A unique campaign to involve the community's stories and local history into the Tauranga Eastern Link has been launched by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).
The theme ‘journeys’ has been chosen to guide people’s ideas for both contemporary and historic stories. Journeys could include ancestral journeys to New Zealand, or memorable family trips to the spectacular Bay of Plenty beaches.
Andrew Scott, the NZTA’s Tauranga Eastern Link Principal Project Manager, hopes many people will share their stories and memories of the Te Maunga to Paengaroa area where the new highway will run.
“The campaign has two phases. Stories gathered in the first phase (closing December 2010) will be used to provide inspiration for urban design treatments such as tree planting along the route and designs on concrete structures. There’s even the potential people’s stories could influence the physical design of the project by identifying special or significant locations. We could then consider how the location might feature in, or be protected by the project.
“During the second phase, we will continue to accept stories for inclusion into a publication being planned to commemorate the official opening of the new highway. The end date for this phase will be determined by the project’s construction programme,” says Mr Scott.
Te Puke Community Board member Karyl Gunn also encourages people to get involved with the campaign.
“This is a great opportunity for people to be involved with this major project and to share and preserve their precious memories for future generations. I really hope many people contribute their family’s special stories.”
The idea for the campaign came from a Tauranga Eastern Link committee made up of representatives from the NZTA, local creative community groups, council staff, iwi/hapu, historians and other interested people. The group will continue to oversee the campaign, help select urban design features and keep their communities involved with and informed about the project.
People can contribute a story by sending it to the NZTA by post to 405 Cameron Road, Tauranga, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or online via the project website: www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/tel/story-to-tell.html(external link)
A window display in the Tauranga City Library features the campaign. It includes objects that capture special stories and memories, including a model of a Maori waka used to sail across long stretches of open sea and various household objects from the past.
Keep up-to-date with developments at www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/tel(external link)
The Government has identified seven essential state highway projects linked to New Zealand’s economic prosperity. Called the roads of national significance, or RoNS for short, the NZTA is charged with delivering this programme of state highway improvements within the next 10 years. The RoNS programme represents one of New Zealand’s biggest ever infrastructure investments and is a key part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan and Government’s Policy Statement for transport.
The seven RoNS projects are based around New Zealand's five largest population centres. The focus is on moving people and freight between and within these centres more safely and efficiently. Other RoNS may be added in future but currently from north to south the seven projects are: Puhoi to Wellsford - SH1, Completing the Western Ring Route, Auckland - SH16, SH18 and SH20, Victoria Park Tunnel, Auckland - SH1, Waikato Expressway - SH1, Tauranga Eastern Link - SH2, Wellington Northern Corridor - SH1, Christchurch Motorways. More information is available at www.nzta.govt.nz/rons(external link)