A Bay of Plenty and Coromandel transport package will create hundreds of jobs and drive economic growth across this fast-growing region, National's transport spokesman Chris Bishop announced when visiting Katikati on Friday with Coromandel MP Scott Simpson.

Bishop announced a suite of local transport projects that he says National will deliver in Government. This includes building the full Tauranga to Katikati Expressway, complete with a bypass at Katikati that will be a priority in the party's first term.

This project will connect the Bay of Plenty and Coromandel with a new world-class, four-lane expressway, replacing one of the most dangerous sections of the roads in the country.

This is great news for Katikati and the district. However, NZ First Leader Winston Peters made a similar promise to build the bypass for Katikati if re-elected at the last election, but there is still no bypass - and one is not likely until 2028.

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National's Transport Spokesman Chris Bishop and Coromandel MP Scott Simpson at the Katikati Advertiser office on Friday, looking at a timeline and plan for the bypass.
National's Transport Spokesman Chris Bishop and Coromandel MP Scott Simpson at the Katikati Advertiser office on Friday, looking at a timeline and plan for the bypass.

Are these simply all too familiar promises from another politician?

The list of casualties who have fought, promised and failed to deliver continues to grow, Katikati Open-Air Art chairman Steve Graveson says.

"I was recently reading through Katikati Advertiser articles from 1985 that were all about the impending bypass, and that was 35 years ago!

"Everything — the town, the population, and the traffic volumes have grown dramatically, but not the bypass. It remains an urban myth."

Katikati town promotions manager Jacqui Knight says unfortunately it is like the boy who cried wolf.

"We so desperately need a bypass but we have been burnt before with pre-election promises. I sincerely hope it is true, but I will believe it when we see it.

"It is a shame we cannot get the bypass approved on its own merit, rather than a promise."

Steve says as a member of an organisation (Open-Air Art) that was established 30 years ago to enhance and prepare the town for "that" bypass, the group - along with like-minded organisations - may have done too good a job.

"I have been on numerous committees that have had great ideas to further enhance and create an even better small town, but those ideas and visions can't meet their full potential until that ribbon of aggravation is removed.

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"Tell me how many towns like ours have a red light in the middle of their main street to allow the community to get from one side to the other?

"It is obvious to me that the elected members in Wellington know we have an issue, but don't want to fix it."

A Katikati bypass timeline put together by a local resident has the first survey carried out in 1925 parallel to the railway, when large concrete markers were put on the properties - Silson (Henry Rd), O'Neil (Busby Rd), Dunlop (Lindemann Rd) and Sygrove (opposite Stokes Rd).