Northern Wellington Fight “Determined Govt” Over Transmission Gully Moves


“The proposed expressway is not what we had originally envisaged. However, it is clear there is considerable determination from Wellington to push this thing through.”

That’s the word from Kapiti-Coast Mayor Jenny Rowan, who says there’s “absolutely no doubt what is being proposed by Central Government will have a major impact on our landscape and future development.”

The Kapiti council, wants to “ clearly identify what the key design issues are for our community and for the future development of our district.”

An “Alliance project team” is being established by NZTA Transport Authority to cover the first part of the proposed Expressway from MacKays Crossing to Peka Peka. “The mayor says the council is faced with a dilemma.

“While it is clear Central Government is determined to push through the Sandhills Expressway proposal, the final decision will be made at the Board of Inquiry in 18 months or so time.

“Given this, we can either stay outside the Alliance structure, or join and argue on behalf of our constituents from within. Council has decided that at this stage there is more to be gained by being involved than not.”

Her council is drafting a set of objectives as a “pre-condition” to Alliance membership. The objectives so far cover:

  • the local network efficiency and resilience,
  • town centre viability, containment
  • connectivity
  • freight routes
  • storm water and ground water
  • the environment
  • issues surrounding tangata whenua.

There were also many issues specific to particular wards and community board.

Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board Chair John Haxton sees the impact of the expressway on his ward as most serious. A major concern is the development of ongoing connectivity through Paraparaumu and Raumati. “An expressway with only one interchange on the intermediate stretch will have a very negative effect and one interchange is all that’s planned at present. “There has been an indication from NZTA that there could be more than one but that will only happen through the process of the Alliance contract and the setting of the objectives. We must argue strongly for on-going connectivity, both north and south, as well as east and west, otherwise our part of the District will be cut in half for ever.”

Paekakariki: Community Board Chair, Adrian Webster, says that “getting Transmission Gully protects our community from the kind of severance effects which now threaten the other communities, but it’s important for our people to engage with this objective-setting process too.”

Waikanae: Chair of the Waikanae Community Board, Michael Scott says there is a risk there will be no connections from Te Moana Road onto the expressway.

“As it is currently proposed, the Expressway does not provide a local option for Waikanae Beach people to travel within the district using a local road, apart from continuing to use the existing Te Moana Road and the existing State Highway route,” he said.

Ōtaki faces a whole different set of issues with the proposed bypass. Community Board Chair, Andr Baker says he has concerns for  colleagues to the south,”  ”but the process for Ōtaki will be quite different to that of the Alliance. We’ll need to ensure NZTA, with Council support, focuses on effective access and connectivity of the bypass in order to ensure our economic heart is supported and that the impacts on properties and to our community are minimised.”

Interesting times - and clearly worth watching to see what concessions, if any, the determined local body groups achieve against a “determined central government!”



  1. anthony says:

    if you don’t like, then piss off, no one would care.

  2. rtc says:

    Jeez and here I was thinking we lived in a democracy where everyone gets a say on what happens to our country - must have been mistaken……

  3. Brent C says:

    I’m glad Kapiti is focusing on their town centres as Waikanae and Paraparaumu have dreadful town centres! Paraparaumu is just a big mess of big box retail, a shopping mall and lots of car parks. But I cannot see how building a motorway will improve the situation around urban design and transport improvement.

  4. Luke says:

    I think part of the mitigation measures should be fore NZTA to pay to downgrade the old stretches of SH1 that pass through town centres. Since these will now become local roads, not major through routes, their design should reflect this.
    This ‘downgrade’ would make these roads much more pedestrian friendly. I would suggest raised pedestrian crossings, and removing a few turning lanes to reduce road width.

  5. Fens says:

    The point of building the expressway through Kapiti is to get through-traffic from Wellington to the north moving freely, not provide another convenient road for locals to travel between Waikanae and Paraparaumu.

    If commercial interests suffer because people don’t drive past a town centre anymore, that’s mainly because opportunistic sales have been lost. But if the goods on offer are attractive in their own right, such as Otaki’s remainder stores, people will go there especially anyway.

    I personally don’t feel the need to drive slowly past Paraparumu’s retail centre when I’m headed further up the island - roll on the expressway!

  6. Kegan says:

    “Kapiti bypasses” or “Sandhills Expressway” would be a more accurate description than Tranmission Gully. These projects do not depend on the construction of the proposed Transmission Gully Motorway - they are just bundled into the same RoNS.

    @Brent C
    As I see it, removing SH1 from the town centres provides an opportunity to improve them - whether this actually happens depends on what the KCDC does…

  7. Ben says:

    This motorway will have devasting consquences to the local community such as creating an eyesore to the surrounding landscape and it will divide the community, increasing noise and traffic problems.

    Stop the expressway before it’s too late!!!!!!!!

  8. Spurt Magoo says:

    I see no reason why on earth they should build this surefire white elephant. The gradient will be too steep for trucks to use and with the alignment shifted from Takapu road to the outskirts of Porirua East it will save travellers NO time from using the centennial highway. The only people who will benefit will be commuters from Whitby and Porirua East, are they worth 2 billion?! it would cost less to have a spur from the Paraparamu rail line along the new alignment - why on earth not build that instead?


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