Submissions on the Waterview Connection application for resource consent are due this Friday, the 15th of October. Please consider making a submission over the next 3 days!
Apologies for the short notice but this project is massive – the largest roading project ever to be considered under the RMA. The documentation comes to 40 folders and the time available to submit (20 days) has been very short.
The application for resource consent encompasses not just the Waterview Connection itself (the 6 lane motorway that will be built to join together SH20 at Mt Roskill and SH16 at Waterview) but also the widening of SH16. The project will cost around $2 billion in total of your (that’s taxpayers) money.
You can download a submission form here. When filling this out you should:
- include all your contact details
- remember to tick the box saying whether you are are fully or partly opposed to the project
- tick the box that says your submission concerns “all the applications for resource consent.” It’s important that you do this because otherwise if you only ask to comment on some resource consent applications then at the Hearing you won’t be allowed to speak about anything you didn’t tick on the submission form
- state whether you would like to be heard at the Hearing or not. It can be intimidating to speak at a hearing if you have never done so before but it is your right as a citizen to give your opinion on this project – so don’t hold back, even if you feel you are not an expert.
- make sure you email your submission BOTH to the Environmental Protection Authority at firstname.lastname@example.org and the New Zealand Transport Agency on email@example.com
You can also include some information in an attachment about why you are opposed to the project or what changes you would like to see made. Some key points to make are:
Widening of SH16
- A North-Western Busway: The widening of SH16 will do little to reduce traffic congestion long term as NZTA acknowledges in their traffic report. While the current design proposes to extend the bus shoulders on the motorway this is inadequate as the bus-shoulders stop at on and off ramps – meaning buses will be delayed by general traffic. NZTA should use this opportunity to build a bus-way along the North-Western motorway. Redicating 2 or 3 lanes of the motorway to busway would allow them to create a separate busway like the hugely successful Northern busway on the North Shore. This busway would help to reduce congestion, emissions and air and noise pollution from traffic. It would also provide good quality public transport to areas such as Te Atatu and Massey that currently have very few good public transport options.
- Expanding the Motu Manawa Marine Reserve: SH16 runs through a marine reserve which is home to endangered species such as the NZ fernbird. By widening SH16 NZTA will be taking away part of the marine reserve. NZTA should work with DOC and the Minister of Conservation to help expand the marine reserve in other areas (such as the Waterview inlet) to compensate for the area they are taking for the motorway. They should also improve public access to the marine reserve by installing footpaths, information displays etc on both sides of the motorway.
- Improved access for cyclists/pedestrians at Te Atatu: The current design of the Te Atatu interchange provides very poor access for cyclists and pedestrians, requiring them to go through 4 crossings. NZTA should use underpasses and/or bridges across the motorway ramps to provide better access for cyclists and pedestrians going east-west or coming from the Te Atatu Peninsula to the CBD.
- Better public transport through Waterview: The Waterview tunnel will consist of 3 lanes for general traffic in both directions. However, there is little provision for better bus services in the design. NZTA should be required to either, introduce better bus lanes on Great North Road or dedicate one of the lanes in Waterview (each way) to a lane for buses and freight vehicles. This will improve public transport in the area, reduce congestion and partially compensate residents for the many inconveniences they will experience during construction.
- Better walk/cycle acess to Point Chevalier: Currently the project provides very poor access for pedestrians and cyclists living in Waterview to Point Chevalier. NZTA needs to provide better walk and cycle-ways around this area to help residents access the Point Chevalier shops and schools in this area safely and comfortably.
- A new cycle/walk-way to connect the SH16 and SH20 cycle-ways: Currently the project includes a short length of cycle-way alongside the above-ground sections of the Waterview motorway. However, there is no cycle-way along the tunnelled section of the motorway. NZTA claims it is not their responsibility to build this as the motorway is underground at this point. NZTA should be required to build a cycle-way along this section that would join together SH16 and SH20 cycle-ways. This would provide some compensation to residents for the many years of inconvenience they have suffered waiting for the design to be confirmed and also for the loss of land/connectivity they will have during construction. It would also encourage more Aucklanders to cycle and walk to work or school which would have numerous health and environmental benefits.
- Relocating of the exhaust vent at Waterview Primary school: Currently NZTA is proposing to build a 25 metre exhaust vent that will take air pollution from the tunnel directly next to the Waterview Primary school and kindergarten. This exhaust vent will loom over the neighbourhood and discourage parents from sending their children to the school. Further drops in the school roll may lead to closure of the school which would have a highly negative impact on the community. NZTA should be asked to relocate the exhaust vent to a less sensitive location – such as near the BP station on the other side of Great North Road
- Undergrounding of the control buildings: Currently the NZTA is proposing to build two 17 metre high control buildings – one in the Waterview Reserve next to Waterview Primary School and the other in Alan Wood Reserve. NZTA should be encouraged to build more of these buildings underground to reduce their visual impact on the neighbourhood parks.
- Care in shifting golden lizards from Hendon Park: As part of the motorway construction process NZTA will be destroying the habitat of native golden lizards which live in Hendon Park. NZTA should be required to use the utmost best practise and care when relocating these lizards to another location.
- Care of the Oakley Creek environment: Oakley Creek is the largest creek in Auckland City and also contains the only urban waterfall. As part of the construction process NZTA will be realigning several parts of Oakley Creek and may release sediment into the river. NZTA should have to take the utmost care to protect the Oakley Creek environment including ensuring that they provide sufficient open space to prevent future flooding of Oakley Creek from storm water flows.
- Monitoring and management of air and noise pollution: The construction of the motorway and the increased traffic after its completion will generate significant air and noise pollution. NZTA should be required to actively monitor this pollution and take steps to reduce it if their monitoring suggests it is causing harmful effects.
Hope this is helpful!