Full house expected for Manawatu Gorge meeting

By Christine McKay

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Tracey Collis, mayor, Tararua District Council - Announcements onsite by NZ Transport Agency and Simon Bridges, Minister of Transport, re the future of the Manawatu Gorge, the SH3 link from Hawke's Ba
Tracey Collis, mayor, Tararua District Council - Announcements onsite by NZ Transport Agency and Simon Bridges, Minister of Transport, re the future of the Manawatu Gorge, the SH3 link from Hawke's Ba

There's expected to be a huge turnout to a meeting in Woodville tomorrow night regarding the state and future of State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge.

New Zealand Transport Agency staff will front up to answer questions from the community regarding the future of the vital link between east and west which has been closed since April 24.

Read more: Manawatu Gorge remains closed

Woodville's Bill Blyth, a former Tararua District mayor, will chair the meeting which is expected to draw a large crowd from throughout the district.

"Yes, I'm expecting a big meeting because there is a lot of interest and we're expecting NZTA staff will give an update on the site at Kerry's Wall which has been moving quite fast," Tracey Collis, Tararua District mayor, said.

Mrs Collis said she expects there will have been more movement at the cliff face after last week's heavy rainfall.

"NZTA will also talk about the work under way on the Saddle Rd and I'm expecting quite a bit of discussion on the options for State Highway 3 through the gorge, medium and in the longer term."

Mrs Collis said NZTA also wanted to hear from the local community and discuss where to from here.

"There will also be discussions on how can we all work together," she said.

However, Mrs Collis conceded there may not be time to answer everyone's questions and she's encouraging people to forward their questions to her for discussion after the meeting.

And the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce is asking members affected by the closure to email them with details of any current implications for their business.

"The closure means there could be major consequences to the region's long-term economic growth, through increased time, labour and other costs," chair Susan Berry said.

"By documenting the concerns and difficulties of our chamber members we will provide a strong voice for businesses and the community of the Tararua region. Ultimately, we are seeking urgent consultation for a long-term solution."

* You can email sueberry@xtra.co.nz with any implications for your business.
* The public meeting in Woodville begins at 7pm in the Woodville Sports Stadium.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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