Labour: What’s Waterview’s Final Bill?


Labour’s Mt Albert MP David Shearer asked tonight how much more the Waterview Connection will end up costing.

Today Transport Minister Steven Joyce announced the start of the tender process for the construction of the Waterview Connection, part of the Western Ring Route and $2 billion has now been allocated for it.

“Last year in the heat of the Mt Albert by-election Steven Joyce estimated the cost of the project at $1.4 million. Now we find with all the other add-ons he didn’t announce then the project will be $2 billion, and could go higher.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the last of these spiralling costs. How much more is this project likely to cost before it’s finished?” said David Shearer.

Labour's David Shearer at SH20 protest meeting during by-election campaign

The MP also expressed concern that local parks are being demolished leaving local families with limited to access to green spaces in their community.

“If the Minister is going to bulldoze Waterview Park, Alan Wood Park and Hendon Park he needs to guarantee access to alternative green spaces. Right now, local residents are bearing all the costs of the new motorway.

“There’s been a lot of talk, but so far no money has been set aside for bridges, other green areas or for local residents.

“The Minister can not ask these communities to give up their local parks - places where children go to play and families spend time together - without providing them with a way to access alternative green community spaces in return.”




  1. Matt L says:

    Remembering that those green spaces have been designated for a rail line for over 60 years. Just because it wasn’t built doesn’t mean the green space automatically becomes the property of someone else. The cost increase of this is pretty big and concerning but hardly surprising. I always suspected that there were costs being missed out in the previous announcements.

  2. Mike F says:

    Matt L

    Waterview Park designated as a rail corridor ? Look on a map and see where it is !

  3. rtc says:

    There’s a big difference between a railway line and a motorway IMO, but regardless, I had hoped we’d moved on from the idea that green space in a city is just somewhere to build another road or railway line. The fact stands that at present there are parks and open space and in a few years there will be a motorway which at 2 billion+ is a massive spend, and no money appears to be allocated to help the affected communities.

  4. rtc says:

    Waterview park as stated was also never designated for anything except as a sports field and walking area. The sports field is extremely popular in the weekends for rugby games - does NZTA plan to provide alternative free space? If not why not? Ah that’s right green space is just something to pave over for cars.

  5. ingolfson says:

    I understand that NZTA is intending to provide new sports fields and such from what I have seen in presentations and open days. They generally seem to be doing a great job in terms of mitigation proposals - but then they have a lot of money to do it with. If Joyce is so set to have this, he’d better make sure the result is top notch in more ways than funneling cars through.

  6. Bill says:

    Maybe you should be viewing the NZTA animated video of the SH20/16 Waterview Connection from the future SH20 Maioro St Interchange to just before the SH16 Te Atatu Rd Interchange. I’ve seen the video and had to repeat it 5 times to understand the route in detail. By the way the video shows how route will look once it is completed and opened.

    The communities affected stand to gain from it with…
    - New and expanded parks and reserves,
    - Extended shared paths for walking and cycling (also integrates with the Northwest, and Waikaraka Cycleways),
    - Appealing bridges for walking and cycling (along the lines of those recently opened or under construction),
    - Local roads freed up for community and public transport use (this keeps through-traffic of the local roads making them more community-friendly), and
    - Extensive landscaping and landscape features.

    This delivers a high-quality and well-designed project that everyone would be excited, supportive and proud of.

    Thank you

  7. Jon C says:

    @Bill Agree. I’m supportive of this and you are correct that the councils have been working through park replacements and better cycling etc facilities.
    Also if you use SH20 which I do, getting to Sandringham Rd and it suddenly ending is frustrating and just pushes that traffic into neighbouring suburban streets which also have schools and community centres that don’t deserve the traffic.
    It needs to get finished ASAP.

  8. Bill says:

    Yes, thanks Jon - they need to start breaking ground this year, and thanks to the streamlined RMA and the new EPA, bypassing all that unnecessary red tape will help tremendously.


  9. ingolfson says:

    Bill, as I said, I agree that what NZTA is indicating it will do is positive. However, if we “need” Waterview, then we “cannot live” without the CBD tunnel. I still believe that this is the wrong priority (I could agree with both projects going forward, but I am deeply disappointed that Auckland/New Zealand always goes with the roads projects when funding comes up).

    And in the list of positives you mention, you miss the negatives. To rework your list:

    The communities affected stand to lose from it with…
    - Existing and shrinking parks and reserves,
    - Local connections being cut by a big new barrier
    - Local roads filled with more induced traffic just a few short years after the initial dip, because it is now so much easier to travel by car
    - Landscaping to try and hide the new noise and pollution

    As I said, I think NZTA are working very hard and honestly at making this the best it can be. But it still remains a motorway, and thus will have a massive and by no means 100% positive effect on either Auckland or the local communities.

  10. art says:

    there was mt albert rugby league park and the rest was bush,20 years ago,motorway should be built but with a monorail to the airport and tunnel to sandringham road,or should we have a international airport at westgate.

  11. Jon R says:

    At the end of the day the CBD rail tunnel will immediately connect tens of thousands of CBD workers and residents West, East and South.

    Steven Joyce (Aka Minister of Trucks and Roads) wants to spends our taxpayers money, over $2 billion of it, on something that simply will only serve one part of Auckland. It’s probably needed, but not as much as the CBD rail tunnel.

    Joyce, stop serving the trucking lobby and do what the city wants.

  12. Bill says:

    ingolfson -

    I agree, we absolutely “need” Waterview and “cannot live” without the” CBD tunnel their is no doubt about that at all. In terms of the Government’s roading priorities it ranks very high for Auckland and for New Zealand, and the Government also indicates that Waterview is one of the most important projects to be bulit (and I stress ‘one of the most important projects’). At the same time I would say it’s “wrong” in terms of rail, not to begin shifting “priority” to the CBD tunnel, in addition to the future Airport Rail Link.

    On the issue of transport funding, yes funding has always been directed to roads. That’s a trend developed since the 1950s in Auckland and New Zealand and maybe so for all the right and wrong reasons. I share your deep disappointment about transport funding being centred around only roads, all modes of transport need to be secured and funded.

    To address the “list of positives ‘I’ mentioned”, yes I did leave “negatives” out, I know that. However with any project of this scale regardless of the factors, the fact of the matter is your going to have the positives and the negatives, and not everyone is going to be happy or not happy. You need to strike the right balance, ensure everyone and everything are accomodated, and the effects are mitigated as much as possible.

    As you claim - “The communities affected stand to lose from it with”

    “Existing and shrinking parks and reserves” compensated with -

    “Local roads filled with more induced traffic just a few short years after the initial dip, because it is now so much easier to travel by car” compensated with -

    “Landscaping to try and hide the new noise and pollution” compensated with -
    EXTENSIVE LANDSCAPING AND LANDSCAPE FEATURES - this has always been done, and the “noise and pollution” are dealt with round the clock.

    “Local connections being cut by a big new barrier” - As I said before I would advise you to view the NZTA animated video of the project in more detail. Local connections are not severed and you can cross the “big new barrier” at several points along the way.

    To conclude NZTA are indeed “working very hard and honestly at making this the best it can be”. Everyone knows it will be a massive motorway, that’s the nature of this project, however I respectively disagree with the idea that “by no means [will it be a] 100% positive effect on either Auckland or the local communities”. At the same time I would add they need to begin the same process for the CBD tunnel.

    Thanks so much

  13. Joshua says:

    Bill, well said.

  14. ingolfson says:

    Bill, show me where the new reserves are - I know some, but they seem a bit small. Unless NZTA buys land, it won’t be enough in square meterage. I agree that some of the parks lost are pretty shabby but I would suspect that’s partially because no one wanted to invest in them in the first place with the Waterview talk having gone on for a long time.

    Re local road benefits: take traffic away from local roads by putting a new long-distance accessibility right next to them, and you will soon see them filled up again. The benefits are very, very often just short-term. Just look at the roads near our existing motorways.

    Landscaping doesn’t actually do much against noise or pollution (unless it’s earthen berms against noise) - as I said, it is mostly visually removing the motorway. And if you look around Auckland, I would dispute the “it’s always been done”. Many of our older motorways are in plain sight.

    And the best landscaping will do little for you if your local pollution levels suddenly shoot up. Have you looked at the noise and pollution maps NZTA produced at the open days? They show clearly that for many locals, there will be changes for the worse. Including barrier effects - having to detour several hundreds of meters to a new bridge IS a significant downside.

    As before, I agree that NZTA are trying their best, but there’s still a new elephant in the room, even if it looks a lot better than the old elephants of the 1960s…

  15. ingolfson says:

    PS: Bill, can you send me the link to that NZTA route video you refer to? Also, do you know from when is it (I know there have been some design changes in the last 1-2 months)?

  16. Bill says:

    ingolfson -

    This is the link via Youtube that shows the Waterview Connection and part of the Northwest Motorway Improvements in the future. It may address some of your concerns, probably not all of them. With regards to the NZTA noise and pollution maps I haven’t had the opportunity to see them as of yet but I will get around to doing that.

    Let me just finish off by saying I respect your viewpoints and opinions, and respectively agree to disagree.


  17. ingolfson says:

    Thanks Bill, will have a look. I actually think it will be a great project - I just feel bitter about the imbalance it represents in the wider scope.


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