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Rodney: Infrastructure Issues, Visit to Wellington

Infrastructure Issues Prompt Visit to Wellington

A flying visit to Wellington by Mayor John Law and Councillor Bill Smith has left central government politicians and officers under no illusion that the Silverdale North Development and its associated infrastructure are crucial to Rodney’s economic development.

And the pair got a receptive hearing, according to the mayor.

John Law told the Rodney Times that he and Councillor Smith took a bi-partisan approach to their visit. “This is such an important issue for our district that we insisted on seeing representatives from both major parties.”

In a busy afternoon of meetings, they met with the principal advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition Don Brash, and several senior shadow cabinet ministers.

Mr Law says the message to all of them was the same, and it was clear…

“What we needed them to know was the negative impact delaying major infrastructural projects such as Penlink, the Bankside motorway ramps, and the proposed extension to East Coast Bays Road would have on the development of Silverdale North and Rodney in general,” says Mr Law.

“The news that none of these projects appears in Transit’s 10-year programme was devastating for our district. It could cost us billions of dollars in development and thousands of future jobs.”

Despite the strength and seriousness of the message, John Law is at pains to point out that the meetings were not confrontational. In fact, as Councillor Smith adds, they were positive and progressive.

“We discussed the Transit programme in detail and also looked at how we could work collectively to resolve the situation, including various additional options to get these projects on track.

“Some of those options, such as entering into a Private Public Partnership (PPP) as an alternative funding source resulted in a great deal of discussion and is certainly now under intense scrutiny,” says Councillor Smith.

Although no definite decisions were made during the meetings, all parties agreed that answers were needed urgently. A meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister was planned, while Dr Brash and senior National Party MPs would be visiting Rodney shortly.

“It was a positive outcome that reinforces some frameworks already in place and give added impetus to others,” says Councillor Smith.

ENDS

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