Community input in two-phase consultation
Consultation has taken place in two phases. The first phase looked at the 'big-picture' decisions. These are about the use of the existing route of SH1, and broad location of bypasses for Warkworth and Wellsford, and the number and location of access points to the new highway. The second phase was the release of the indicative route between Puhoi and Warkworth and getting the public's feedback on our proposal. The consultation process for the Puhoi to Warkworth section of the RoNS has now reached a conclusion with the release of the preferred route.
In June, July and August 2010 the NZTA consulted with the community about three key principles for the design of the new highway:
- When completed the new highway will be entirely separate from the existing SH1
- There will be access points to the new highway at Warkworth and Wellsford
- The new highway will pass Warkworth to the west and Wellsford to the east.
This first phase also sought information from the local communities on matters that should be taken into account in the identifying and selecting possible routes which will follow the consultation. This local knowledge added to the information already held the project team.
A summary of the feedback from Phase 1 was published in our third newsletter.
Phase 2 of the consultation ran from 16 November 2010 to 28 January 2011. Feedback was sought on an indicative route from the northern end of the Johnstone's Hill Tunnels to north of Warkworth.
A summary of the feedback from Phase 2 was published in our fifth newsletter.
Valuable feedback was provided through the two-phase consultation process. This feedback has been considered alongside further engineering investigations to finalise the preferred route we’ll now progress through the consents and designation applications process.
The objectives of consultation are to:
- meet or exceed best practice consultation processes under the Resource Management Act and the NZTA consultation policy and guidelines
- build positive relationships with potentially affected and interested parties for later stages of the project (including consenting, design, and construction);
- enable potentially affected and interested parties to understand how they may be affected by the upgrade of SH1 between Puhoi and Wellsford; and
- provide inputs of local knowledge and stakeholder concerns, aspirations and preferences to the Scheme Assessment Report including:
- feedback on the analysis, alternatives and/or decisions; and
- household and community information for the social impact assessment.
- identify project impacts and risks and potential mitigation measures as inputs to option evaluation and scheme development
- enhance the reputation of NZTA among the project’s community of interest.
In designing to meet these objectives the consultation programme is structured to:
- assist in the public profile of the project;
- get clarity on community and agency stakeholder perspectives on key strategic design issues;
- ensure coverage of all affected and interested parties in targeted consultations where there is a specific match between consultee and the subject of the consultation;
- provide appropriate time for on-going contacts with agencies and other parties who have high influence and high interest, and allow for intensive working with potentially affected landowners to ensure that the design process is as fully informed as possible on local issues and opportunities.