Home News Déjà vu all over again

Déjà vu all over again


Ten years ago  the Onehunga community rallied to stop Transit New Zealand (now New Zealand Transport Agency) building an eight-metre tall,  “concrete monstrosity”; an interchange, to connect an  upgraded SH20 to Neilson Street. It was not built then, but has been resurrected as part of the new East West Link project, bringing about a feeling of déjà vu in the community.

The East West Link (EWL) is a proposed four-lane highway that will join SH20 at Onehunga to SH1 at Mount Wellington, via the northern shoreline of the Mangere Inlet. It is considered by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to be one of Auckland’s top priority projects, and the consenting process has been given approval for fast-tracking by the Government. 

Moving road freight between the main industrial, transport and distribution hubs of Auckland, NZTA says the road will decrease travel times, thus increasing reliability for business and industry. NZTA also says it will relieve congestion on local roads such as Neilson Street, Church Street and Great South Road. An improved cycle and pedestrian network is also an “integral” part of the project.

It is not an understatement to say that the road project has experienced massive opposition from many, including residents, mana whenua, community organisations and businesses. In March, almost 700 submissions were received, 85% of which fully opposed the road project. Concerns have been expressed about reclamation, access, heritage values, cost to benefit ratios, disruption during construction, air quality, and many other issues.

Onehunga Business Association town manager, Amanda Kinzett, spoke for many in her opening statement at the hearing: “The OBA and its members believe the East West Link project must provide a balance between transport requirements, sustainable economic outcomes and community expectations of recreation and environmental recovery. It is the OBA's position that it alternatives have not been properly identified and considered nor has there been any wider consideration of how this project should enhance or integrate other community objectives.” 

Read more – our East West Link update appears on pages 13 – 16 of the September edition of the Onehunga Community News.








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