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Local delegation show Genter government money well spent

Julie Anne Genter, Thomas Nash from Greater Wellington Regional Council, middle, Greg Lang and Celia Wade-Brown, right, on the Taureherenikau riverbank. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

KAREN COLTMAN
[email protected]

Carterton Mayor Greg Lang cycled to meet Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter under the Tauherenikau Bridge on Saturday.

The minister previously announced $1 million funding for the Five Towns Trail, which was to be used for building a 150-metre-long, 17m high suspension bridge at the bridge on State Highway 2.

The allocation was part of a $220m nationwide cycleways package.

As the chairman of the Wairarapa Trails Advisory Group, Lang wanted to show the minister exactly where the money was going.

“I cycled out to the site to meet the minister who also met with members of the Greytown Trails Trust who have been instrumental in this project,” Lang said.

“This meant she got to see first-hand where the funding from her office was going.

“We’re really pleased the funding for this project was granted last month, as the construction of the bridge will create 28 jobs – something which is extremely beneficial for our region post-lockdown.

“We’re excited for the construction to begin, which will be in the next six to 12 months.”

The project is part of a collaboration among the trail group, Greytown Trails Trust, the three Wairarapa councils and Trust House to create the trails network linking the five Wairarapa towns.

Construction is expected to start within the next six months to a year, once resource consents have been approved.

Green Party member Genter owns several bikes but brought her Brompton folding bike to Wairarapa and rode it with Wairarapa Green candidate Celia Wade-Brown out to Woodside station to catch the train back to her home in Wellington.

“If we can get the roads safer with a bridge like this, then more people will get on their bikes I believe,” Genter said.

“I want cycleways to be safe for the young and old.”

Her comment to Wairarapa businesses during uncertain covid-19 alert times was, “support each other, buy local and it won’t be much longer until we are out of Level 2.

“If we hold tight, we will beat it and I am very confident Wairarapa will bounce back.”

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