Anger at road delays

JAMES IRELAND
Last updated 05:00 11/09/2012

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Tensions are reaching boiling point over a delay of more than three years in opening Westgate Dr.

Massey resident Fran Hartnell says mayor Len Brown attended a meeting at her house three weeks ago and said the road would be open within days.

"Since this meeting nothing has been done," she says.

"We are sick and tired of banging our heads against a wall. The mayor said he would get the road open but the message just seems to get passed from department to department. Either the departments don't talk to each other or someone is actively stopping it from getting done," she says.

Westgate Dr joins Don Buck and Royal roads and passes beside Westgate Shopping Centre.

It runs through the McWhirter housing subdivision which was built in 2009 by developer John Long.

Mr Long says part of the road cannot be opened until Auckland Council takes ownership by paying him $469,229 for a reserve built on the subdivision as part of resource consent requirements.

Mr Long joined residents and the Henderson Massey Local Board to resolve the issue but to no avail.

"In the three weeks since we met with the mayor that road should have been used over 100,000 times, based on the numbers agreed on by the council," he says.

The mayor's spokesman Glyn Jones says Mr Brown is happy with the progress being made but can't comment further.

Henderson Massey Local Board chairwoman Vanessa Neeson says she's never been so frustrated in her 20 years in local government.

"The council say they don't have the money to fund it, yet when the super-city began the old Waitakere City Council gave $25 million from developers' contributions which are meant to fund projects like this.

"Where has that money gone? I don't know what to do other than getting out our picket signs.

"I am the chair of the second largest local board in the city and I can't even get anyone at town hall to pick up the phone, let alone answer my questions.

"Maybe we should dig a trench, float away and become a republic," she says.

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- Western Leader

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