Now it’s Kaeo’s turn . . .

The Northland Age - - Front Page -

It takes some­thing spe­cial to get the av­er­age politi­cian out of bed be­fore day­light. And the first step in build­ing a two-lane bridge on SH10 at Ka¯eo was def­i­nitely spe­cial enough.

Pos­si­bly the big­gest con­gre­ga­tion of MPs in North­land since the 2015 by-elec­tion as­sem­bled in the pre-dawn mist, four years af­ter the then Na­tional-led gov­ern­ment promised to re­place 10 one-lane bridges in the elec­torate, in­clud­ing the one at Ka¯eo.

The bless­ing was at­tended by Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Shane Jones, fel­low Cabi­net Min­is­ter and Te Tai Tok­erau MP Kelvin Davis, and six Na­tional MPs, led by North­land’s Matt King.

About 40 peo­ple gath­ered in the dark by the road­side as Ratana a¯po­toro Archie Wai­hora More blessed the site, then ad­journed to the nearby Ka¯eo Rugby Club for speeches and jibes about who should take credit for the new bridge, Mr Jones warn­ing the NZTA of­fi­cials not to make Ka¯eo’s flood­ing any worse, and not to mess with the po­hutukawa next to the bridge.

The new struc­ture, es­ti­mated to cost $16 mil­lion, is likely to be built slightly south of the ex­ist­ing one, with a round­about at the eastern end.

PIC­TURE / PETER DE GRAAF

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Shane Jones (se­cond right) speak­ing at the bless­ing of the Whangaroa Bridge site.

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