Residents in dark over gully access proposal
Accessing Transmission Gully through eastern Porirua neighbourhoods wasn’t given the expected green light by Porirua City councillors recently.
The builders of the $850 million highway did not have representatives at the May 5 Te Komiti meeting, when Porirua City Council was asked to grant a five-year easement for trucks to provide backup access to Waitangirua Farm.
Sievers Grove resident Kylie Wihapi made a submission, saying no consultation with the community had been forthcoming from gully builder CPB HEB Joint Venture.
She said she was in favour of the highway, but the lack of information was not satisfactory.
‘‘We haven’t been informed about the route through our neighbourhood,’’ she said. ‘‘All we’ve been told is there may be some dust.
‘‘Kids play on these streets, and there’s a school and kindergarten close by. It’s an easy option to go through a lower socio-economic community, but there needs to be more work done [informing people]. We expect the council to protect us here.’’
Council senior resource planner Julia Bates said Lanes Flat in Pauatahanui would be the primary access and the eastern Porirua route was to give flexibility to the highway builders.
She expected joint venture representatives to be talking with the community in coming weeks.
However, Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said he was concerned about the lack of engagement.
‘‘Sievers Grove has among the highest concentration of children in New Zealand,’’ he said.
‘‘This is not how Porirua rolls and I thought [Wihapi’s] submission was a balanced one from a resident worried about an enabling decision to put heavy vehicles through her street.’’
Leggett said it would have been a common courtesy for joint venture representatives to be at the meeting.
He was briefed in January about the easement, but said it was unacceptable the information had not been presented properly to the community.
Leggett suggested letting the easement report sit on the table, rather than passing it.
He was fully supported, so the report will be revisited at the next Te Komiti meeting, on Thursday.