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West Coast Labour MP Damien O'Connor has been taken to task by his local constituents at the official opening of the new Taramakau road bridge on State Highway 6.
More than 5000 coasters used the opportunity to voice their dissatisfaction at the Government's latest plan to ban any new mining on Department of Conservation land in the region.
Many claim the decision will have a significant impact on the economy of the coast and affect not only coal mining operations, but also the pounamu and lime industries.
Protesters used the opening of the new bridge to make their point.
A parade including more than 300 vehicles from local businesses drove from Greymouth, crossing the old bridge for the last time.
The new $25 million bridge between Greymouth and Kumara Junction will replace New Zealand’s last working road-rail bridge.