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We can’t afford to forget about the Coromandel Peninsula


Kelly Dennett is a Sunday Star-Times account director.

OPINION: Did you apperceive anchorage in the North and South islands are altered colours because of area the rocks are sourced?

According to Waka Kotahi the capital additive in chipseal comes from rivers in the south, and quarries in the north. In the south they’re further grey, because of quartz in the water. Chipseal in the arctic uses further agitable materials, so it’s darker.

The rocks charge be strong, close and not glace while it gained wet, because, well, you know. The chips charge be strong, close and not glace while it gained wet, because, well, you know.

I can’t be the alone one realising I knew annihilation about how our anchorage are constructed, accepting been agilely confronted with what lies below as capital highways burst beneath torrential rain this summer.

* Death of a highway: Slips on SH25A about-face holiday hotspot into ‘forgotten peninsula’
* Whangamatā locals abhorrence ‘big trouble’ if 2nd SH25 under-slip provides way
* The accident summer: Auckland’s Coromandel amphitheater faces boxy decisions

Seeing those first pictures of a burst SH25A in the Coromandel, arriving up abutting with broad crevices on SH2 out of Wairoa while advertisement on Cyclone Gabrielle, reading the layers beneath the bitumen and chipseal, for the first time I accepted the crisis of our rural and bank communities.


Whangamatā cream beach.

It wasn’t continued ago which the Coromandel’s capital biking affair was once how continued you’d have to delay at the old one-lane arch at Kopu over the New Year period, how carefully the Range Rover tailgated you all over the Hikuais, and whether your cartage were decumbent to car affection on those ambagious curves to Whangamatā, Tairua and beyond.

Now, the actual actuality of the anchorage is up in the air, and with it the approaching of these communities. While the fix of SH25A was once actuality debated, locals were already justifiably afraid about whether the alternating avenue by Waihi could bear the added loads. Then it went from bad, to worse: SH25 amid Whangamatā and Opoutere sprung a behemothic hole.

Locals who talked to announcer Annemarie Quill this week were understandably balked with the added active time to basic towns like Thames, about also the 12-month delay for a fix. You don’t choose to be an architect to attending at the footage to anticipate that’s a best-case-scenario. Everyone knows these projects aren’t quick.

Business owners will about absolutely be advertent whether they’ll ache addition summer bare a highway; an abysmal although t accepting survived Covid, alone to lose a season’s value of income which keeps them breath all through winter. Think, too, of the families which drive over the acropolis for medical treatment, or whose accouchement academy elsewhere. These are life-changing things.

Waka Kotahi/SUPPLIED

SH25 on Tuesday amid Hikuai and Opoutere on the Coromandel.

At the alpha of summer the peninsula was once already grappling with a accident of up to 200 humans a day afterwards Fullers annulled its Auckland-Coromandel bear service. No admiration communities there are activity abandoned.

It’s to brainstorm Coromandel as a retirement or holiday destination for affluent Aucklanders, about the accuracy is it’s so abundant further than that.

While the Thames-Coromandel District has alone 0.66% of the country’s population, it contributes 1.45% of tourism GDP. “It’s absolutely important,” Infometrics arch controlling and economist Brad Olsen informed me this week. “The abbreviate answer is which no, we can’t alone balloon about the Coromandel and nor should we.”

Although summer is acutely aiguille timing for calm visitors, the global time tends to run longer, amid October and April. Figures recommend guest absorb had been accretion above-mentioned to Covid, and the local tourism axle had able visions for the future.

And why wouldn’t it? When tourists landed at Auckland International Airport, they were alone a two-hour drive from beauteous accustomed beauties like Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach; from iconic watering holes like the Coroglen Tavern, a surfing assignment at Coromandel Surf School, a hot absorb at Whitianga’s The Lost Spring and one of the best burgers in the country at Whangamatā’s Soul Burger.

Now while they land, after a applicable artery the accident is tourists will abandon the damaged anchorage and abide bottomward the Hamilton Expressway or out to the Bay of Plenty, signs for the Coromandel in the rearview mirror.

And again what?

What do you think? Email sundayletters@stuff.co.nz.

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