The NZ Transport Agency has confirmed that Notices of Requirement for designation of state highways for Southern Links transport network has been issued to the three respective councils – Waipa District Council, Hamilton City Council and Waikato District Council. The Notice of Requirement is a formal request for the councils to protect the proposed NZTA elements for the Southern Links Transport Network in their district plans.
Hamilton City Council, as part of the project, has also issued a Notice of Requirement to protect the proposed HCC elements for Southern Links Transport Network – the arterial network within the Peacocke growth area.
The Transport Agency and Hamilton City Council have also lodged resource consent applications with Waikato Regional Council for major bridge river or stream crossings.
Southern Links is a NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) initiative in partnership with the Hamilton City Council which seeks to protect a route for approximately 21km of state highway, three new river crossings and 11km of urban arterial network (inside Hamilton's Peacocke growth area).
The long term aim of the project is to develop an effective transport network of well connected state highway and urban arterial routes linking State Highway 1 from Kahikatea Drive in Hamilton to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere and State Highway 3 from Hamilton international Airport to central and east Hamilton. The issuing of the Notices of Requirement is a significant step in protecting the network which connect these points and provide the transport corridors for future construction.
Highway Manager, Kaye Clark, says the benefits of this initiative would see better linkage and access across and in and out of Hamilton City and surrounding districts for all motorists, which will support the local growth strategy by providing efficient movement of vehicles and freighted goods around the Waikato region.
“Those benefits would include enabling economic growth, reducing travel times, improving road safety, reducing congestion and creating flow-on economic benefits for Waikato communities.”
“Ensuring the connectivity of the local road network for residents and businesses is a key aim to ensure it continues to operate well into the future and supports links with state highways,” says Mrs Clark.
Getting the designations in place will protect the preferred transport network so that it can be built when required in the future. It also ensures that any activity that happens on the designated land can be controlled so that it does not make it harder to build the network when required in the future.
Timing for construction will depend on funding availability and priorities, infrastructure servicing for Peacockes, and on the rate of development in the Southern sector area of Hamilton. Neither the Transport Agency nor the Hamilton City Council has any funding set aside for the design or construction of the transport network in their respective 10-year plans.
Initial investigations estimate the project construction costs to be around $450 million. However, as the project progresses to the design and construction phase costs are likely to change as the details of the design of the transport elements become more specific.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said: “Southern Links is a major project that will provide huge benefits for our city and region. The Council has been working alongside NZ Transport Agency and it is great to see this project now at the formal Resource Management Act planning stage.”
Now the Notices of Requirement and the consent applications have been lodged the Resource Management Act (RMA) statutory process begins – that process is administered by the receiving councils (Waipa District, Waikato District, Hamilton City and Waikato Regional Council).
Mrs Clark says “The receiving councils will, after assessing whether any further information is required, publicly ‘notify’ the applications – this is the stage when anyone who wishes to make a submission can do this to the appropriate council. Directly affected property owners will be formally notified by the councils.”
A Hearing before Commissioners (appointed by the receiving councils) will be held so the submissions can be made in person. The hearing is likely to be held in 2014.
Further information about this project is available online at www.nzta.govt.nz/southern-links. Enquiries regarding the information should be directed to:
· Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Phone 0508 STHNLINK (0508 7846 5465).
More detailed information on the project is also available in the attached ‘Questions and Answers’ document sent with this release – that document is also publicly available on the above webpage.
The latest newsletter (available as a PDF on the NZTA’s Southern Links webpage(external link)) sets out some details about the formal RMA process and how people can be involved.
Enquiries about the RMA designation process or how people can make a submission should be directed to:
Andrew Cumberpatch at MWH consultants
Phone: 07 858 7607
MWH consultants have been engaged by the councils who are administering the RMA process to assist them with the processing of the HCC and NZ Transport Agency Notices of Requirement.
More information in details about the RMA designation process can also be found on the Ministry for the Environment’s webpage at http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/rma/everyday/designations/(external link)
For more information please contact:
Waikato and Bay of Plenty region
NZ Transport Agency
T: 07 928 7908
M: 021 021 67217
The NZ Transport Agency works to create transport solutions for all New Zealanders - from helping new drivers earn their licences, to leading safety campaigns to investing in public transport, state highways and local roads.