In April Waikato Regional Council will 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 from Thames to Hamilton through Paeroa and 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. The service will continue to at least 2024.
Since being elected in 2019 Cr 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,.” said Cr Tegg
“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 said.
If given the go-ahead following consultation, 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 1 January 2023.
This would be an interim step while the regional council investigates picking up the rating responsibility for all public transport services and infrastructure region-wide.
Watch out at the beginning of April out for more details of the public transport consultation and how you can have your say.
Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council
027 210 5344