Link road ‘yes’
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.
Finding four: Louis Gregory, left, and Takau Ruaporo Ngatuakana were
among the pupils at Porirua East School looking for the missing four.