Feedback sought on Coromandel transport services

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Waikato Regional Council is planning to seek public feedback on possible new public transport services in Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki districts.

The consultation document will outline possible new services which might include linking Thames with Coromandel, Tairua, Whangamata, Ngatea, Paeroa and Waihi, and a connection to Hamilton through Te Aroha. No decisions have been made.

Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council Cr Denis Tegg was the instigator of the highly successful Thames “Connector” small bus service in the township.

Since being elected in 2019, Tegg has actively engaged with local communities and outlined numerous options to community boards and councils for possible new public transport services in these communities.

“Communities in Thames-Coromandel, and Hauraki are crying out for better public transport, and the pressing need to reduce emissions means we can’t afford to put off changes that can be fast-tracked,” says Tegg in a statement released this week.

“This proposal going out for consultation doesn’t just make transport funding more efficient and accessible to more people including the aged and those with disabilities, it gives us the flexibility to deliver better services too.”

Waikato Regional Council will also seek public feedback on a proposal to pick up responsibility for rating for public transport services in the Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki and Matamata-Piako districts.

Currently, Waikato Regional Council only rates Hamilton ratepayers for public transport services.

In Thames Coromandel Hauraki and other districts the local council is responsible for rating and passing funds through to the regional council.

“This funding arrangement is very slow and cumbersome and makes it harder to provide equitable and regionally consistent service levels,” Tegg.

If given the go-ahead following consultation n April, the rating for existing and any new public transport services in Thames-Coromandel, Hauraki and Matamata-Piako districts would be collected by the regional council rather than by district councils starting from January 1, 2023.

Tegg says this will be an interim step while the Regional Council investigates picking up the rating responsibility for all public transport services and infrastructure region-wide.


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