Any objections to the Waterview motorway connection project are about to be bulldozed just like hundreds of residents’ homes, the Green Party said today after a series of public meetings over the weekend.
“The community consultation is a sham,” said Green MP David Clendon. “The New Zealand Transport Authority meetings raised more questions than they answered, and concerned residents have got just 20 working days to tackle mountains of technical data if they want to have an informed say in the consent process.
“The Waterview connection is a poor idea and now there’s a poor process around it. The Government is going to force this through no matter the costs, no matter the effects of construction on local residents and no matter the environmental cost.
“We believe in good government, and that’s not what Aucklanders are getting here. They’re getting bulldozed.”
Residents who attended the NZTA meetings were taken aback by the sheer scale of the proposed construction project and what would result, Mr Clendon said. “There were surprises like the fact that the NZTA wants excavation and tunneling to run 24 hours a day. And when the job is done there’ll be ventilation buildings that fill a rugby field and that have chimneys eight storeys high.”
Residents deserved the opportunity to respond and the submission deadline should be extended to at least November, Mr Clendon said. Currently, the deadline is October 15. “There are more than 50 consents involved and the environmental assessments are a six volume document. It’s not realistic for the community to respond in the short time provided.”
The Waterview connection would spend at least $2 billion of taxpayers’ money on a few kilometres of motorway, destroying a well-established community in the process, Mr Clendon noted. It would also attract more cars into the city and result in more congestion, the Green MP said.
“The sham consultation adds insult to injury,” added Mr Clendon.
By contrast, the planned CBD rail loop from Britomart to Mt Eden would cost less and do more to improve Auckland transport, he noted.