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Published: 2006-02-07 00:00:00

The Minister of Transport, Hon David Parker, visited the Waikato region on February 2 as part of a fact-finding visit to learn first-hand about the region’s transport needs.

The Minister flew into Hamilton early on February 2, and was met by Waikato regional transport officials, who took him for an aerial view of the issues facing the region.

The flight travelled to look at the Cambridge By-pass, swung over towards the Kaimais to view the Karangahape Gorge, and then headed north towards the Coromandel to look at the Kopu Bridge. The flight then headed towards the Bombay Hills to study the "black spot" area of State Highway 2 near Maramarua, and then proceeded down the State Highway 1 Waikato Expressway. The Minister flew over the city to observe the problem areas facing Hamilton, before landing at Hamilton airport.

The Minister then arrived at Environment Waikato for a private briefing with transport officials and Mayors from the region (which stretches from the Waikato River mouth in the north, down to Lake Taupo in the south).

After his meeting, the Minister held a press conference at 1pm in the Environment Waikato offices.

The Minister will not be making any announcements on funding for the region (which are currently being assessed by the Joint Officials Group) until after Transit releases its draft 10-year forecasts on the national priorities for funding - which is not expected to become available until the middle of February.