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Onehunga ceded to the NZTA

We’ve long been concerned about the East-West Link, from the when it was suddenly catapulted out of nowhere from not even being on long term plans straight to being one of the city’s top transport priorities, to effectively becoming one of the governments Roads of National Significance.

From its increasingly eye-watering cost that has ballooned from around $600 million just a few years ago to over $1.8 billion, more than the cost of the Waterview tunnels and without a skerrick of concern from the media, to the fact cheaper and effective options stack up even when compared against those original construction costs.

And of course from when it was planned to plough through houses in Mangere severing communities, to filling in large swathes of the Mangere Inlet, severing pleasant access to the water – unless you like having an expressway next to you – and impacting on future development in and around Onehunga.

And that last point is important Onehunga is an area where Panuku Development Auckland – the city’s urban redevelopment agency who have had huge success with Wynyard Quarter – had picked as one of their key areas to focus on saying:

Onehunga’s strategic location on the edge of the Manukau Harbour, 10km from both Auckland’s CBD and Auckland Airport, makes it ideal to prioritise as a development location.

Panuku Development Auckland will use its land holdings in the area, including the Onehunga Port in the future, to enable developers to build high quality, mixed styles of housing close to the town centre, public transport and the water’s edge.

We’ve raised the issue of the East-West Link and its impacts on development in many posts in the past and now it finally seems to confirmed with the Herald reporting on Friday:

A plan is being drawn up to sell land earmarked for a waterfront development on the shores of the Manukau Harbour for a new motorway.

Political sources have told the Herald that council bosses have dumped a plan for Panuku Development Auckland to buy the Port of Onehunga wharf to develop along the lines of Wynyard Quarter.

Instead, the land will be sold to the Transport Agency for a new $1.8 billion east-west motorway between Onehunga and Mt Wellington. When the agency has used land it needs, it will sell the remainder to Panuku for development.

….

“It’s going to make life easier for the transport agency, which is good for them, but not good for Auckland,” said one source about plans for a waterfront village, apartments and commercial uses at the wharf.

Another source said the deal will “shaft the good folk of Onehunga”.

The plans we’ve seen to date show the impact on the Onehunga port site is significant. It will effectively be an island, cut off from the rest of the area and difficult to access. Furthermore, having trucks and cars thundering along at speed is simply not conducive with trying come up with trying to develop the area into a people friendly space.

East-West - Onehunga-Neilson St

Here’s an image of what the design could look like, also showing significant impact on the Hophua Tuff Ring and areas north of SH2o.

East-West - Neilson St Interchange Recomended Option

It’s crazy that in 2016, given all the knowledge that society has gained in recent decades, that we’re still even contemplating building such a massive road along the foreshore like the NZTA are.

The Herald carries on, quoting Jim Jackson of The Onehunga Enhancement Society (TOES):

Jackson said the port was the key to unlocking the Manukau Harbour and it had to be done properly. The fishing industry was interested in taking the area over and Panuku wanted to cover it in apartments, he said.

About $1.8b was about to be spent on the east-west link and no-one knew how it was going to connect into Onehunga. The transport agency had consent for a $25m pedestrian bridge and no idea how to connect it into Onehunga, plus there were environmental sediment issues, he said.

Panuku did not have the management skills to oversee development of the port area, said Jackson, who said he had only just been informed of the plan by transport agency highways boss Tommy Parker.

Wait, so the people behind the internationally award winning redevelopment of the Wynyard Quarter have no clue about redeveloping a port area? TOES were key in pushing for the great new foreshore redevelopment on the western side of Onehunga which they pushed as mitigation for the motorway being built through the area decades ago. Unfortunately, the experience seems to have affected them as they have been supporters of the East-West project in the hope getting more mitigation out of it to fix the trashing of the inlet in the past. Pushing for a motorway just so you can fix environmental issues is a completely backwards approach.

Onehunga Foreshore Development

The new Onehunga Foreshore

And TOES solution for the East-West is even crazier than the NZTA’s, calling for an even bigger road complete with tunnels and new bridges across the harbour.

East-West Business Assciation proposal

Given everything it almost feels like it would be more honest if we just went for the Dutch solution, close the inlet off completely and pump it out and create 5.8km² of developable land. Note: I’m not actually saying this should happen.

Of course all of this new roading development is at a time when many people and officials believe two transformational changes could revolutionise transport in the next few decades.

  1. Dynamic road pricing that can be used to ensure existing roads stay clear and likely avoiding the need to build many of the big roading projects currently on the plans. What’s more some of the biggest proponents of road pricing in NZ are the business and infrastructure lobby groups who have been key in pushing the East-West Link.
  2. Driverless vehicles are likely to be adopted by the freight industry faster than other areas involving transport and if the hype is correct, will remove many of the barriers and costs associated with moving goods thanks in part to being more efficient. That could render investments like pointless.

At what point to we stop ceding the city to the whims of the NZTA?

77 comments to Onehunga ceded to the NZTA

  • Alex

    How can the environmental court approve this project? Its impact on the inlet will be massive and the cost/benefit ratio alone makes this project not worth the hassle.

    • Nicholas O'Kane

      It doesn’t have to. The government can put the project before a Board of Inquiry which will consider everything and give it full resource consent, which can only be appealed on points of law. The Boards of Inquiry are government appointed but made up of independent judges. Usually they rubber stamp the NZTAs decisions but they did reject the Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/07/23/basin-bridge-bowled/

      • Elena

        To be fair, the Board of Inquiry decisions have NOT rubber-stamped these projects in my view. They have often required quite massive mitigation – however, they are not, by law, allowed to ask “does this project make sense”, only “does this project have enough mitigation to balance its impacts”. The best bet of the opponents would be to show how substantial those impacts are, and then have the NZTA and government balk when this raises the price tag by another billion.

        Or they might just pay that, too, from our taxes, of course.

    • mfwic

      Isn’t this ‘foreshore’ all old rubbish dump? Having a road might improve the water quality here.

      • Elena

        Oh yeah, the “whitewash” argument. As if a new road didn’t cause pollution. If there’s a case for cleaning up the pollution (toxic waste from factories) that got dumped in the Manukau, then that rationale isn’t improved by capping the whole with a fossil fuel highway.

  • Gster

    And this is why Auckland is known as a beautiful city ruined by motorways

  • RHarris

    I really liked this idea by Panuku of creating another destination like Wynyard on the Manukau Harbour. The harbour has been sadly forgotten. This is a poor outcome allround. The costs of that link are getting astronomical.

    On a brighter note perhaps Panuku can now upscale Henderson to “transform” 🙂 . The CRL link from Henderson to Otahuhu will mean Henderson should get a proper transport centre built.

  • nonsense

    Follow the money.

  • Ari

    TOES is Jim and no one else and his company sits right next to the Onehunga interchange. He has no more legitimacy than any residents association. *edit* I suppose I mean relevancy rather than legitimacy.

  • curiouskiwicat

    Which elected officials are responsible for all this? Should we be pushing the newly elected Auckland Council to cut the East-West link or is this all driven from Wellington?

    • The project has now been taken over by the NZTA and bring driven by them so unlikely outcome is local elections will be about to have any impact, regardless if council views

    • Waspman

      Apart from being cheer leaders our elected officials in central government have no say in this anyway. They are silly decoration on a very undemocratic council Christmas tree.

      And most definitely yes, follow the money. It stinks to high heaven that someone/s are going to make a shitload out of this environmental 1950’s vandalism on the taxpayers and ratepayers. National love their motorways, and I wonder why that is!

    • Waspman

      Without any doubt the easiest way to connect the ports is by rail, very very easy. A direct link from the eastern line across Southdown and along the back of the metro port, virtually all flat or very gentle grades. Well over half the network is already there.

      I do realise there will not be the bonanza of taxpayer cash by building motorways and having one truck per container x 1000’s clogging the roads, rewarding donors, cashing up insiders, etc, etc but we really should be better than that kind of corrupt thinking as a country.

      • Bigted

        So is it better to distribute those 1000s of containers from POA and Wiri or all from Onehunga, the latter is what you appear to be suggesting. Do you agree with fixing the road rail links at Onehunga or not as if there are 1000s more containers at Onehunga that means 1000s more truck there too. Do you know that metro port is a POT facility and the POA facility is at Wiri?

  • As someone who enjoys driving and appreciates new roading infrastructure (if needed) even I can’t get my head around this. If they want a link to the inland container ports from the motorway then why not just add an on ramp and off ramp to connect to the new road they propose along the foreshore? Why this maze of different access points? It’s Spaghetti Junction Lite – maybe we should call it Noodle Junction because someone in the design team clearly isn’t using theirs.

    Also: “the land will be sold to the Transport Agency for a new east-west motorway between Onehunga and Mt Wellington. When the agency has used land it needs, it will sell the remainder [back] to Panuku for development.”

    I hope if we’re selling it at (say) 2017 prices that we then buy it back at 2017 prices, otherwise we’re gonna lose on the deal.

    • sausagechops

      Unless of course the thrust of this post is correct and the future price of the excess land being disposed of will be less than the current price due to the dis-amenity of the new road?

      Given that, would Panuku still be interested post E-W link?

      Also, all of this is to service existing industrial uses. On the isthmus. Near a waterfront.

      Its almost as if land hungry land uses are immutable and would never ever be displaced by ‘higher and better uses’ outbidding it, and that improvements to accessibility* would not in and of themselves be a catalyst for such transition.

      *Perhaps this roads location and design is deliberate, and is part of a clever plan to counter such potential land use impacts by way of inducing a massive loss of visual and natural amenity such that the net amenity gain for residential/commercial is minimal?

    • Hell no. Buy it back once NZTA have rendered it completely worthless by severing it with their place-ruining motorway. Though what on earth for….?

      This whole process is and has been appalling.

      The record shows the minister, Brownlee, demanded this project, which began simply as a way to improve roads particularly for local freight traffic, connect SH 1 and 20 with a new road. No record of any advice from NZTA on the virtues or otherwise of this. Again this looks like transport design by ministerial whim [see Joyce and Holiday Highway] with neither NZTA , nor MoT, nor Treasury offering any kind counter balance. Brown ee also deleted the busway from SH16, but again we have no idea how hard, if at all, NZTA advocated for that. Though note they did successfully push for the Northern Busway extension to be part of motorway expansion at the SH1 +18 interchange under Bridges.

      Local politicians, especially Krum, have just been boosters for East West making various vague noises about ‘better design’ though without any indication that better would mean less severing. Local input has been captured by business owner Jackson, who just wants a bigger project [see above] while also expressing ‘concern’ about severance without, apparently, any sense of the inherent contradiction in that.

  • Cargill_Street

    I assume this project will go before the EPA. It would be another pie to the face if EPA rejected another NZTA proposal

  • Adam W

    I’m surprised there is no Onehunga Residents Association making noise about this.
    Those whole live in Onehunga need to organise and make some noise.
    The media loves Residents Associations.

    • JimboJones

      Residents associations are only needed for noisy, polluting nuisances like cyclists. Why would anyone oppose a lovely motorway on the back doorstep?

  • JimboJones

    Seems to follow the NZTA ideology – draw a few bus lanes and cycle tracks and pretend it is some sort of multi modal project and all is good. But make sure you spend 99% of the budget on roads,

  • Gibbo

    As a resident I prefer to now believe that TOES = Transport Operators Enormous Subsidy.

  • Jonty

    $25,000,000 for a pedestrian bridge??? That’s a lot of $3,000 lunches! This whole thing isn’t right, everyone needs to take a step back here and take a look at what’s important. Then do it once and do it right.

  • Glenn mccutcheon

    There is nothing mentioned about the sea life.all the drainage from the motorway will seep into the harbour at some point.Auckland transport tried very hard to reassure me nothing like that would happen,but we all know accidents happen.all this for the sake of 10minutes off travelling time to the airport for the trucking industry.not in our back yard thanks!!!!

    • Bigted

      When was the last time you drove through Onehunga?

      10 minutes should almost get you off SH20 and onto Neilson st if you get a good run. It will save a lot more than 10 minutes and not having all the through traffic on Neilson st will make doing business in Onehunga easier too.

      • JimboJones

        It normally only takes about 10 minutes outside of rush hour. During rush hour this new motorway will be congested just like all the others.

        • Bigted

          They won’t be on Neilson st though and that still makes it easier to move freight in and out of Onehunga and do all sorts of other business.

          • “It’s business time, baby” said Brownlee (probably)

          • Bevan

            Bigted: What makes you possibly think that this $1.8billion worth of roads and motorway won’t be completely congested at peak along with all the other roads at peak??

            Build more road space – get more vehicles sitting in that space.

          • Bigted

            Bevan, go to Onehunga and you will see that currently peak time starts at 6am and finishes around 6pm, the through traffic on Neilson st causes most of this so by getting rid of that frees up Neilson st for those that need to be there.

    • donna

      Silly billy. All those herons and spoonbills and blah blah they’re just dumb animals who cares when we’re talking about moving freight here?
      This my money these muppets are squandering at a time when civilised cities are replacing motorways with plantings and parks.
      There are two options: either this merits an organised campaign or we all go back to sleep and continue to watch our city being paved over by the freight lobby. Easy, really.

  • Nicholas O'Kane

    The top image is the latest design for the Neislon Street interchange by the NZTA (and probably the best design). I am surprised Panuku did not work closely with the NZTA when designing their plans for Onehunga, as the East-West link has been talked about for sometime and they must have surely known about it. Anyway I still think Panuku and the East-West link can be reconciled. The answer is the put the East-West link in a cut and cover tunnel for 500m from their proposed Wharf access overbridge (if cars are meant to use this bridge this means some extremely sharp turns) and avoid the problem of severing the wharf area from Onehunga (as an added bonus for the NZTA the Galway Street intersection can be grade seperated). It will cost alot more, but I don’t think this solution is cost-prohibitive (maybe an extra $100m to a $1.8bn project)

  • Nicholas O'Kane

    Another question for people with knowledge: Is the port of Onehunga still used much? And also thinking outside the square maybe we can expand it dramatically, as well as fixing up the sandbars at the entrance to Manukau Habour and make it Aucklands main port and dramatically reduce the size of the port in the city

  • Onehunga really is neglected. Out of sight, out of mind. But at least this new project will include much sought after cycle paths. The paths that have been desired by advocates for a long time. Talk about big, dead, rats. This is what happens when the government’s transport agency is the largest provider of cycle paths in the country. Pragmatism rules, ok!? Awkward.

    https://wheeledpedestrian.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/people-who-live-in-cities-put-people-ahead-of-cars-have-better-sex-lives/

  • Chris R

    At a time when urban motorways overseas are being ripped out, improving both place and movement, we want a new one? The mind boggles. NZTA clearly didn’t learn the right lessons from the Basin Reserve cluster#$%.

    I’m also amazed that the CRL is nickel-and-dimed (sorry, ‘value-engineered’) within an inch of its life, and the media seemingly barely notices that the cost of this monstrosity has tripled.

    Put some freight lanes in along Nielson St and connect them up to the southern motorway. Cheap as chips by comparison. Done.

  • George D

    Looks like corruption to me.

  • mfwic

    Even the Dutch don’t just pump out the sea and make land anymore. They make lakes instead like Ijsselmeer.

  • George D

    As someone above said, follow the money.

  • “TOES were key in pushing for the great new foreshore redevelopment on the western side of Onehunga which they pushed as mitigation for the motorway being built through the area decades ago. Unfortunately, the experience seems to have affected them as they have been supporters of the East-West project in the hope getting more mitigation out of it to fix the trashing of the inlet in the past. Pushing for a motorway just so you can fix environmental issues is a completely backwards approach.”

    Yes this seems exactly what is happening.

  • Gerry

    Imagine if they tried this along the edge of the Waitemata somewhere!

  • Matthew

    I am disgusted, more disgusted than I usually am with the backwards motorway lobby. Wynyard Quarter is a truly magnificent creation and Onehunga more than deserves its own version. We should be ripping up motorways and roads, no building more. Complete out train network and the car-park motorways that are so complained about will disappear, as the enlightened among us will flock to mass transport as a stress-less mode of commute. Waterfronts should be for enjoyment, not super highways. Why are we JAFAs getting sold out again?

  • Graeme Easte,

    Patrick is on the right track – it is not about corruption but rather about political (mis) direction of our Transport agencies. Within months of taking office in 2008 Stephen Joyce had appointed new chief executives at the Ministry of Transport and the NZTA who were yes-men, fully compliant with the new National Government’s more roads strategy (I first detected this at a transport conference in mid-2009 where both officials were talking almost exclusively about road transport and in particular the early stages of the Roads of National Significance). The East-West Link was not even on the agenda then but the Auckland business community (particularly Michael Barnet) cunningly made support for this a quid pro quo for their support of CRL and in short order it moved from non-existence to No. 2 on Auckland Transport’s extensive project list. And now it has become one of the RONS, which guarantees funding. Such vanity projects are based on political whim rather than objective reality so stopping them is very difficult. The Board of Inquiry process is likely to be largely a formality but watch out for a strong push back from Maori and environmentalists (and perhaps the local residents too) over the reclamation of more kilometres of shoreline which just might prove to be the killer issue.

    • Greg N

      Well the next Governments Transport Minister can simply “de-appoint” those boot and arse licking CEOs and replace them with ones that exhibit some critical thinking to solve the actual problems at hand, not just kowtowing to their minister and building roads for sake of the ministers ego.

      Secondly the “justification” for East-West is that the De Luew-Cather Report showed just such a “motorway” in their map published along with their report back in 1964.

      So therefore it was and has always been “ordained” to be built. And NZTA is just “hurrying” it along, to ensure we “complete the motorway”.

      East West was a long way down the priority list of motorways even back then, and was possibly not even needed – but you know it was put on a map, so that means its simply got to be built!
      I think NZTA work to the tagline: “Urban motorways: They have just got to be good for you.”

      [unlike the associated comprehensive Road/Rail Rapid Transit system also mandated by the same report – which never got a look in at any stage and we’re still waiting 50+ years on].

      Truth be told this is nothing but a grand make-work project for the motorway builders employed at Waterview and SH16 widening to move onto once Waterview opens next year.
      Joyce et al is thinking that should suffice to keep them in work until the Holiday Highway project is ready to go, which is where they will move en-masse to build once East-West is done.

  • Jim

    I read in today’s Herald that most people don’t support more dredging at Auckland Port. The Port of Tauranga is the only port capable of handling the new huge container ships. The first arrives tomorrow
    Auckland port should downsize and the POT with its inland ports will be able to do it all
    This will save big time for our businesses and also reduce the need for more infrastructure

    • Bigted

      Onehunga is the point that nearly every Auckland bound container off the POT arrives in Auckland and the entry is off Neilson st, the road that currently carries all the east west traffic through Onehunga.

      • Yes and Nielson street is being upgraded now; by far the most valuable part of this project. As is shown by NZTA’s own evaluations. And there are a number of both cheaper and less destructive ways to improve Nielson St connections with the motorways that do not involve selling off Onehunga’s last stretch of connection to the sea. This is an appallingly poor project suffering from gigantism, waste, and pointlessness.

        • Bigted

          There has always needed to be a sort of east west link but even I can’t say this plan is the best option but is better than most of the others I’ve seen. It does need to be done properly so we don’t end up with a repeat of the south eastern highway c**k up.

  • The Mangere inlet is a cesspit of neglect, a huge area of sludge waiting for a cleanup. So yes, you are partly right, the honest thing to do is convert most of it into a multi-use dwelling /park/ canal/ live work environment well-connected to industry, hospital, retail, airport and transit infrastructure as I’ve proposed in a previous post:

    http://transportblog.co.nz/2016/06/20/the-main-risks-of-east/#comment-211796

    In 20 years’ time when the east-west link is buried beneath open space and the development is bedded into the surrounding neighbourhoods, the next generation will wonder why it took so long. Greater Auckland has an enormously long and diverse coastline without need for retaining this wasteland. If you are reading this, go to it next Mayor!

  • Warren S

    My view has always been that with infrastructure build you do the rail bit first, ( i.e. to the airport) because to be efficient it needs the straightest and flatest route possible. Then you build the the road or motorway as required because roads can handle a bit of twist.

    This saga is just a sequence of never ending stupid decision making over many years and the present government are perpetuating it. What a pack of no hopers. They seem to be incapable of learning………..because right around the world things are changing…………..but not here.

  • “At what point to we stop ceding the city to the whims of the NZTA?”

    When Auckland chooses, via referendum, to be independent from central government control.

    Central government controls the backbone of Auckland’s roading network (the motorways), because he who controls the motorways, controls Auckland. Everything from transport choice, to housing, to land use. Auckland is shaped by its transport priorities, and until the city takes full control of all transport within its area, Auckland will continue with the above types of projects.

    Road-building will not end under the current structure. There’s no “completed motorway network”. There’s a lot more to come other than just the East-West Link and Puhoi. Motorways to Kumeu and Pukekohe, with multiple related arterials will be next off the block, and I don’t believe the Eastern Motorway is dead. Ameti designed the Panmure underpass (built on the Eastern Motorway alignment) to be upgradable to motorway standard, and ATAP states that the Eastern Motorway designation should be retained.

    Auckland’s motorways are 92% used by locals, with only 8% being through traffic. They should be controlled by Auckland, for Auckland, not used by central government as a means to shape our future.

    • I don’t see how a non-binding referendum (the only kind possible in NZ) would help. It didn’t help at all in the asset sell offs.

      I agree with your points though that Auckland needs more control of its transport destiny. Especially when government ministers show a complete lack of understanding of cities and are obviously coming at transport problems from a very rural mindset.

      That rural mindset just says that solutions for large cities are the same as for small cities – roads and more roads.

  • Dave B (Wellington)

    The answer to this insane situation may be as simple as voting in a Lab/Green government in a year’s time. Crazy that we didn’t do it 2, or 5 years ago.

    • Not sure there is much chance of that happening unfortunately. Their (Labour) leader last week rejected Helen Clark’s assertions to move back towards the centre, instead to chase the left vote, not usually a successful strategy.

  • Well you arejust blogging and cherry picking information to suit you perspective pretty much like most pseudo scientists. Unless you can stump up with an advanced engineering transportation degree and at least 20 years experience in transport analysis, maybe you should consider an unbiased objective perspective as a starting point to avoid sounding like Vani Hari of the transport world. I investigated that scheme 10 years ago and it was previously addressed in various iterations at least 10 to 20 years prior, it’s part of the three missing east west links due to Auckland being centric north south designed for various historical reasons, mostly due to short term political gains and interference and fragmented local governance. It’s not new, it’s just that you are not part of the planning and professional community. Get your facts,evidence and perspective right and then start having an opinion about things you demonstrably are not au faux with.

    • bjfoe

      Why do we get all the road-loving, cycle-hating Dutch down here? Do they all get deported?

    • Most of traffic engineering is nothing but pseudo science. Sure it may require a degree but most practitioners then just rely on BS models that couldn’t predict the time of day let alone how much traffic there’ll be and where it’s going. They fail to recognise that in they’re shaping demand, not just responding to it. They ignore the impact of their work on the urban form of the city resulting in net negative outcomes. Listening to the experts has delivered us an ugly, auto-dependant and congested city. The areas where the city tends to thrive the best are the places where the traffic engineers have been reigned in

    • MFD

      Get your perspective right? What does that mean?

      …and au faux? eau dear!

    • Sailor Boy

      You are aware that this option was not the top option from the traffic engineering report right?

    • Nick Rennie

      Advanced engineering transportation degree. Not just a normal engineering transportation degree, mind.

    • Stu Donovan

      Urie, I think you are misinterpreting and misrepresenting the situation. Yes various schemes connecting SH20 and SH1 have been proposed and investigated over the years. Matt even references one of these historical highway plans.

      The East-West connection, however, was not identified as a priority until very recently. Moreover, the EW connection became a priority well in advance of a compelling business case. Do you not agree that this seems strange? That a project without a compelling business case would suddenly lurch onto the radar?Moreover, when a business case eventually was completed, other options seemed to perform better than the (relatively expensive) option that was ultimately chosen. Again, does this not seem strange to you?

      Your appeals to authority are also manifestly stupid, or one could say not particulary “advanced”.

      In a democracy, it is important that citizens have access to information about how decisions are reached, so that they can be independently checked. This is an essential constraint on the abuse of political power. In the case of the EW link many questions as yet remain unanswered.

      Why is the EW link a strategic priority compared to other projects? Is it a good use of $1.8 billion? Are there any environmental impacts associated with extensive reclamations of the harbour? Do we want to surround Onehunga with highways and cut it off from the harbour?

      Important questions that should arguably have been answered before the commitment of funding.

      • Bigted

        “Why is the EW link a strategic priority compared to other projects?”
        It has been needed for many years, there was even a half a*sed attempt by a previous council that made this problem worse. ”
        Is it a good use of $1.8 billion?”
        Is anything, HR to the airport would have been but that has been ruled out on cost.
        “Are there any environmental impacts associated with extensive reclamations of the harbour?”
        That foreshore is already all reclaimed land, what is a little more going to make a difference?
        “Do we want to surround Onehunga with highways and cut it off from the harbour?”
        It is already, that coast line is already cut off by industrial land and most is far from any residential areas. Those who use the walkway mostly drive to get there.

        • If it isn’t a good use of $1.8 billion (which the BCR suggests it isn’t) then it shouldn’t be built full stop, basically the money would be better off spent on something else or just staying in taxpayers pockets.

          I agree with you though in that building an expressway along that shoreline won’t make it any worse than it already is.

        • Sailor Boy

          “Why is the EW link a strategic priority compared to other projects?”
          It has been needed for many years, there was even a half a*sed attempt by a previous council that made this problem worse. ”
          This doesn’t justify it as a priority.

          Is it a good use of $1.8 billion?”
          Is anything, HR to the airport would have been but that has been ruled out on cost.
          Yes, the CRL, Waterview, LRT to the airport, and WEx are good uses of 1.8b, this is demonstrably not.

          “Are there any environmental impacts associated with extensive reclamations of the harbour?”
          That foreshore is already all reclaimed land, what is a little more going to make a difference?
          Killing of the current flora and fauna populations.

          “Do we want to surround Onehunga with highways and cut it off from the harbour?”
          It is already, that coast line is already cut off by industrial land and most is far from any residential areas. Those who use the walkway mostly drive to get there.
          Yes, but we do not have to accept that this will always be the case, as we would if we build a motorway.

  • Charles

    I am all for this road as a fully private motorway built and paid for by a private company paying commercial costs for the land and tolled to pay construction and running costs. Let the trucking companies pay for it directly. The owners would need to get a prior agreement from the truckers that they would pay. Would the truckers agree to such? (Allow me to doubt it)

    Even a farebox recovery requirement like PT would do. Why should user pays apply only to individuals?

    And yes I buy stuff that’s delivered by trucks…and will happily pay an extra 5 cents on each widget to cover their 5 minutes delay on Neilsen st.

  • Charles

    “Those who use the walkway mostly drive to get there.”

    Doesn’t this make it a magnet attraction? and wouldn’t that make it even worse to harm it?

  • Margaret

    I fully endorse Nicholas O’Kane’s cogent paragraph but am not surprised that Panuku has been made to show restraint re the NZTA’s plans! (Who wields the most power?) Just when Onehunga was about to be rewarded with some recognition of the beauty that could be imbued upon its mantle, we now have. what could become, this appalling noisy East West nightmare!

  • jen

    what is the best way to fight this? we live in one of the 24 units on onehunga harbour road that will now be an isolated island surrounded 360′ by 4 lanes of motorway. we have submitted and persisted with contacting NZTA but there doesn’t seem to be much information being release to the public and now that they dumped the wharf development I feel there is no stopping NZTA.

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