The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) today confirmed the alignment of the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway and announced that the next round of consultation will be held this month. The six-week consultation period begins with a series of four expos with the first one scheduled for Sunday 15 May.
NZTA Central Regional Director Jenny Chetwynd said prior to the start of the next consultation Kapiti households will receive a newsletter outlining the decisions made in respect of the proposals presented for consultation in November 2010 to February 2011.
“The decisions made confirm the MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway alignment. This means that at the southern end, the alignment proposed in November 2010 and, north of Waikanae River, the western alignment (Option 1 in the November proposals) is confirmed. Interchanges at Kapiti Road and Te Moana road are also confirmed.
“The newsletter will provide the community with details on the confirmed expressway alignment and interchange locations, and will be sent out in the next few days.
“In a project of this importance, the careful consideration of a large number of factors including public feedback must be undertaken before any decision can be made. We fully understand that these decisions will have enormous significance for both individuals and communities in the short term and for generations to follow. This expressway is an important piece of infrastructure that will benefit the local community, region and country in terms of supporting a growing population, improving safety and relieving current and future congestion.
Ms Chetwynd says the NZTA was particularly aware that the decisions would have a significant effect on property owners.
“After careful consideration of community feedback, we’ve chosen the Western option north of the Waikanae River, which will affect 16 properties, compared to the Eastern option, which would have affected 29 properties. However, we appreciate that the Western option will still impact on those who are directly affected, including the members of the Takamore Trust and property owners such as El Rancho.
Ms Chetwynd said choosing the alignment through Raumati South was the hardest decision, due to the number of directly affected property owners.
“The key factor in our decision was keeping Raumati South together as one cohesive community. If we had gone through Queen Elizabeth Park, more than 100 houses would have been permanently severed from the community and local schools. The feedback we received from residents during consultation told us very clearly that keeping communities connected was of immense importance.
“This decision also means Te Ra School can stay open in its current location, while also minimising the long-term visual impact of the expressway on the community by removing the need for large raised structures through Queen Elizabeth Park and the wetlands”.
“We appreciate this is a difficult time for property owners who are directly affected, and we will be working closely with these people to mitigate the impacts as much as we can and to support them through this process.
Ms Chetwynd said the NZTA had been consulting with the Kapiti community since 2009, and that its feedback would continue to be valuable in helping to guide the development of the expressway.
“The next round of consultation will be an opportunity for the community to focus on the design development phase of the expressway, including walking and cycling paths, the Waikanae Bridge, possible mitigation measures such as landscaped bunds or earth mounds, and local road connections,” Ms Chetwynd said.
Dates and locations for Expo 2:
Postcards advising the dates and locations for Expo 2 will be posted to all Kapiti households shortly. In addition to the expos, all project information will be on the website www.nzta.govt.nz/m2ppproject(external link) and on display at the Information Centre at Coastlands Mall in Paraparaumu.