Joyce “Clarifies” Meeting Cancellation


Transport Minister Steven Joyce was quizzed in parliament this afternoon over suspicions that the government is trying to stop a Wellington regional motorway project becoming a messy issue in the Mana by-election.

NZTA has decided to reschedule public consultations for the MacKays to Peka Peka expressway route until - coincidentally- after the Mana by-election. It said NZTA needed to “further refine the specific proposals we’ve developed and therefore potentially reduce the impact on property owners”.

Labour claims the government gave the directive for the meetings to be postponed and the NZTA was being made to front up and take the blame.
During today’s parliamentary exchange, Mr Joyce, pressed on whether the government made the decision, said it was an NZTA decision and then later “clarified’ that

“the transport agency briefed me on its proposed documentation before it made its decision. But the agency took its own decision that the consultation should not go ahead.. (interruption)… I understand, because it was concerned that it had insufficient detail on a section of the road towards the northern end of the alignment that, if consulted on as it stood, would leave too much uncertainty for local residents.”

Tonight,  Labour’s transport spokesman Darren Hughes MP is staging his own public meeting instead of the cancelled consultation meeting that was supposed to have been held as part of the protests. Mr Joyce says he won’t be going.

NZTA announced the postponement of the public consultation process on 2nd November, the same day that Kapiti residents protested against the expressway outside the campaign launch of National Party Mana candidate Hekia Parata.

The consultation meetings will now take place after the Mana by-election on 20th November.

Here is the minister’s exchange with Labour’s Darren Hughes:

Green candidate for Mana, Jan Logie, and the party’s transport spokesperson, MP Gareth Hughes led a picket outside NZTA’s head office in Wellington today.

The picket is in support of the Alliance for a Sustainable Kapiti and Save Kapiti community groups who have been protesting the NZTA move.

The Greens say Mana residents should be able to vote in the by-election with full information about the government’s plans for their community.

JOYCE: "Cancellation decision made by NZTA"

The Greens insist the expressway will cost more to build than its estimated economic benefits. It will demolish houses, sever the community and devastate the local ecology.

The paper proposes instead to build the two-lane local Western Link Road, improve State Highway One, and transform the rail network into a fast, modern, reliable mass transit system. saying this would reduce road congestion, lower costs for commuters and businesses and lead to stronger communities and lower carbon emissions.




  1. Brent C says:

    Good to see some real commitment on this issue. It will be interesting to see what quiet old Labour will have to say in the meeting. Its not often we hear boo out of Darren Hughes, unless it has something to do with Transmission Gully.

    I don’t see Jan Logie winning the By-Election but she came across really well in Backbenches the other night.

  2. Nats RoNS or bust says:

    It is clear the National Party (aka Trucking boys lobby) know the public don’t want most of their RoNS.

    Steven Joyce and the Nats are being ruled by the bucks they receive from roading and trucking businesses.

  3. karl says:

    “know the public don’t want most of their RoNS. ”

    Which is why all these “small” roading projects are going on elsewhere too, while the public is watching the RoNS.


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