Kapiti Expressway plan “ridiculous … shoddy and ill-prepared,” says local group

News from Save Kapiti
Now that the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway Board of Inquiry has published their draft report, local interest group Save Kapiti views the Board’s decision to approve the application with disappointment.

“NZTA’s case was shoddy and ill prepared,” said Mark Harris, a group spokesperson, “and this was pointed out to the Board and noted by them during the Hearing on many occasions. The hundreds of submitters who opposed the application presented well-reasoned and evidence-based submissions, unlike NZTA’s testimony, which was based largely on theoretical models and ‘first principles’. It is upsetting that the Board could not tell the difference.

“Three years of resistance to this ridiculous plan has left this community exhausted and dispirited, but the decision is not that surprising given the deliberately divisive and misleading way the plan has been foisted upon the community and the huge amount of resources and taxpayer money that NZTA threw at the project. It has been very much a David versus Goliath battle and we had pinned our hopes on a fair hearing. While we must accept the Board’s declarations of independence, reinforced in the report, at face value, it is very disappointing that they have treated NZTA’s statements in the same manner, even when many have been shown to be inaccurate.

“The Resource Management Act was set up to protect communities from abusive development, while enabling development to occur in a controlled manner, but it has been twisted by this government to railroad projects that have few or no economic, environmental or social benefits.”

As required by the Board, Save Kapiti and other submitters are reviewing the document and associated conditions to ensure they are technically accurate. The final decision is due on 12 April, after which the group will consider its future options.

“We’re not going away”, said Harris.

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