Candidate views

Mayoral candidate Chris Woodhams fired the first salvo in the Waipā local body election campaign last week by saying the district should just get on with funding and building a third bridge over the Waikato River in Cambridge. Mary Anne Gill asked the other three candidates for their views.

Jim Mylchreest

Jim Mylchreest

Common sense would indicate that a third bridge will be required for Cambridge in the not-too-distant future and I anticipate that the current transportation study will confirm this fact.

The challenge will be to identify the best location in relation to overall transport needs of the district and Cambridge in particular.

Once the routes are identified and protected the ultimate challenge will be how to equitably fund its construction and this will require central government assistance.

Susan O’Regan

Susan O’Regan

I’m very strongly in favour of a new bridge. But no mayoral candidate can just promise to borrow money and fast-track it – if only it were that simple. We need to do this the right way in a manner that’s affordable for current and future residents and ratepayers.

There is a process to follow which involves detailed assessments, which are now underway. All elected council members – not just the mayor – must make crucial decisions, and Waka Kotahi absolutely must come to the party to reduce the financial burden on Waipā ratepayers.

This is not just a case of “getting a quote” – there will be multiple options with different opportunities, outcomes and impacts, and very big funding decisions to make. Read more Read more.

Bernard Westerbaan

Bernard Westerbaan

I believe we need a third bridge in Cambridge.

To spend $58 million now is impossible unless there will be big sacrifices made. Costs will increase due to inflation, interest increases and consultants and the final cost could be as high as $100 million.

To allow more borrowing will mean a heavier burden on ratepayers, and with a greying population the burden will be too heavy.

Will any rates increases be done on a band system i.e. Cambridge ratepayers paying more?  Will Te Awamutu and Pirongia be happy to pay a lot more rates to pay for it? To borrow money now to be paid inter-generational i.e. payable by children/grandchildren will put a big financial cost on them later on. What about making it a toll bridge?


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