Wellington Scoop

The Transport Agency shows how not to make friends, again

Property owners in the Takapu Valley north of Wellington are in danger of joining the list of people whose lives are being changed for the worse by the Transport Agency. The Agency has told them that their farms could be cut in half by a new link road from Grenada North to the new Transmission Gully motorway.

The DomPost reports that they are stunned to learn about the option for the link road.

“Mate, it was just a bombshell, I was just sick to my stomach,” landowner Richard Brown said yesterday…

Stephen Mulholland, who emigrated from the United States with his partner Tamara Duran more than 10 years ago, said he learned of the proposal after his neighbour was contacted by the Transport Agency. The road would split his property in half and destroy their alpaca farming business. It would also run through several large historic farms in the valley and make it impossible for residents to find other similar properties so close to Wellington City.

“It’s a lifebreaker, what do we do, move to Dunedin to look for a similar place? If this goes ahead, we’re pooped. We can’t run a farm with a motorway running through it.”

Brown, who has lived in the area for 12 years, said Transport Agency staff came to his house on Wednesday to meet him. They informed him that while extending State Highway 1 and the Takapu Valley option would cost about the same, the hassle of roadworks on an existing highway meant the latter was a better choice. “You don’t understand what it’s like until it happens to you,” he said. Another neighbour had bought his property only six months ago and was devastated. It seemed more sensible to widen the existing highway than destroy the lives of Takapu Valley residents, Mr Brown said.

Rod James, the Transport Agency’s Wellington highways manager, said a public announcement would be made in two weeks detailing the route options, after all residents had been contacted. About 80 property owners could be affected, with some still to be contacted before the public release.

They’re in danger of having the same experience as Kapiti residents whose peaceful coastal lifestyle is to be changed forever by a four-lane expressway. Over 4000 of them signed a petition against the expressway, but their concerns were ignored. In 2010, Horokiwi residents also had a bad experience with the Transport Agency, after the failure of consultation about access changes. Residents’ association chair Dr Sydney Shep said Agency staff were “cowboys” and “bullies” who didn’t care care about the social welfare of her community.

And the Mount Victoria community is gearing up to fight the Agency’s plans to build a 300-metre concrete flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, with a board of inquiry hearing starting on Monday and running till the end of March.

Today’s report from the Takapu Valley indicates that the welfare of another Wellington community is being threatened by the Transport Agency’s roading plans.

February 1: Takapu Valley residents confront Transport Agency

January 20: The Transport Agency shows how not to make friends


  1. Peter Dunne, 1. February 2014, 10:29

    I’m meeting NZTA and Takapu Valley residents this morning to discuss roading issues [via Twitter]

  2. Neil Douglas, 1. February 2014, 11:57


    Good on you for explaining to locals why your white elephant project Transmission Gully is now morphing into a white octopus with tenacles ruining more of the surrounding bush and farm land.

  3. Rob Suisted, 2. February 2014, 18:11

    Off to film in the Takapu Valley to show why Option D to bulldoze it by NZTA shouldn’t happen, when Option C (widening existing M’way) costs the same [via Twitter]

  4. Rosamund, 5. February 2014, 17:21

    Takapu Road to Belmont Regional Park is a regular route for me and other walkers. It’s charming with llama and until last year a peacock…birds walk along beside one and there are still some sheep in the hills.

    Is it intended that the route from SH2 leaps the almost vertical (by foot) Horokiwi Road and then into the land behind Woodridge down to Grenada? If so, then it’s likely to cost a conservative billion dollars for the earthworks alone because of the need to overcome the faultline that stretches to Moonshine Valley, Upper Hutt. Presumably the route would pass both Woodburn and Gilberd’s Reserve winding downwards to Linden. Madness!

    Poor people, and all for the benefit of the empire builders at, and associated with, NZTA.