Te Puke meeting ‘positive’

The meeting took place at Te Puke's Memorial Hall. File Photo.

Friday's public meeting in Te Puke on the single-laning issue saw around 100 people turn out to voice their concerns.

Giftrapt Te Puke owner Marge Martelletti was among those present, and says people weren't overly thrilled.

“But I think the councillors heard what people had to say, and that's positive,” she says.

“I think they'll have to have a look at it now.”

She's not sure what the next step will be – another such meeting isn't planned at this stage.

“We'll have to wait and see what happens at the next council meeting.”

As well as residents and retailers, four local councillors were also present to hear the arguments from both sides.

Kevin Marsh, who has always been against the single-laning, says last Friday's public meeting was very well supported with very little prior publicity.

“It was obvious how the meeting attendees felt with many speakers sharing very personal experiences, and some horror moments negotiating traffic either as a pedestrian or driver. There were many valuable suggestions for improvement, which I am sure Deputy CEO Gary Allis, who attended the meeting, will consider.

“But overwhelmingly with a show of hands almost everyone wanted the work to stop now, the two lanes reinstated, and the lost car parks replaced.”

John Scrimgeour says the council has known for some time there are some upset people, and hopes a considered response will be undertaken.

“I am concerned about a kneejerk response of turning things back to the way they were. But I think the current plan does need refining.”

He says while it won't please a lot of people, the current plan to have a full review in April and decide how best to operate from there is the right course of action.

“I still think it was a poor decision in the beginning to convert two lanes into one, but given how far down the track we are, I think this is the appropriate course of action.”

Mike Lally says he went to listen, and found there were more against than for the single-laning.

“But the arguments put up weren't convincing for me. They talked about safety issues, but having had a business right on the pedestrian crossing, I've seen many accidents, and the bugbear was the two lanes.”

He believes business owners aren't just suffering from the redesign of the road layout.

“The other issue, and it's important, is that the bypass has affected retailers,” he says.

“Te Puke needs a nice ambience, it must be safe, and business people need to start doing promotions. Bayfair and Papamoa Plaza have no sympathy for Te Puke; they just want their shoppers.”

Grant Dally says he was involved with the original decision making process that lead to the redevelopment of the road.

“At the meeting I just explained how we arrived at the decision and consultation we went through. In terms of the overall outcome, I think about 95 per cent of people there were supportive of reinstating the double lanes.

“However I have heard from a lot of other people, both retailers and members of the public, saying they like it and would like to see it finished and given a chance before reverting it back.”

1 Comment


Posted on 10-01-2017 18:59 | By Accountable

The opinions of those people who took the time to attend this meeting must take precedent over the phantom opinions supposedly given to Councillor Grant Dally. Anybody can say anything behind close doors but to actually say what you believe in public is absolute proof of what the people want and the Council must act on the majority of opinion. Usually this type of opinion is from personal experience which is very difficult to ignore.

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