MP con­cerned about East West Link plan

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - TOM CARNEGIE

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency has come un­der fire as an MP calls for more trans­parency on a con­tro­ver­sial Auck­land road­ing project.

Maun­gakiekie-Ta­maki Coun­cil­lor Denise Lee spoke at an East West Link pub­lic meet­ing this week ex­press­ing her con­cerns about the multi mil­lion dol­lar project ear­marked for part of the South­west­ern Mo­tor­way.

She said she had spo­ken To Maun­gakiekie MP Pe­seta Sam Lotu-Iiga and they agreed that they were not com­fort­able with cur­rent NZTA de­sign.

Lotu-Iiga says he shared his con­cerns about NZTA’s process for de­vel­op­ing the East West Link with Trans­port Min­is­ter Si­mon Bridges.

The One­hunga stage of the East West Link has been marred by controversy with res­i­dents say­ing there has been a lack of con­sul­ta­tion and trans­parency.

Lotu-Iiga says Bridges has agreed that he should meet with NZTA to dis­cuss the cur­rent plan for the project.

‘‘It is im­por­tant that NZTA work with the lo­cal com­mu­nity to en­sure that the East West Link meets both the trans­port needs of Auck­land and im­proves traf­fic flows for One­hunga and re­gion.

‘‘It also needs to be vis­ually and en­vi­ron­men­tally ap­pro­pri­ate so that it en­hances the One­hunga fore­shore,’’ Lotu-Iiga says.

The One­hunga En­hance­ment So­ci­ety (TOES) or­gan­ised the pub­lic meet­ing to pro­mote a com­mu­nity plan over the plan pro­posed by NZTA.

The com­mu­nity plan in­cludes ex­ten­sive de­vel­op­ment and en­hance­ment of the One­hunga coast­line.

This de­vel­op­ment is not in­cluded in NZTA’s pre­ferred plan.

Lee said both sides need to come to­gether to cre­ate ‘‘one plan to rule them all’’.

‘‘We have two de­signs that are on of­fer, where is the meet­ing in the mid­dle?’’

NZTA’s Auck­land high­way man­ager Brent Glid­don says the agency has an­a­lysed the com­mu­nity plan and it is not vi­able.

Glid­don says the NZTA has en­gaged with the pub­lic and another round of pub­lic en­gage­ment is planned by midDe­cem­ber.

Lee says the cur­rent cyn­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment be­tween NZTA and some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity shows there has been a lack of trans­parency by NZTA. the

MP Pe­seta Sam Lotu-Iiga says he will be meet­ing with NZTA to talk about the East West Link.

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