Many people have asked if I had seen the Pilot Bay boardwalk. They said it looked fantastic. 

I have been exceptionally busy these past weeks and am embarrassed to admit that I had not seen the very boardwalk that I fought so hard for. Unfortunately, I don't spend enough time at The Mount but this afternoon, I made a point to pay Pilot Bay a visit. 

And isn't the boardwalk just beautiful? It is just as I had imagined, only better. I am so proud to have been a part of the boardwalk's development and I am still unable to appreciate all the arguments against it.  

I sat there and observed people walking along Pilot Bay for 20 minutes. Every single one of them walked along the boardwalk as it wound into and out of the trees along the bay. Not one of them deviated on to the grass. It was excellent and exactly what we had hoped for. 

The population of Tauranga is growing. That is a fact. The number of cruise ship passengers and tourists who bring economic benefits to our city is growing. That is also a fact. Together, these bring a huge increase in pedestrian traffic to the most popular bay in Tauranga causing rapid deterioration of the area. The erosion is obvious and the messy, undulating dirt track evidently growing wider every summer is testament to that. 

The Pilot Bay boardwalk project which is still underway is so much more than just a boardwalk. It also includes extending the green space, strengthening the sea wall by Salisbury Wharf to curb the erosion in addition to better access to the township and the Port. We have also taken the opportunity to upgrade the stormwater system in the area. When everything is done, it's going to look great!

For me personally and for people with disabilities who I represent, the boardwalk offers access for everybody to Pilot Bay. Not only for people with disabilities and in wheelchairs but also the elderly and Mums with pushchairs.  

The expected completion date of the project is October this year, in time for summer and cruise season. I can't wait to see it then.