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Open Letter To Transport Minister

Na Raihania

The Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport
Parliament Buildings
WELLINGTON


Tena koe Minister

I recently attended a number of community meetings in the East Coast and I would like to report to you some very serious concerns they have regarding the state of their road State Highway 35.

a.. The road is of third-world status.
b.. There are parts of the road where it is virtually impossible to drive at any speed above 10 kms per hour.
c.. There are large tracts of the road that are now, and have been for many years "under repair."
d.. In some cases, where the road has been subject to slips, the repair work consisted of simply sealing the existing slip!
e.. One comment received was "the kids get seasick on our road."
f.. The road from Tokomaru Bay to Ruatorea is like one long judder bar.
g.. The Waipiro Bay road is just shocking.
h.. Travelling from Tikitiki and Te Araroa around the Cape to Opotiki can only be described as extreme and dangerous.
i.. There is a direct economic cost to farmers, employers and consumers which is unfair by comparison.
j.. The road workers are no doubt doing their best and they take a lot of criticism but obviously resourcing is an issue.
There are pressures on many local whanau to travel particularly as there are lots of empty shops on the Coast so road travel is essential to access food and supplies. Additional to that is the enormous wear and tear on vehicles so the impact of poor roading increases for these whanau not to mention that petrol is a very scarce commodity.

This is a serious matter. It is simply not good enough for these people to have to suffer further especially those who are ill, our beneficiary's and our kaumatua. The people of the Tairawhiti have made a huge contribution to this country we have a proud history, it is time to give back to us. Like every small rural community the roads are essential for communication and especially emergency services. Good roads add value to the community.

I understand that the Government is allocating some $36 billion over the next 10 years for roading in New Zealand. Minister, you are invited to come with me, along with the Mayor of Turanga, and the Chair of Te Runanga o Ngati Porou to look at the state of our roads and to hopefully work with us to provide solutions for these valuable communities.

I urge you to take up my offer.

Na Raihania
Candidate, Ikaroa Rawhiti
The Maori Party

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