Wellington Scoop

Anti-expressway groups meet Minister, who tells them he won’t change his mind

Press release from Save Kapiti
At a meeting last Friday with members of the anti-expressway group Save Kapiti and Alliance for a Sustainable Kapiti (ASK), Transport Minister Steven Joyce made it clear that he would not revisit his decision to build the expressway on what NZTA reports described as the worst option on environmental, cultural and social grounds.

“We have spent too much time and money on this proposed design already” was Mr Joyce’s answer when asked to justify his decision. Members of the Save Kapiti and ASK groups presented new evidence which had not previously been seen by the Minister outlining the flaws in the current design and providing viable alternatives to his decision to build a 4-lane 100kph highway over unstable peatland through the middle of the Kapiti district.

“Despite the overwhelming new evidence that the expressway is economically, environmentally and socially a bad decision, the Minister is adamant he will not change his mind”, said Save Kapiti member Rachel MacKay.

“We were there to work with the minister and give him all the options for addressing the traffic problems in Kapiti. But it was clear from the outset that the minister has his mind set on ‘fixing’ Kapiti’s problems with one massive road rather than looking at the package we presented of a local road, SH1 and public transport upgrades that provides a safer, better, cheaper solution and can be built sooner. The minister himself admitted he does not have a holistic approach to transport”.

Loretta Pomare added “Activity isn’t the same as progress. Surely this is exactly the time to revisit the faults and flaws whilst it is still in the design stage. Building something that is wrong on all levels, would be much more expensive in the long run

“It was very clear to us that Mr Joyce is applying a 20th century fix to a perceived 21st century problem.”


  1. BD, 19. July 2011, 12:09

    Rather than moan about it, take it to the High Court as this is not in the interest of the people. I don’t personally see the point in submissions or people having their say. The minister doesn’t care about the few people who don’t like it. The number of people who don’t want it is a big number for a small community.

    I tend to find that the people who are against are the ones who live in Paraparaumu, Raumati and Waikanae as it effects them more. I have spent my childhood in Paraparaumu and I understand that the majority of people there don’t want the expressway built. The ones who do want it either live in areas where the expressway is not visible from their homes, or they live in another town on the Kapiti Coast where the motorway doesn’t have any effect.

    I live in Auckland now and although it doesn’t effect me I don’t want to see this built. The minister should be working with the people to try to please as many as he can, not by trying to ignore them.

  2. Trighill, 19. July 2011, 18:27

    The NZ Transport Agency originally identified the current chosen four lane motorway route as the worst option on environmental, cultural and social grounds. It still is. Yet Steven Joyce feels saving face and carrying on with a bad decision backed up by NO sound facts or reasoning is the way to go. An extra even more pathetic excuse is that too much time and money has been spent on this proposed design already. This is very scary as the Transport Agency does not have a design – they have chosen a route and are guessing how they will get a four lane motorway in there. This was proven in the latest round of supposed consultation on the design; we couldn’t consult because there was no design, just a couple of pretty posters and a fly over video that showed a route only! with No trucks, No traffic, No noise, No light pollution, No health damaging air pollution, No idea of what 8 metre high interchanges and overbridges would look like?? Steven Joyce you are an embarrassment, and Nathan Guy goodbye to your seat its going to Labour.

  3. Gary Allen, 19. July 2011, 20:04

    Four thousand petition signatures and one tenth of that number willing to give a week-day to protest at parliament doesn’t sound to me like a minority in this small community. Also from talking to people about the road, people I encountered for it (a minority in my estimation) seem to simply want something to be done as they’ve waited long enough, or they think that the express-way will bring business to the community. Goodness, it’s a BYPASS. The agreed-upon western link two-lane road already approved and funded might have been under-way by now, had the expressway not taken over and delayed that reasonable answer to local roading problems.

  4. Mark Harris, 19. July 2011, 23:55

    Gary – That is consistent with the feedback comments that NZTA published. (see http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/mackays-to-peka-peka/resources.html#consult) “Just do it!” and variations thereof feature strongly. As Loretta says, activity does not equal progress and, for true progress, we and NZTA need to be sure we’re doing the right thing. Doing the wrong thing will change one set of problems for another.

  5. Sridhar, 20. July 2011, 12:55

    @BD, Gary and Mark. Don’t start shooting without loading your guns. It is not just a question of 4000 petitioners or 400 demonstrators at parliament. Didn’t you read that NZTA itself had originally identified the project as being the worst option. Even the demonstrators presented evidence that you haven’t bothered to identify in the first place. Don’t you read the article before commenting?

    Let me tell you why Joyce is not willing to change his mind. Because he and his cronies in National have probably already been paid by roading and infrastructure companies to advance their interests. Joyce and National are going to build the roads and will then make you and your children pay thru the nose for the project. Oh by the way, your neighbours will also pay for it. And if you are not sure how expressways can destroy small communities who depend on travellers passing through their settlements, see the movie “cars”.

    You have expressed nothing but greediness and shortsighted analysis. You are not concerned about anything but a 100kmph drivability. You should be living in Dubai “the world’s speed capital”. What are you doing here?

  6. Mark Harris, 20. July 2011, 13:43

    @Sridhar Ummm, did you actually read what Gary, BD and I wrote? Gary was at the protest filming it (nice vid Gaz, but you need a Steadicam 😉 ) , I was there taking photographs for Save Kapiti and, in fact, I’ve unearthed much of the research you’ve referred to and helped write the actual press release. We’re all against this expressway, our guns are loaded, we’re just waiting for the whites of their eyes. I agree with your other points (except your last paragraph which makes no sense at all).

    @BD High court is not an option because NoChoice Joyce has already rogered the RMA to allow projects of “National significance” to be called in to a Board of Inquiry, rather than following the usual Environment Court/consent process. That is probably going to happen in December this year, so that will be our first chance to challenge it legally.

  7. Gary Allen, 21. July 2011, 20:00

    Thanks Mark. I wasn’t sure what to say to that