Labour Welcome’s Waterview “Backdown”


Labour today welcomed Transport Minister Steven Joyce’s confirmation that he had “backed down from his preferred route for the Waterview new road connection”.

Mt Albert MP, David Shearer, elected in a landslide majority at the height of the Waterview tunnel debate, says  that National now building a 2.4km tunnel east of its preferred route, “takes us back near to what Labour had originally proposed for the route.“

The new route means that while 40-50 extra homes and a park will still be lost when measured against Labour’s proposed road, the total number of homes marked for demolition has now been reduced.

“I am pleased for the Mt Albert community that Mr Joyce has finally come to his senses. His blatant politicking and bold claims last year to hawk his preferred overland route caused huge uncertainty for local residents.”

But Mr Shearer said the new shortened consent process must not exclude people living in Mt Albert from being fully consulted.

The contractors federation welcomed  NZTA and the government “pulling out all stops” to help their industry, which had been recession hit.

Chief Executive Jeremy Sole  says the new process retained provision for strong public consultation while speeding up the implementation of a final outcome –“ which is good for the early release of the economic benefits of projects.”

The federation has been pressing for medium- to long-term certainty of forward work and Mr Sole said the recent roading developments announced as part of the Government’s significant funding commitments, went a long way towards providing that.

However, he said the industry still needs more interim work to bridge the gap and maintain industry skills and capacity as it moves out of the recession and towards the significant amount of work scheduled for the next ten years.





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