$100,000 cost of re­nam­ing a high­way

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL

The New Zealand Trans­port Agency ap­proved a bud­get of $100,000 for Kapiti Coast District Coun­cil to re­name an 18-kilo­me­tre stretch of road.

The coun­cil sought and was given the tax­payer money to re­name the old sec­tion of State High­way 1 north of Welling­ton that has been by­passed by the Kapiti ex­press­way.

To many Kapiti res­i­dents, the road al­ready has a name – it is known sim­ply as Main Rd.

But the coun­cil has been through a con­sul­ta­tion process over plans to give seven dif­fer­ent names to sec­tions of the road, re­flect­ing the area’s Maori his­tory.

To date it has spent about $32,000 of the bud­get, in­clud­ing $11,000 for a his­tor­i­cal re­port on po­ten­tial iwi names for the roads.

Mayor K Gu­runathan said that, if NZTA was com­fort­able with the amount re­quested, ‘‘then I’m com­fort­able’’.

It was agency money, and ‘‘if they think this is how much a process like this will cost, then they are the ex­perts’’.

But Jordan Wil­liams, of the Tax­pay­ers’ Union, said the cost was too much, and was a ‘‘make­work scheme’’ for bureau­crats. The cheap­est way to do it was run a com­mu­nity competition with a $1000 prize for the best name, he said.

‘‘I tell you what, I’ll do it for free. That’s to­tally bonkers.’’

Gu­runathan said: ‘‘The very fact that we’re go­ing through this ex­er­cise it­self has value ... the whole com­mu­nity hav­ing a dis­cus­sion like this has value.’’

In coun­tries such as Zim­babwe, the pres­i­dent could sim­ply name a road af­ter him­self and it cost noth­ing, but ‘‘this is New Zealand, this is the way it’s done’’, Gu­runathan said.

The con­sul­ta­tion drew more than 400 sub­mis­sions. All sug­ges­tions would be short­listed, and even­tu­ally a de­ci­sion would be made by coun­cil­lors.

Coun­cil strat­egy and plan­ning group man­ager Sarah Steven­son said the $100,000 cov­ered staff time and any other re­nam­ing costs.

‘‘This in­cludes com­mu­nity en­gage­ment, project man­age­ment, and working with af­fected prop­erty own­ers and business op­er­a­tors.’’

She did not clar­ify whether the coun­cil could have sim­ply pro­posed the iwi names for the roads, rather than adding them to other sug­ges­tions.

‘‘The process for re­nam­ing SH1 was agreed by coun­cil­lors in the pre­vi­ous tri­en­nium,’’ she said.

POS­SI­BLE NAMES

Six of the seven are sig­nif­i­cant an­ces­tors ofKapiti Coast iwi, and the sev­enth is the name of the Maori con­tin­gent sent to World War 1.

Be­tween Paekakariki and Mack­ays Cross­ing be­comes Hu­ru­mutu Rd

Be­tween Poplar Ave to Kapiti Rd be­comes Hokowhitu Rd

Be­tween Para­pa­raumu north and theWaikanae River be­comes Rauoterangi Rd

The main road throughWaikanae be­comes Kakakura Rd

BetweenWaikanae and Peka Peka be­comes Unaiki Rd

Had­field Rd con­nec­tion be­comes Katu Rd

Be­tween Peka Peka Rd and Te Kowhai Rd be­comes Matene Te Whi­whi Rd

NZTA act­ing high­way man­ager Chris Hunt con­firmed the amount was re­quested by the coun­cil, and ap­proved by the agency.

‘‘The costs for the pro­vi­sion of this type of ex­er­cise will vary from re­gion to re­gion, de­pen­dant on ex­tent, com­plex­ity, and avail­abil­ity of re­source, and would be agreed on a case-by-case ba­sis.’’

The agency was sat­is­fied with the coun­cil’s progress, and was working ‘‘col­lab­o­ra­tively’’ with it.

NZTA had no pref­er­ence for the names. ‘‘No, re­nam­ing SH1 is a Kapiti Coast District Coun­cil-led process, and the de­ci­sion-mak­ing rests with the coun­cil.’’

A fi­nal de­ci­sion on names will be made by coun­cil­lors later this year.

KEVIN STENT/FAIR­FAX NZ

The south­ern end of the Kapiti ex­press­way, with a sec­tion of the old State High­way 1 at the top.

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