Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer, said that the government’s announcement that it would be funding the build of Ōpōtiki’s new harbour entrance, was the best reason to “close the road and celebrate this milestone together as a community”.
On 28 February, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced it would be investing $79.4 million into the build, adding to the $20 million previously pledged by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council under its Regional Infrastructure Fund. Together, this funding is the green light for the long-planned build of twin seawalls which will allow year-round, all-tide access to the town.
Lyn Riesterer said that there were so many people and agencies to thank and acknowledge for 20 years of work, that she was worried she’d miss someone if she tried.
“But I know for certain that the biggest thanks needs to go to the community as a whole. They have been behind us all the way for so many years. This project has provided a vision for us to build a future that turns our negative statistics around. And the local people and local businesses have kept backing up our efforts to do this and it has finally paid off.
“So we are taking a moment to celebrate with some live music, food, games for the kids, a few speeches and some well-deserved congratulations.
“This moment is important to stop, reflect, acknowledge and celebrate. Because from here there is some hard mahi to make sure this project hits all the right notes – it employs local people, it provides pathways and training opportunities and we benefit from this entrance in every way possible,” Ms Riesterer said.
The street party will include music from Sons of Zion and local performers. There will be food trucks and children’s activities available like face painting and rides so bring some cash for food and activities, and a blanket to sit on to listen to the live music.
- Saturday 14 March 2020