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Te Puke bridge opens – local kiwifruit growers relieved

Cars and trucks can now safely move again up No.4 Road in Te Puke thanks to the installation of a temporary Bailey bridge.

After the original bridge over Raparapahoe Stream had been washed away in severe weather on January 29, some 30 properties above the washout only had limited access. This caused concern for orchardists on the road with the kiwifruit harvest beginning this month. Now, a temporary Bailey bridge has been built on the 4 road.

Ben Muir and his family have 40 hectares of kiwifruit and stood to lose around $4 million if their fruit was unable to be harvested and transported in time. Muir says the bridge opening is ‘bloody good’.

“We're just a bit relieved. It was a bit of a worrying time in the initial stages of it. Once that bridge was in place a bit of the anxiety had gone.”

Ben’s brother George Muir estimates there is around 200 hectares of kiwifruit across the affected properties that could have resulted in a loss of $15 to $30 million, depending on people’s yields.


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