It’s great to celebrate the completion of another section of the Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycleway. This weekend, the latest section, the 1.5km Plummers Point Connection, of the 19km Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycleway will be officially opened.
The cycleway would never have been possible without firstly the vision of former PM John Key, the assistance of volunteers, local landowners and of course central and local government funding.
As well as opening up previously unseen parts of our landscape these shared pathways are just as important in connecting community networks within the Bay of Plenty as our roads. They can provide children with a safer route to get to school and enable commuters who cycle to work to get off our disastrous, dangerously-congested roads.
Good infrastructure is what keeps our country moving. This is something the present Government doesn’t seem to understand. Phil Twyford said at a select committee last month that we have overinvested in roads for too long. It is an incomprehensible and bizarre philosophy and anyone who has been caught in a long queue on any of our highways, as I did this week, will be mightily annoyed at his attitude.
A strong economy relies on productivity and an efficient transport network to keep things moving. It is the strength of the economy that defines whether we have enough money to invest in the services that are important to us – good health, social and education systems and of course transport.
This underground of ill feeling and frustration is what gives rise to the “quiet New Zealander”, which I sense is largely the Tauranga community, too busy working for active protest, but I have confidence our Government politicians will hear you next year.