The value of positive community engagement is at the heart of the NZ Transport Agency’s decision to extend its submissions period for the Petone to Grenada Link Road for a further three weeks.
Wellington Highways Manager Rod James says the Transport Agency originally intended to close submissions at the end of March on the Link Road proposals after releasing information in early February. However, following community requests for more time, the Agency has decided to extend the submissions period to 17 April, just prior to Easter.
“We made this decision because we’re committed to positive community engagement, and we are listening. The community have indicated that more time will help them make informed and thoughtful submissions, and we think extending the submissions period is in the best interests of everyone,” Mr James says.
“We’ve seen fantastically constructive community involvement, and we want to let this momentum continue. We want people to know that their voice counts, and we’re eager to give the public ample opportunity to help guide our development of this important project.”
As well as the submissions period being extended, the Transport Agency is taking further steps to ensure people from the Tawa area, affected by two potential options for the route to connect with the state highway, are well informed.
“This community have asked us to re-issue our newsletter to the Tawa/Linden/Redwood area as there were some people who didn’t receive it last month. We’ve agreed to this and it will arrive in mailboxes from later this week.”
Mr James says the Transport Agency will continue to work with the various community boards involved with the Link Road proposals.
“This means that we will have more workshops or meetings with the community groups involved and will work with them on developing and refining our plans.”
He says the level of response to the Link Road proposals had been encouraging so far with nearly 100 submissions received since consultation began.
“This feedback is very useful in helping us to understand what people need to know, what they like and what our next steps will be. When combined with the more than 600 people who came to our information days, it shows us there’s a lot of interest and willingness to take part in the process, which is what we need.
Mr James urged others who have not yet made a submission to do so.
“This is your chance to be involved in shaping the outcome. The more that people get involved, the better we can make the project. Consultation is open to anyone of any age and it’s great to see feedback coming from some of the students in the Tawa area, who would be the people using the road in future.”
Once the submissions period has closed the Transport Agency will prepare a report summarising all the feedback it has received. This report will be made publicly available later in the year. A decision on the Link Road is expected at the end of the year and, depending on approvals and funding, could begin construction from 2019.
For more information check the Link Road website at www.nzta.govt.nz/petone-grenada-link-road(external link).
For more information please contact:
Media Manager – Central
NZ Transport Agency
T +64 4 894 5251
M 64 27 213 7617