkes Corner.
Giftrapt Te Puke owner Marge Martelletti says the Friday meeting is partly a chance for those people to have their say.
“There's also talk that the next stage of the road redevelopment is going to start on January 9, so we thought it was probably a good idea to get together.”
Of the elected members of the Western Bay of Plenty District Council, only Kevin Marsh has thus far confirmed his attendance. But it is hoped as many of them turn up as possible.
For Marge, the most important thing is the chance for Te Puke people to be heard properly. She can see both sides of the argument, but believes improvements need to be made regardless.
“I've had so many people in my shop talking about their dissatisfaction. I think the saddest thing is people saying they're just going to go to Papamoa now.
“Te Puke has always been a great service town. The shopkeepers have done their best to keep up, and it would be sad if people just gave up on us.”
There have been a number of additional factors, such as the eastern link, PSA, and the dairy downturn, which have also impacted on the township recently. But Marge and many others believe the single-laning project has not been a help. Not only has if affected their businesses, but there are also the safety issues many have raised. She says several people have told her of near-misses at the new roundabout – something that was raised at the council meeting last month as well.
This Friday's meeting will be run in an orderly fashion, with a chairman, giving everyone the chance to be heard fairly and equally.
“The floor will be available for people to speak, and Kevin Marsh will give information about where we're at with council.”
For more information contact Marge on 573 7967, or email firstname.lastname@example.org