Brash happy to reach the be­gin­ning of the road

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Jenny Brash wasn’t go­ing to let a pesky knee op­er­a­tion keep her from en­joy­ing the mo­ment.

The for­mer Porirua mayor – and cur­rent re­gional coun­cil­lor – was among those that saw the his­toric turn­ing of the sod to mark the of­fi­cial be­gin­ning of con­struc­tion of Trans­mis­sion Gully on Septem­ber 8.

Brash, was one of a group who cam­paigned hard for the in­land route in the 1990s and 2000s. He said the sunny day was apt.

The fact that she had a ma­jor knee op­er­a­tion five weeks ago was not go­ing to pre­vent her at­tend­ing.

‘‘I was glad it was a nice day and the ground was flat for me,’’ she said.

‘‘It was a great oc­ca­sion, a long time com­ing.

‘‘It is close to an elec­tion, so there were plenty of politi­cians, but it was just so good to have all the oth­ers there who fought so hard for this.

‘‘Mar­garet [Shields, who died last year] would have been smil­ing down.’’

Brash said de­spite some com­ments from cer­tain po­lit­i­cal par­ties, Trans­mis­sion Gully was the right choice for the re­gion.

‘‘It’s all go now; you won’t be able to wind this back.

‘‘The safe­guards are there to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment, which is what our com­mu­ni­ties wanted.’’

The 27km high­way, to be com­pleted in 2020, is the first state high­way to be built as part of a pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship.

The Wellington Gate­way Part­ner­ship won the con­tract to build Trans­mis­sion Gully.

NZ Trans­port Agency deputy chair­woman Dame Patsy Reddy said thou­sands of ve­hi­cles a day will be di­verted from places like Pukerua Bay, Mana and Plim­mer­ton now.

‘‘This means those com­mu­ni­ties can start to look ahead to cre­at­ing more live­able en­vi­ron­ments, and safer, user-friendly fa­cil­i­ties for pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists,’’ she said.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said Trans­mis­sion Gully re­flected the re­gion’s am­bi­tions for growth and pros­per­ity in the 21st cen­tury.

‘‘We must also make our­selves more re­silient in the event of a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter,’’ he said.

‘‘This road opens our re­gion up to the lower North Is­land and gives us another con­nec­tion in and out of our re­gion.

‘‘It’s been a long time com­ing, but we are fi­nally here.’’

His­toric day: From left, for­mer Porirua mayor Jenny Brash, Porirua City Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simp­son, city coun­cil­lor Tim Shep­pard, mayor Nick Leggett, Ngati Toa kau­matua Taku Parai and Mana MP Kris Faafoi at the Trans­mis­sion Gully sod turn­ing.

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