Councillors: Scrap Waterview


Left-leaning Auckland City councillors this afternoon tried to get the council to demand the NZTA dump its SH20 Waterview part-tunnel development and “go back to the drawing board” for a full tunnel.

And in a lengthy, often heated, meeting of a special committee meeting to discuss Waterview, transport chairman Ken Baguley had to use his chair casting vote when the decision to tell the NZTA that was tied six-all. So the motion was lost.

This afternoon’s combined arts, recreation and transport committees meeting was called to move ahead how to mitigate the effects on residents and the community of the NZTA Waterview project and give interested parties from the area a chance to make a last plea for what they wanted.

Inspired by resident and environmental group’ submissions before the committee, councillor Dr Cathy Casey told the committee it had been concentrating on mitigating the effects instead of making a last plea to the NZTA to change its mind on the whole project and she said that is what they needed to be doing.

“This council did support the full tunnel originally so we have gone back on what we believe in,” she said.

“We should as a council say that again now and that would leave the government to have to go back to the drawing board.”

Councillor Glenda Fryer said the government was spending money on other projects like a holiday highway and shifting the Rob Roy Tavern for the Victoria Park project in a rich neighbourhood.

“We have neglected the effect of how it will destroy Owairaka.”

She implored Citizens and Ratepayers (the majority right wing council faction) to tell their “National party mates” to go back to the drawing board.

Chair Ken Baguley, using his casting vote, told the meeting he didn’t agree the council had always been urging for a full tunnel.

“I don’t know where this got into your head as we have supported this all the way.”

The committee agreed to a number of mitigation factors but rejected a number of amendments that would have allowed for specific things like a skate park and Waterview community hall and the idea of a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the 6 lane Northwestern Motorway to connect Pt Chev/Unitec with Waterview was debated but rejected by the committee because of a projected $30m cost.

It agreed to a resolution concerning the ventilation stacks of the motorway - agreeing to evaluate the air quality situation in regard to the ventilation stacks that will be near Waterview primary school but Dr Casey criticised the NZTA for not yet producing designs of what those stacks would look like.

There was considerable debate about how the council’s work on mitigation would be affected by the local government change in November.

Mr Baguley said the move today was just a first step towards a submission that would be handed to the new incoming council for the public hearing into the plan.

NZTA plans to lodge its application mid-next month but its not know how long the ETA work would take if it recommends a board of inquiry but it’s possible the submission from the council may be needed in the period between the council changeover.

Numerous groups today were given five minutes each to make submissions to the council about the effects on their area.

Local MP David Shearer was not present but a representative made a submission on his behalf, in which he urged residents’ concerns to be heard.

He said the off ramp at the northern end of Waterview will further isolate the community from the facilities and shopping centre of Pt Chevalier and a pedestrian and cycle-bridge to Pt Chevalier is needed to ensure residents are better connected with their closest shopping area.

The air stack of the northern portal needed to be located in a position which has the least effect on school children at Waterview Primary School and Metro Football Club will also lose important green space at Alan Wood Reserve and Waterview.

Friends of Oakley Creek and other environmentally-orientated local groups urged for the  restoration and improvement to the creek and other parts of the special eco-fragile area and for work to be done on the flooding problem.

Oakley Creek near Unitec is special and needs protection

A number of councillors urged the NZTA to replace “like with like” but not to wait until the five year building programme as this meant local sports groups and youngsters would be without their sports grounds in the meantime.

But there was also no clear idea how the sports grounds affected such as the Alan Wood reserve could be easily replaced.

Mr Baguley said the submissions made today would be considered by the council’s working party looking into the Waterview mitigation issue.

NZTA has already indicated it intends to undertake the following mitigation:

  • Hendon Park pedestrian/cycle bridge
  • Extension of existing SH20 cycleway from Maioro St interchange to southern portal
  • Southern Oakley creek realignment, wetland restoration and amenity planting
  • Urban Design Panel approval of architectural treatment of ventilation stacks, buildings, retaining structures and noise walls
  • Landscape and planting on motorway edges and stormwater ponds
  • Restoration of and pedestrian access to Star Mill archaeological site and replacement of bridge across Oakley Creek estuary
  • SH16 cycleway widening
  • Facilitate airspace structures at Richardson Rd bridge and allowing space at Richardson Rd to safeguard for a future rail station.
  • Noise walls where required
  • Investigate options for urban redevelopment on surplus NZTA land once the motorway is completed.

In terms of open space, the council also wants NZTA to:

  • Replace the 2.5 hectares of open space taken for the project, by:
      - Increasing Saxon Reserve by approximately 0.25 hectares for a passive park
      - Providing around one hectare of informal active open space for hard court and informal field sports
      - Providing for a reserve between Great North Road and Waterbank Crescent, and between Howlett Reserve and Alverston Street.
  • Expand Phyllis Street Reserve to provide three senior sports fields
  • Provide a new cycle and walking bridge across Oakley Creek from Phyllis Street Reserve to Great North Rd to improve the Waterview community’s access to replacement open space (particularly sportsfields)
  • Maintain the reserve along Oakley Creek, and transfer additional reserve to council from NZTA owned properties adjacent to the creek
  • Replace the three hectares of lost Owairaka open space by acquiring and developing land adjacent to the Valonia Reserve area as a mixed use, ecological and sports field facility, with two senior soccer fields.

For transport, the council wants NZTA to provide the following mitigation:A new northbound Great North Road bus lane between Oakley Ave and Waterview interchange as part of SH20 Waterview construction

  • A continuous SH20-SH16 cycleway with bridges at Soljak Place and Phyllis St Reserve
  • Investigate the upgrade of St Lukes SH16 interchange including a new footpath and cycleway on the west side of the overbridge.
  • A new northbound Great North Road bus lane between Oakley Ave and Waterview interchange as part of SH20 Waterview construction

Once further detail is available following lodgement of the Notice of Requirement with the Environment Protection Agency, the council will evaluate the information to ensure the best outcomes for the Waterview Primary School and neighbourhood, with respect to air quality standards and design elements in the ventilation stacks and control buildings.

The council will also advocate to NZTA and the Ministry of Education to investigate the provision of an enhanced school hall facility that can be shared with the community.

The council will also recommend to the new Auckland Council that it works with NZTA, Housing NZ and the community to identify future urban development opportunities on surplus motorway land and adjoining land.




  1. karl says:

    “I implore Citizens and Ratepayers (the majority right wing council faction) to tell your National party mates to stick it.”

    Does she have any idea of politics, or is she just grandstanding? I do believe she is - first lesson if you want to convince someone: Don’t insult the other side and don’t phrase your request in a way that the other side looks foolish if it agrees to it. Seeing that the vote was that close, a bit more diplomacy might even have swung it?

    Then again, that wouldn’t have been all that good either, because NZTA is extremely unlikely to go back on anything at this stage. They are an efficient organisation that has been given their marching orders, so they will push what is to be pushed, even though they will try and make sure it is above-average.

    “[rejected] the idea of a pedestrian and cycle bridge to connect Pt Chev/Unitec with Waterview”

    Which one is that? The Aford Street Bridge? Or did they actually reject the Phyllis Street Bridge???

    Also, $30 million sounds VERY high to me for a ped/cycle bridge over Oakley Creek. Did they propose hiring Calatrava?

  2. Jon C says:

    @Karl This was an idea to provide some large high connecting bridge for pedestrians and cyclists to connect Waterview and Pt Chev so Waterview residents felt connected. An idea had been drawn up by Auckland uni architecture students.

  3. karl says:

    Oh, my bad - I read “Unitec” and “Waterview” bridge, and missed the “Pt Chev” part. I was thinking of the potential connection between GNR and the Unitec campus.

    Yeah, a bridge all over SH16 would be a bit more expensive, especially the cable-stay type one the students were (I believe) proposing. Maybe still less than $30 mil (I think you could probably do something less fancy for 5-15 mil) but understandably quite costly for something that would be somewhat off-line from the desirelines (at least if it was to be west of the interchange, as suggested).

    If the walking routes from Waterview along the Northwestern Cycleway and then Carrington Road are upgraded, the total distance to the Pt Chev shops won’t be any longer (and to be honest, even with a new bridge, it would be a bit long for a walking shopping trip anyway!)

  4. Shaun says:

    Gee sounds like well just keep building until there’s nothing left to build on. I think we all know the source of the problem is Aucklands reliance on cars bla bla bla, public transport suks bla bla bla.
    However if these are truly addressed would we need more freaken roads? I’m just overwhelmed how we just don’t stop and look at alternatives. It seems our answer to everything is to build more roads.
    thanks for the write up!


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>