Transmission Gully Moves Forward


Wellington’s Transmission Gully motorway project leaped forward today following the same fast track path of the Waterview tunnel.
Environment Minister Nick Smith today referred an application for the Transmission Gully roading proposal to an independent Board of Inquiry under the Government’s new national consenting process with the Environmental Protection Authority.

The nearly $1 billion project consists of four components: the main alignment from Linden to MacKays Crossing, the Kenepuru link road; the Porirua link roads and the relocation of existing transmission lines and towers along the route.

The New Zealand Transport Agency, Porirua City Council and Transpower New Zealand Ltd are seeking approval under the Resource Management Act for a 27-kilometre inland alternative to State Highway 1 from Linden to MacKays Crossing.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce calls today’s move a milestone..”a great step forward for the project, and means it remains on track for a construction start in 2015/16.”
Mr Joyce says the Board of Inquiry process provides for a comprehensive assessment of all applications within a streamlined process. It has a set timeframe of nine months within which to consider the Notices of Requirement and Resource Consents, and produce a report on the matters, which provides for more certain decision-making time frames.
“The new regulatory consenting process overseen by the Board of Inquiry provides a real win-win in that it enables a major time reduction in deciding on applications but also still allows community voices to be heard.”

Rush hour in downtown Wellington

The proposal follows an earlier request for changes to the Greater Wellington Regional Freshwater Plan. That application was referred to a Board of Inquiry in September 2010, with a final decision expected later this year.

The lodging of applications with the EPA for the Transmission Gully project is the second such lodgement undertaken by the NZ Transport Agency for a major road of national significance project. The first was for the Waterview Connection project in Auckland which saw the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in July this year granting designation and resource consents to construct the Waterview Connection, with a final decision given 10 months after lodgement. Previously it could take up to five years to obtain consents and designation approvals.




  1. George D says:

    Oh dear. Just what New Zealand needs - to spend billions and billions and billions on a massive motorway through the mountains, when existing roads do the job perfectly fine.

    There are so many productive things that we could be investing in right now, that would improve the lives of New Zealanders massively… this isn’t one of them.

  2. Ingolfson says:

    Good: The Board of Inquriy process. At Waterview, it showed itself to be highly positive in balancing the negative effects with some good mitigation, and in keeping political interference to a minimum. If the board members are at least reasonably quality folks, it should do so again.

    Bad: The Board of Inquiry has no mandate to ask “Do we really need this?”. So the decision on consent is almost certainly going to be yes.

  3. Jon R says:

    Does New Zealand really need this? On the whole, no.

    Should New Zealand go further into debt for this political folly? No.

    Does the Minister of Transport listen to reason? No.

    Was Steven Joyce even elected? No.

  4. Geoff says:

    I suspect it’s being built for the same reason as Puhoi - to encourage urban sprawl. It isn’t for the truckies anyway, as fully laden trucks will probably stick to the old route.

  5. George D says:

    Jon, he was elected. We’ve had MMP for 15 years. You get two votes. Some of those party votes went to National, some went to the Greens, etc.

    If you want better MPs, vote for them (or better yet, go out and deliver some leaflets for them!).

  6. Kegan says:

    “Was Steven Joyce even elected? No.”

    Presumably you’re a fan of FPP & thus one party majority governments elected with less than 50% of the vote …

  7. Jon R says:

    Hasn’t Steven done well for someone unknown before the last election?

    Hasn’t he done well to hold some critical positions for someone unknown to the general public before the last election?

    Hasnt he done well for someone who has not even stood in any electorate whatsoever?

  8. Malcolm says:

    Hooray! More congestion in Wellington!

  9. BD says:

    2011 Vote National out time, massive bunch of losers.

    Amazing that they can bring stupid projects like this forward but struggle to bring the much needed CBD loop, that has been planned for a long time as well. All I know is that its unlikely will see the construction of 2015/2016 as National are likely to be voted out by then. So I wouldn’t worry about this too much guys.

  10. Matt says:

    I have an opinion on Transmission Gully.

    I’m with Jon R - being a list MP so high up the National list is an appointment not a candidacy, and the electorate basically has no recourse to turf him out.

    I’ve been driving the Coast road for 3 years (but not anymore as I’ve buggered off out of Wellington, and no longer work there or live there or in Kapiti) and I can say a few things about the Wellington to Levin RoNS:

    There is significantly less traffic now than in 2008, and with fuel prices going up demand is only going to fall away. Traffic levels on the SH1 through Tawa and Porirua are noticeably less than 3 years ago.

    The 2 lane to 1 lane at Pukerua Bay is a bottleneck. This is because of the 100km/hr to 50km/hr effect rather than 2 lanes to 1. I think a Puk bay bypass would eliminate most of the evening queue. Plus the evening queue is largely cosmetic and is hardly a real infrastructure problem.

    The worst bit for capacity is Waikanae to Paraparaumu. That road is just hopeless. It has traffic snarls on weekend mornings. A lot of the weekday traffic is school traffic as there is no high school in Waikanae. Build a high school in Waikanae and/or have a decent bike to school programme in Kapiti. A second bridge would be of benefit, and the locals reckon they only need one for locals. (The Western Link Road the locals go on about itself would be largely unneeded duplication). I say build a 4 lane bridge on the path of a possible future motorway and then link it only to the existing roads. All problems solved for 30 years, and see that thing about falling demand, the motorway may never be needed.

    John Key says he doesn’t want to build a 2 lane road narrowing down to 1 lane and hence he wants to build Transmission Gully. With falling demand, and a Pukerua Bay bypass he could save $1 billion dollars. For the sake of a few outer Wellingtonian suburbanites and them getting home 27 seconds quicker - a billion bucks.

    Otaki needs a bypass, but the highway does not need to be duplicated all the way to Waikanae. That’s just pissing money up the wall.

    Wellingtonians having a bit of a bummer sitting in a traffic queue as they piss off for Ruapehu on a Friday night are not a good reason to spend billions on duplicating existing roads. They could actually run a train on a Friday night, returning Sunday night, Wellington to Ohakune.

    There are far more important things to spend money on (or to not spend it at all) than a suburbanites useless motorway.


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>