Protest organiser 'truly happy' with compromise

By John Cousins

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Pilot Bay boardwalk protest organiser Colleen Spiro is "truly happy" with the Tauranga City Council's compromise solution.

"I did not think we would get that much of a compromise," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Mrs Spiro was responding to the council's decision to relocate the planned $500,000 boardwalk so that it ran as close to the side of the road as practical along the widest grassed section - from the toilets to the Salisbury Wharf carpark.

She said the boardwalk was no longer smack in the middle of the main grassy area. "People can continue to enjoy their picnics and watch their children."

Her Facebook page headed "Say No to the Boardwalk" became a major public focus for the campaign against the boardwalk.

Mrs Spiro supported the Mount Maunganui Progressive Association's (MMPA) stance to sort out the restoration of Pilot Bay's eroded foreshore using shipping channel dredgings before addressing the issue of the boardwalk.

Her fall-back position was for the boardwalk to run from the toilets to the boat ramp and to have no boardwalk on the main grassy area.

However, she said she was happy with the outcome of Monday's meeting.

Pilot Bay's foreshore would now be able to be used by everyone including the disabled, mothers pushing prams, walkers and tourists, she said.

MMPA chairman David Burnett said he was as happy as he could be with the result.

It was an improvement on the original plan and maintained the green spaces.

The next step for the council was to go back to the highest tenderer with the changes. The aim was to begin construction as soon as possible. It will be built 100 metres at a time and was expected to take 15 weeks to complete.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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