Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English yesterday took a look at some of the major Whangarei road improvements costing $43 million over the past few years.

Retiring Whangarei MP Phil Heatley drove him along the Kamo bypass and they inspected the State Highway 1/Maunu Rd (SH14) intersection on foot.

Mr English was in Whangarei to speak to iwi yesterday morning and he was to address a meeting of business people in the afternoon.

"Because as Finance Minister he financed these roading projects I felt he should look at them," Mr Heatley said.


The Whangarei MP had an update on the city's corridor improvements showing construction of the Selwyn to Fourth Ave section of SH1 will start in October and a contract to design the SH1/Tawera Rd intersection will be awarded next month.

Mr Heatley, 47, will not seek re-election in September after serving five terms in Parliament since his election in 1999.

He said his family was happy in Whangarei and he would be "looking for a job" helping companies involved in his former ministerial roles of fisheries and aquaculture and energy and resources.