Protesters marched across the Wairoa Bridge on State Highway 2 outside Tauranga this afternoon.

"What do we want? Fix the road. When do we want it? Now!" was being chanted as people marched across the bridge.

The protesters blocked the highway at the Wairoa Bridge to protest Government inaction and decision-making delays about the transport corridor between Bethlehem and Waihī.

Read more: Road safety protesters to block SH2 north of Tauranga today
Fiery fatal crash on SH2 brings back horrific memories for witness
Delays in moving ahead with major safety measures on SH2 described as 'disgrace'
Person killed in fireball crash on deadly SH2 near Tauranga

Advertisement

A reporter at the scene said a few hundred people gathered at Wairoa Bridge Reserve before starting the march at 3pm.

Before the march, Andrew Hollis said protesters felt they were being ignored.

"We are here to protest to get the road fixed.

Protesters gather by the Wairoa Bridge outside Tauranga. Photo / George Novak
Protesters gather by the Wairoa Bridge outside Tauranga. Photo / George Novak

"We spent a lot of time getting councils aligned. We are not getting listened to by the government. We have been ignored."

He did not expect this many people to have gathered at the protest today.

"It just shows there are a lot of agitated people."

Hollis hoped today's protest would encourage the government to talk to them.

He said the last week of deaths had been horrific.

"It is a horrific toll."

"We have had enough. It is tragic."

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, left, and National Leader/Tauranga MP Simon Bridges at the protest. Photo / George Novak
Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, left, and National Leader/Tauranga MP Simon Bridges at the protest. Photo / George Novak

A karakia was given to end the protest. Only a few dozen cars were stopped heading towards tauranga as the protestors March across the closed bridge

There was a moment of silence to remember those who have lost their loved ones on the road, with those people encouraged to stand at the front of the march.

One of those was Morgan Obern, who lost his granddad John Obern on the road last year.

He was carrying his grandfather's ashes with him at today's protest.

Obern said his granddad and grandmother were travelling towards Katikati when they crashed.

"There was some gravel on the road and the car just slid and crashed."

Obern, 19, said his granddad was in hospital for five days before he died on Christmas Eve, 2017.

Morgan Obern, 19, carries the ashes of his grandfather, who died earlier on the same road. Photo / George Novak
Morgan Obern, 19, carries the ashes of his grandfather, who died earlier on the same road. Photo / George Novak

He said he felt sad every time he drove past the section of road where his granddad died.

"But still nothing has changed."

Obern urged the government to fix the road.

"Stop letting people die like this for no reason."

Three generations of the Obern family were protesting today.

Protesting with Obern was his grandmother Diana Obern, 79, and his mother Debbie Obern.

"We don't want any more lives suffering like we have suffered.

"Our roads can be fixed. We cannot fix the people we have lost back into our lives."

Debbie Obern said her son's granddad's death was one of three fatal crashes in one week.

"We have had enough. It is tragic.

"Something needs to be done."

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, National leader/Tauranga MP Simon Bridges and Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber were at the march.

Muller said he was there to support the local Te Puna and Ōmokoroa communities.

"I have lived in this community for over 40 years and for a decent chunk of that, this road was considered a priority.

"We got to the point construction was started, now the road has been kicked to the Nevernever Lands.

"The frustration of the community is palpable so it was appropriate to be here and walk shoulder to shoulder with them."

He said he walked alongside people who had never protested before but who had come out in force to support the march.

A public meeting was being held in Ōmokoroa at 4.30pm.