Hot Debate: Waterview


More reaction to today’s news that tenders are being called for the Waterview Connection:

Auckland Business Forum:

Auckland has been waiting 45 years for a modern motorway network with options.

Completion of the Waterview section of the Western Ring Route will be almost the last major link needed to give Auckland the semblance of a modern transport system befitting New Zealand’s only city of international scale.

It is a smart move by the NZ Transport Agency to undertake a construction procurement strategy for the 4.5km Waterview section in parallel with the consent process.

Public open day for SH20 before it opened

Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers & Manufacturers Association:

Launching the tender for completing the western ring route at Waterview is a red letter day for Auckland and the country. Completing the Waterview link will deliver huge efficiency gains to the region’s transport network by changing traffic flow patterns for the better.

For instance, with Waterview in place up to 30 per cent less traffic will flow through spaghetti junction; the country stands to gain over $4 in economic terms for every dollar invested.

Stephen Selwood, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development:

There will be a strong bidding process for the completion of SH20 Waterview Connection. Already there are three separate consortia ready to bid on the completion of this project by 2015.

In each case the consortia involve both New Zealand and international companies.

The decision to run the bidding design process in parallel with the consenting process not only means that the construction can commence sooner than would have otherwise been possible, it will also allow both design and construction innovation to be brought to the table as part of the consenting process. Preferably the consents will be in the form of the outcomes the region is seeking, rather than requiring detailed step by step design.

Roading New Zealand Chief Executive, Chris Olsen:

New Zealand industry has the capacity and access to the specialist expertise, both locally and internationally, which would be required to carry out the work to the highest possible standard.

The creation of jobs is always hugely welcome and this project presents a wonderful opportunity for the entire roading sector to substantially upskill.

Auckland AA District Council Chairman Paul Hesseling:

Aucklanders have been badly affected by poor traffic planning for decades. To finally get this commitment to complete the Western Ring Route is great. It will be both a safer and faster route for drivers commuting through the city. Once built, the Waterview Connection will significantly reduce traffic through suburban roads, making those roads safer and more pleasant for local drivers, walkers and cyclists.

Association of Consulting Engineers chief executive Kieran Shaw:

New Zealand has a dynamic and robust roading construction industry that invariably rises to meet new challenges, and produces quality results. The ambitious and exciting Waterview project is exactly the stimulus needed to move the industry up to yet another level of skills and expertise.

Contractors’ Federation Chief Executive Jeremy Sole:

The New Zealand contractors tendering for the work are planning to bring in overseas partners to fill any technology gaps. That is a huge bonus because it means those technologies and skills will be transferred to the industry here. The project will provide a major boost out of the recession for the civil construction sector.

The NZTA has given us assurances that providing funding to assure the earliest possible completion of the ring road will not lead to funding being diverted from regional projects and those will continue as per the National Land Transport Plan which is also good news for the rest of the country.




  1. Paul says:

    I think missing links in any network are important to close

  2. joust says:

    Having it complete should certainly change traffic patterns in the CBD.

  3. ingolfson says:

    “Completion of the Waterview section of the Western Ring Route will be almost the last major link needed to give Auckland the semblance of a modern transport system befitting New Zealand’s only city of international scale.”

    This makes me laugh, and then cry. These guys know nothing. We are far away from having a semblance of a modern transport system when our public transport is still at what, 5% mode share? Roads, roads, roads - that is all these people know. Stuck in a 1960s time warp.

  4. ingolfson says:

    Oh, and I laugh at their claims that this will be the last, or almost the last link! Joyce is already calling for Puhoi-Wellsford and a Third Harbour Crossing.

    Then they will shout for the Eastern Motorway again, except it will only start in Panmure and may end up being called AMETI.

    How about a REAL motorway to the airport too - it’s a shame we have to have our foreign visitors arrive and then be left with only four lanes of traffic!

  5. rtc says:

    Having it complete will do nothing to change travel patterns in the CBD, in a few years time we’ll be sitting here in the same grid locked city, except now we’ll have an additional section of gridlocked motorway.

    AA really pisses me off these days, they have basically turned into a lobby group and use money paid by their members, who are members for the road side assistance, to push for more roads and more roads. Time for them to return to what they are a glorified garage.

  6. William M says:

    Jon, who were your sources - were they direct, or from another media agency? If it was another media agency, it seems like selective hearing… why aren’t we hearing from anyone who has a non-roading agenda? The AA stands to “make money” (yes, I know they are nonprofit) from more motorway to breakdown on. Surely the “Auckland Business Forum” would see that we have been waiting 90 years for a modern railway network with options, which would benefit the employers of Auckland with greater productivity, the businesses of Auckland indirectly from PT bringing more customers to their doors with more money (spending less on parking, petrol)… argh! It’s frustrating!

  7. Bill says:

    Yes I absolutely agree with this project 100% which is vitally important for the economic prosperity, community cohesion, and improved commuting for Auckland, at the same time bringing unprecedented benefits not limited to Auckland but to all over New Zealand as well. This project goes hand in hand with the increased economic and population growth currently in progress and continuing long into the future. The SH20/16 Waterview Connection will deliver a world-class project to a world-class city, along with investments in the other modes of transport allowing for a more integrated transport system, with all modes working in tandem with each other.

    As I understand it the SH20/16 Waterview Connection is the last link on the Western Ring Route to be completed joining the SH20 Southwest Motorway to the SH16 Northwest Motorway (I also hear the area where the two motorways along with Great North Rd meet is to be named Waterview Junction). The SH1 Northern Gateway (Puhoi to Wellsford) Extension, Waitemata Harbour Third Crossing and the so-called “Eastern Motorway” projects are entirely separate although related in some way.

    Thank you and well done to all those involved and more importantly Auckland and New Zealand. They deserve this all the way.

  8. Jon C says:

    @William M No conspiracy -just my roundup of some of the comment that poured in here yesterday pleased with the move.

  9. Bill says:

    Its probably because those with “no-roading agenda” would surely “kill” the project but at the same time all that bureacracy, red tape, protesting and so on helps the “killing” even more, or just slows the project down. In addition AA has every right to be pro-roads, so does Better Transport which are pro-public transport.

    And as the late Walter Cronkite said each night at the conclusion of the CBS Evening News - “AND THAT’S ‘JUST’ THE WAY IT IS”.

  10. ingolfson says:

    I have no problem with a streamlined process (i.e. one less apppeals stage) as long as it gives local voices and critics a fair hearing.

    However, all that “red tape” is what distinguishes us from places like China, where the state can give you a weeks warning before bulldozing your house, or some even worse places where the dictators goons will simply kill you if you refuse to move.

    The ability to review such massive projects in the public court, and in a court of law if need be, is like our “bill or rights” for planning and development. Without it, we would not be a democracy.

  11. Bill says:

    No, I totally disagree with that assumption especially the idea of implying that having no “red tape” makes us more like authoritarian China in some form. This is democratic New Zealand not dictatorial China. The streamlined process makes it more hassle-free but yet keeps the safeguards in place. In addition you can still appeal project decisions and have projects reviewed to/by the courts.

    Again this is democratic New Zealand not dictatorial China, thanks so much.

  12. ingolfson says:

    Bill, did you even READ my post? I was not saying NZ is China or a dictatorship, NOR was I saying that the streamlined process would make us into either.

    I was countering your statement that “red tape” is a bad thing / holding us back etc… - the standard argument brought forward by people who want to relax rules which exist to protect us and our environment. The “red tape” (i.e. the courts, appeals processes, all that) serves a useful purpose.

  13. Bill says:

    ingolfson -

    Yes, last time I checked I sure did READ your post, and might I say SEVERAL TIMES in order for me and others to grasp what you were saying.

    The “red tape” is something the Government is interested at reforming, and in moderation it is not a “bad thing” however when heavy it is. On the point about the so-called “standard argument” you need to speak to your electorate or list MPs, the Government or to the proper authorities who can clear up “red tape” especially regarding the streamlined RMA and new EPA. To conclude I believe in protecting the public and the environment especially in terms of these large-scale projects, I’m sure everyone agrees with that.

    And absolutely as you said - “red tape” (i.e. the courts, appeals processes, all that) serves a useful purpose.


  14. Joshua says:

    Have to agree with Bill there, the Red Tape does need to be cleaned up, remember it hold’s other projects back like Train infrastructure to. Not eliminated just cleaned up.

    A good example is the Pack n’ Save over the shore was able to be held up because it’s competition, Progressive were able to stop there consents going through in the environment court etc, because the are competition. The restricted them for over a year after the store was finished to open, yet the community wanted it and had no say.

    As for this particular project, it is essential that it is completed, however the priority is not right, CBD tunnel should of be higher on the list.