In August 2011, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency applied to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for designation and resource consents for the Transmission Gully section of the Wellington Northern Corridor of national significance project (Levin to Wellington Airport).
The Waka Kotahi applications sought approval to construct 27 kilometres of inland highway through Transmission Gully linking Mackays Crossing in the north with Linden in the south. Transmission Gully is so named because it generally follows the route of the Paekākāriki–Takapu Road 110 kV line.
The EPA was set up as part of a governmental move to streamline and simplify the resource consent application process. One of the benefits of the EPA process is the shorter timeframe for considering applications which, therefore, allows outcomes to be known much more quickly than previously. The entire consenting process, using the EPA path, has taken less than a year.
These applications were lodged under the new national consenting process through the EPA and heard through a Board of Inquiry.
Waka Kotahi, together with the Porirua City Council (PCC) and Transpower New Zealand Limited lodged Notice of Requirement (NOR) and resource consent applications for the Transmission Gully Proposal comprising:
The three applicants presented integrated application documents.
On 24 August 2011, the EPA recommended to the Minister for the Environment that the regulatory consent applications lodged for the Transmission Gully project be directed to a Board of Inquiry as a proposal of national significance.
On 16 September 2011, the Minister for the Environment directed that the regulatory consent applications lodged for the Transmission Gully project be referred to a Board of Inquiry.
In February–March 2012, the Board of Inquiry heard the applications applied for the Transmission Gully project. On 4 May 2012, the Board of Inquiry released its draft decision on the regulatory consents applications lodged for the Transmission Gully project. The Board’s draft decision and information on the comments process can be accessed on the EPA website.
On 22 June 2012, the Board of Inquiry released its final decision on the Transmission Gully applications.