Roads of National Significance – Greenfields to Motorway by stealth – Takapu Motorway
NZTA quietly decided the Petone to Grenada Link Road would become a Road of National Signficance (RoNS). The minute note below shows.
This is very signficant. It means that the road does not have to meet the same cost benefit analysis of other roads, and also gets fast tracked through planning and consent processes and environmental safeguards.
NZTA have suddenly tacked a ‘Takapu Motorway’ (Option D) onto the Petone to Grenada link Road (P2G). The P2G has been discussed since 1975. In contrast the Takapu Valley Motorway was dropped on residents, farmers and landowners a mere 3 weeks ago out of thin air! It exists in no planning or consultation documents publically available! NZTA are giving 6 weeks consultation to fight a motorway from a cold start. Is this how NZ works these days?
By virtue of NZTA quietly adding P2G to the RoNS (somehow they’re saying the P2G road is in the Wellington Northern Corridor [Wgtn Airport to Levin]), and then suddenly tacking a while new ‘blue sky’ Takapu Motorway on at the last minute, you get from green fields to 4 lane motorway with no District Plan, Strategic Traffic Planning, fair public process, or regard for communities.
Amazingly brazzen feat of total disregard for public process and democracy by New Zealand’s largest Government Ministry
Update from the 28 October 2009 State Highways Board Committee meeting
Resolved:That the New Zealand Transport Agency Board:
Wellington Northern Corridor (Levin to Wellington) Route of National Significance: State Highway/local road considerationa.APPROVES that the Petone–Grenada Link be included in the definition of the Levin toWellington Road of National Significance (RoNS);
b.AGREES to keep the Committee report in Committee until it has made a decision on the overall scope of the Levin to Wellington RoNS and the Minister of Transport has announced the Levin to Wellington RoNS
Wellington City Council trying to throw Porirua City & Hutt City Councils under the bus?
MAP DETAILS LAST MINUTE CHANGE OF PLAN TO TRANSMISSION GULLY ROUTE – LOCALS DISCOVER
Takapu Valley residents have uncovered a last minute plan by Wellington City Council and the New Zealand Transport Authority, to ‘throw Porirua City and Hutt City under the bus’ with 11th hour Transmission Gully plan changes that will see the motorway diverted straight through the Takapu Valley community, with minimal time for consultation or appeal.
Takapu Valley residents found out last week that NZTA have plans to build a new motorway through many homes and farms, to link Grenada North to Transmission Gully bypassing traffic around Porirua.
“The Wellington City Council is blindsiding the community, by attempting to take the freight and warehousing industry from Hutt City by stealth with major implications for businesses, industry and livelihoods in the Hutt Valley.” said Richard Brown, spokesperson for concerned Takapu Valley locals.
Takapu residents discovered the 11th hour change of plan when New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) officials apparently accidentally left a map which illustrates the change of plans, while visiting a resident.
Further research has uncovered an unusual agreement signed between the Wellington Mayor and NZTA on 20 Dec 2013, just before Christmas last year, explicitly stating the goal to:
‘Strengthen Wellington’s [City] strategic location as a freight hub by improving the efficiency of freight movements to, through and beyond Wellington.’
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said “This Accord enables us to remain inside the tent for important transport programmes and projects…”, and “…this agreement is a sign Wellington is open for business.”
IMPLICATIONS FOR HUTT CITY COUNCIL
Once the Petone to Grenada North road is finished, by linking Grenada North to Transmission Gully via the proposed Takapu Valley motorway, Wellington City will have the space, location and link to develop Grenada North into the new logistics hub. This sudden new Takapu Valley motorway we’ve discovered is key to making it happen. “It will bleed Hutt City dry of businesses and rates if WCC gets its way with this proposal” said Mr Brown, “I’d be worried if I was the Hutt City Mayor”.
“No wonder there are so many closed door last minute meetings. It’s a sudden last minute move to announce bulldozing of Takapu Valley. This is a killer move by the Wellington Mayor, a total blind-siding of her neighbouring councils,” said Mr Brown.
“The new Grenada to Transmission Gully road (Takapu Valley) has suddenly appeared overnight despite Transmission Gully planning of 20 years; its secretive, it’s weird and looks like it’s extremely rushed to approve it before the election.”
Locals are understandably concerned that a major new road appears in no public planning or strategy documents and is now being rushed through urgently. “They’re restarting their plans that were stopped by commonsense in 1990 by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Helen Hughes; they’re being underhand” said Mr Brown.
“So, what are they really up to?” asked Mr Brown, “It looks like Wellington City Council has done a quick and dirty deal to ram a new motorway through Takapu Valley in order to take Hutt City business and rates. We suspect the transport lobby is behind this as well”.
PORIRUA CITY WON’T FARE MUCH BETTER THAN HUTT CITY
“The suddenly proposed Takapu Valley motorway will cut the Porirua City off from Transmission Gully traffic flow, option D on the secret map clearly shows this. NZTA have said is their preferred option”. “Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett would have to be very concerned; it’s something Porirua Mayors have fought against for at least 20 years.”
WELLINGTON SUPER CITY NEEDED NOW
“It looks like Wellington City Council could be stealing from the Hutt and Porirua Councils, for their own ends. Clearly Wellington Region urgently needs a super city council to put an end to this madness – that’s the only conclusion we can make from the evidence available”
Takapu Valley residents are upset and angry about the lack of consultation with them, the community who will be directly affected by such a change of plan. They’re also angry that they’re being pitted against Tawa Residents who could lose their homes in option C. “We feel for them too”.
1) Map left by NZTA (.pdf file)
2) High resolution photo of Takapu Valley (.jpg file)
3) High resolution mock up photo of Takapu Valley with motorway (.jpg file)
- Takapu Valley, near Tawa, is one of the last remaining close knit rural communities in Wellington City. Some farms go back to the 1800’s and have been in continuous family ownership.
- WCC – NZTA Xmas agreement announcement: (http://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/news/2013/12/wellington-city-and-nzta-to-sign-accord)
- Transmission Gully was planned and consulted over 20 years. Grenada to Transmission Gully (Takapu valley) will have a mere 6 weeks consultation period with an urgent decision timetabled before the general election.
- There is no reference to the new Grenada to Transmission Gully road (Takapu Valley) in any planning document publicly available. Why is such a large roading project invisible to the public and being created suddenly without strategic planning?
- The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) Helen Hughes’ Report into Transmission Gully recommended that Takapu Valley be saved from roading, hence recommending the current Linden/Kenepuru start to TG.
- Following the PCE report, the Greater Wellington Regional Council (WRC at the time) Report further recommended protection from Transmission Gully for Takapu Valley for environmental and social reasons, recommending the current Linden/Kenepuru start to TG.
- The Transmission Gully start was moved to Linden because of these reports, NZTA are now looking to build both, with no recourse to previous reports.