One reason why there will continue to be talk but no action by NZTA (NZ Transport Agency) on SH2 between Tauranga and Katikati is that the route goes across the grain of the country. Between Bethlehem and Omokoroa it crosses at least 12 streams or swampy gullies, and there are 12 more to reach Katikati. So building roads to modern specifications will involve nasty geotech problems and will be extremely expensive.
In recent years the only significant projects that NZTA has completed are the Te Puna roundabout and reconstruction of the passing lane north of Wainui South Rd, low hanging fruit without major geotech problems. But any talk of completing four lanes to Katikati is just wishful thinking, with no hope of realisation in the next decade, if ever. The only project giving early benefits to through traffic and to locals is the Katikati bypass, of enormous importance to our community, and with social and environmental benefits that are outside the thinking of the traffic engineers of NZTA. ALAN GOODYEAR