On Saturday 29 April 2017, locals and guests joined together to officially cut the ribbon on the new Pakihi Bridge across Te Waiti stream south of Opotiki township.
The bridge marked a significant investment of around $1 million by Opotiki District Council to improve access for locals living on Pakihi Road and also the growing number of users including the parklands and cycle trails.
"This bridge is part of Council's commitment to ensuring that DOC [Department of Conservation] land is accessible and can be used by locals and visitors alike. We have seen increased traffic on the road, particularly from the many cyclists making the most of our local Mōtū Trails cycleway. There is also some logging of pine further in, and quite a number of local residents. This bridge will service a growing number of people visiting, living and working in the upper parts of the Otara River," Opotiki Mayor, John Forbes said.
The ceremony was attended by the Hon Anne Tolley as local Member of Parliament and also a number of Councillors, representatives from Mōtū Trails, contractors who had worked on the bridge and local residents. A young local who attended the event helped to cut the ribbon.
There was a short powhiri from Whakatōhea's Roger Rakuraku and light refreshments, fortunately under a marquee to save attendees from the odd light shower.