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Employers say council’s roading decision is “sitting on the fence”

Press Release – Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
The city council’s premature vote to dismiss proposals for both a road through Takapu Valley and the widening of the motorway through Tawa as part of a Petone-Grenada road is disappointing, says Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce.

Chief Executive John Milford says the decision is another example of the council sitting on the fence over a crucial piece of infrastructure.

“They did this over the Basin Reserve flyover and they’re doing it all over again with this.

“On one hand they say they support the construction of a new road from Petone to Grenada but then they immediately vote against both options that will prevent congestion and make that road worth doing. It doesn’t make sense.

“Just as we get work started on Transmission Gully, which will unclog the northern corridor, we get a decision that does the reverse. It’s like one step forward and two steps back.

“This is typical of this council and its decisions around infrastructure investment. When a decision is too hard they cannot make a call so they sit on the fence. They can’t have this project both ways.

“It’s early on in the process and there is much more detail to come, so why they’ve formalised their position to support the residents’ opposition to both options so early is beyond me.

“There is complex modelling involved here, and it’s concerning that councillors are disregarding official advice before testing it.

“They cannot come to ratepayers for nearly a 47% increase in total rate-take over the next ten years so they can do all the fun stuff but then bail on the tough calls.

“It would have been much more sensible to have kept keep their options open and seek further detail.

“The Regional Transport Committee will meet on April 28 to discuss this further, and we can only hope that conversation is guided by considerations of what is best for the region.”

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