Wellington Scoop

Peter Dunne wants land stability audit, and review of transport options

News from UnitedFuture
Ōhāriu MP and UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is calling for a renewed focus on northern suburban transport options in Wellington following a spate of interruptions to public transport routes and road blockages.

“Recent events have shown just how vulnerable our transport infrastructure is to significant weather events compounded by the fragile geology of Wellington,” said Mr Dunne

“The last few months have seen major landslips close the Ngauranga Gorge, followed soon after by major slips that have shut down the Ngaio Gorge and the Johnsonville rail line, with regular rail services stopped since 31 July.

“I proposed a community wide discussion on our transport infrastructure, including whether a new road tunnel ought to be built in parallel to the Ngauranga to Tawa rail line as an alternative road link to the capital.

“Most people saw it in a positive light, even if they had questions about aspects of it.

“Only those grumpy few with a focus on yesterday rejected the idea outright.

“However, the importance of such a discussion has since been made urgent with these subsequent slip related closures and in fact calls for more immediate action.

“It is time a comprehensive land stability audit of Wellington’s key transport infrastructure be undertaken to identify risk areas and remediate them before more serious landslides occur in the future that seriously compromises our transport system or worse, causes loss of life.

“Such an audit should in the first instance be carried out by the Wellington Regional Council in consultation with the Wellington, and two Hutt City Councils.

“While it is not possible to insulate ourselves from the extremes of Mother Nature, we can and should take every step we can to minimise the effects those events cause and a comprehensive survey of our infrastructure vulnerabilities is a good start.”

“We need to be bold and to be thinking laterally about making our road and rail infrastructure more resilient.

“The debate I am calling for is a way of initiating that,” Mr Dunne says.