Link road ‘yes’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO By RHI­AN­NON MCCON­NELL

People want a quicker route be­tween the Porirua basin and the Hutt Val­ley, but com­mu­nity con­cerns about NZ Trans­port Agency’s op­tions could force a re­think.

The agency said last week 1400 sub­mis­sions were re­ceived on its two pro­posed pref­er­ences, re­leased in Fe­bru­ary – widen­ing State High­way 1 be­tween Takapu and Lin­den, or a road through the Takapu Val­ley.

Agency re­gional di­rec­tor Jenny Chetwynd said the pub­lic’s re­sponse was phenom­e­nal and would pro­vide valu­able in­sight as it de­vel­oped the project.

She said most sub­mis­sions were sup­port­ive of a link road in prin­ci­ple, but there was a lot of anx­i­ety raised.

‘‘ Many res­i­dents have ques­tioned the need for a Takapu Val­ley link or the widen­ing of State High­way 1, [ es­pe­cially] about loss of land af­fect­ing homes and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re very con­scious of con- cerns about property loss and the im­pact it will have on the lives of people.’’

Tawa Com­mu­nity Board chair­man Robert Tredger said the board had at­tended sev­eral com­mu­nity meet­ings and gath­ered a lot of feed­back from the pub­lic.

‘‘There are a lot of ef­fi­cient and dili­gent people in Tawa and Takapu who have huge mis­giv­ings over what NZTA is propos­ing and we want to ad­vo­cate for them.

‘‘We have seen that there is favour for a link, but at this point

Whis­pers and gig­gles filled Porirua East School last week, as the chil­dren asked one thing – where was the num­ber 4? It all be­gan with a prank. While paint­ing a num­ber snake out­side one of the class­rooms, care­taker Stu Comp­ton de­cided to have a bit of fun.

In­stead of paint­ing the num­ber 4 on the ground, he painted it up on the chim­ney and waited to see how long it took for the chil­dren to fig­ure it out.

A whis­per started among the pupils, as they talked about the miss­ing 4. One class­room was taken on a search to find it.

But the ques­tion re­mained – where was the num­ber 4?

Fi­nally the mys­tery was solved by a keen set of eyes.

Prin­ci­pal Irene Unasa said a lot of cre­ativ­ity and in­spi­ra­tion had been sparked by the trick.

‘‘It has all been a fun thing. The whole school got in­volved,’’ she said.

It took the school a few days to fig­ure out any­thing was wrong with the snake, Unasa said. ‘‘[Comp­ton] kept a straight face. There was no in­di­ca­tion he had played a trick.’’

She said a few chil­dren had sug­gested re­tal­i­a­tion tricks, such as putting Comp­ton’s wheel­bar­row on the roof.

Ta­mara Rua­poro, 10, was one of the chil­dren in­spired to write a story about the miss­ing 4. She said other chil­dren in her class did the same.

Year 3 teacher Lea Mac­far­lane was one of the first to spot the miss­ing 4 – even be­fore know­ing it was miss­ing. ‘‘I didn’t re­alise any­thing was wrong with the snake,’’ she said. I found out the other way round. I thought, ‘What’s that 4 do­ing up there?’.’’ Mac­far­lane didn’t give the se­cret away, though.

‘‘It be­came a bit of a mys­tery,’’ she said. the dis­rup­tion and the neg­a­tives out­weigh the ben­e­fits. We think NZTA needs to go away and come up with more prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions.’’

An in­ter­change at Chur­ton Park in­stead of Tawa, no tolls, more em­pha­sis on use of pub­lic trans­port, im­pacts on Gre­nada North play­ing fields and bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion with res­i­dents were the key el­e­ments of the com­mu­nity board sub­mis­sion.

Chetwynd said other is­sues raised in sub­mis­sions in­cluded sup­port for im­prove­ments to SH58, agree­ment that a Pe­tone in­ter­change was needed, con­cerns over more traf­fic at a Tawa in­ter­change and sup­port that dirt and rock from any earth­works go to­wards a walk­ing and cy­cling fa­cil­ity on the har­bour­side.

It was too early to tell how many sub­mit­ters were com­pletely in favour of the two op­tions, she said. A more ro­bust over­view was likely to be weeks away.

A sum­mary on the sub­mis­sions is likely to be avail­able in July or Au­gust.

A pre­ferred route should be fi­nalised late this year.

Photo: RHI­AN­NON MCCON­NELL

Find­ing four: Louis Gre­gory, left, and Takau Rua­poro Ngat­u­akana were

among the pupils at Porirua East School look­ing for the miss­ing four.

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