Alliance decision “necessary step forward”
The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s decision to become a member of the Alliance to design and build the MacKay’s Crossing to Peka Peka Expressway is a “necessary step forward,” Mayor Jenny Rowan said today.
“I’m very aware, and so is the Council, that there is opposition from many in the community to the expressway through Kāpiti,” Mayor Rowan said.
“However, the Council agreed when the idea of the Alliance was first mooted that it was better for the Council to be involved and to take an active part in decision making at the board table rather than to stand back and simply oppose or let things happen.
“Signing up to these Guiding Objectives for the Alliance Board ensures there is a transparent approach to this,” she said.
“The set of objectives the Council has adopted were negotiated over several months with NZTA and the other members of the Alliance.
“They provide the Council and the community with confidence their values will guide the Alliance’s decision and should result in outcomes that are more acceptable to the community.”
The detailed objectives are contained in the Council agenda for September 16, 2010.
Major areas of concern for the community and the Council have been addressed in the objectives, Mayor Rowan said.
Tāngata whenua are acknowledged as treaty partners and the objectives state that the project is to be designed and constructed in a manner that respects their concerns and exhibits best practice mitigation where tāngata whenua values are concerned.
The levels of service for the Expressway include the objective that “an integrated transport network can operate in a manner which reduces congestion in Waikanae town centre and at Elizabeth Street level crossing.”
All existing and proposed east/west local road, cyclist and pedestrian connections are to be maintained, consistent with existing Kāpiti Coast District Council Community Outcomes and strategies and there is a commitment that “the project will maximise connectivity to the local network consistent with the Expressway’s inter-regional function”.
Connections between Waikanae and Paraparaumu are addressed with the objective that “the Council, NZTA and Alliance members will work together to confirm the need for multiple routes for local businesses and residents across the Waikanae River.
Property impacts, urban planning issues, safety, management of stormwater and groundwater plus environmental impacts are all covered within the objectives in a manner consistent with Council and the community’s concerns as set out in the original principles established in April of this year.
The next milestone in the project will be the release of the initial design options for consultation in November.