Ngaruawahia has a bypass

If you’ve ever traveled through Ngaruawahia on the way to somewhere else (because, who would want to go to Ngaruawahia?), you will recall the thoughts of self-harm that you had when crawling at 50 km/h for what appeared to be half the length of the North Island.

But soon, no more, reports Fairfax NZ

From early next week, life will change dramatically for the small Waikato town of Ngaruawahia.

Thousands of vehicles that currently bustle down State Highway 1 and through the town will suddenly disappear as the ribbon is cut today on the $200 million Ngaruawahia section of the Waikato Expressway.

The 12.3-kilometre road stretches from Taupiri to Horotiu and will divert a large chunk of state highway traffic to the east of Ngaruawahia.

Of course, those in the know already used the “unofficial bypass” east of Ngaruawahia that would take you past most of the drama of Hamilton as well.

But is this the death of Ngaruawahia?  

Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson said Pokeno was an example of a community which had thrived after losing their state highway lifeline.

“Pokeno has marketed itself successfully using bacon and icecreams and Ngaruawahia will have to find its own niche if it’s to promote itself as a destination,” Mr Sanson said.

“But the opportunities around cultural tourism are immense. It’s the home of the Kingitanga, it’s got the beautiful Waikato River and it has Turangawaewae marae.

“It’s got the bones for exactly why people go to Rotorua for, they just don’t have the smell of flamin’ sulphur.”

Ngaruawahia.  Rotorua without the flamin’ smell.

It amuses me to think it may one day be a destination as opposed to a revenue gathering speed trap and a place to contemplate how life drains away with little meaning…


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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