Council CEOS to work with Transport Agency on Hutt to Porirua roading

The transport committee. Photo from Celia Wade-Brown

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
The Wellington Regional Transport Committee (RTC) agreed yesterday that the CEOs of all councils in the region will work with the NZ Transport Agency to oversee the approach to designing the improved transport links between Hutt Valley and Porirua.

The committee decided that the input of CEOs was critical because the Petone-Grenada (P2G) new link road and the upgrade of SH58 are designed to ensure the needs of communities throughout the region are being met.

The Hutt Valley and north Wellington/Porirua form two key transport corridors along which much of the region’s urban development is concentrated. These corridors contain the region’s key transport connections with the rest of the North Island, including State Highway 1, State Highway 2, the North Island Main Trunk Rail Line and the rail line through to Wairarapa. Presently the only connector between these important corridors is State Highway 58.

While the need for a new east-west connection is a well-established part of the region’s transport plans, work to date on the planned P2G link road has highlighted issues that need to be resolved, including the impacts on local communities, and local roads such as Petone Esplanade.

The collaborative approach of having the councils work with the Transport Agency on such issues will ensure they are addressed more effectively.

Fran Wilde, chair of the RTC, says tens of thousands of people travel along the Hutt and Western corridors every day and it’s important that the region keeps looking at ways to reduce congestion.

“We have the advantage as a region of having both rail and road options for people’s travel. Given the significant investment in the rail network over recent years, GWRC is keen to see an enhanced rail service as a major way to address the congestion issues, especially on SH1, as identified by the Petone to Grenada project.

“It’s essential we consider other options alongside the roading options currently being considered.”

Jenny Chewtynd, Regional Director for the Transport Agency, who co-sponsored yesterday’s paper,, says this way of working is essential given the importance of the project for fostering the region’s growth.

“The justification for the P2G link has been well documented and confirmed by its inclusion and programming in the relevant regional strategies. The new P2G link and SH58 safety improvements have the potential to deliver great dividends for Wellington, but if we want to get it right, the region needs to bring its collective resources to the table during decision making and implementation.”

“Together with our council partners we plan and invest in region-wide solutions that are designed to best improve travel in the region. Having all the CEOs sitting around the same table will give us valuable insight, perspective and expertise that will guide decisions for our region’s future.

Ms Chetwynd says that feedback from the community and councils on the P2G options has highlighted concerns about the proposed links to SH1 at Tawa to cater for forecast congestion. She says the new group will allow for further investigation of options to avoid or manage forecast traffic volume increases on SH1 north of Grenada.

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  1. Bob, 14. May 2014, 10:07

    This is highly questionable. Looks like the politicians are running for cover over this appalling proposal by NZTA, and passing it down the chain.

    The CEO’s have little accountability to the public and in my opinion will have little comprehension or inclination to understand the complexity of this issues.

    They’re also ripe tagets for being threatened with other NZTA funding, as we have seen in the Basin Flyover matter.

    Be very concerned.

  2. Tony, 14. May 2014, 18:45

    Clearly the idea of suddenly ramming a m’way through pristine rural Takapu Valley (fast & loose around our district and regional planning frameworks), without due justification, means NZTA have to change the playing field again by bringing the CEOs ‘into the tent’. CEOs don’t have the same scrutiny as elected council officials &, until we have a ‘super city’, don’t have enough clout to positively influence NZTA for best regional outcomes.

    Build the Petone to Grenada Road, but explain why Takapu Valley needs to be ruined?

  3. Mike, 14. May 2014, 19:16

    When they all get in ‘the tent’, they are in danger of being sucked in by bribes of pet schemes for their respective areas, or in the case of Basin Reserve – what won’t get done if the NZTA doesn’t get its way.

  4. m, 14. May 2014, 19:28

    They are still talking about congestion north of Grenada. A previous report done for the Transport Agency in 1999, predicted an increase of 46 per cent more traffic on SH58 when Transmission Gully is connected. Seems reasonable when you look at its proximity to SH2 and the better climbs and gradients,

    That’s about 7,000 vehicles per day extra, that are not now heading down SH1 through Tawa headed for Petone. Depending on which NZTA stats you use, traffic would need to increase 15% to get to where we are today – on a stretch of road that can cope.

    QED: No need for any extra capacity through Tawa

  5. Mike, 14. May 2014, 19:37

    It’s ironic that whilst we are desperately trying to avoid millions being spent destroying the area with unnecessary roads, the good people in Northland and Southland are desperately trying to get the NZTA to actually spend money on roads that are falling apart, and needed for shifting milk and logs, as the grants get cut to the local councils to upkeep these roads

  6. Ange, 16. May 2014, 20:47

    We hope that the council chief executives will help NZTA to see that we are not just a map with a line through it but whole communities and livelihoods. we are taxpayers and ratepayers who pay for the roads.

  7. Mike, 17. May 2014, 19:45

    I think the cost both environmentally and in dollars is too high to build Petone to Grenada as currently proposed, with its 20.000,000 tonnes of rock to be dug, moved and dumped somewhere (Takapu Valley seems to be the plan methinks and the reason it’s the favoured option is against all logic) for a limited number of potential users ie it’s only good for Petone to J.ville/Tawa/South Porirua – everyone else has a better route.

    A link in principle is good, but a road similar to the Seaview to Wainuiomata would be more in keeping. To be honest with a 70kph restriction on the Petone to Grenada road, the time savings are only about 5 minutes against an improved SH1/SH2 junction and SH2 widening – it’s hardly a game change!


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