More than 700 submissions on Kapiti road

JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 10:54 18/10/2012

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Kapiti Observer

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The Board of Inquiry received 728 submissions on the future of Kapiti's expressway - the majority in opposition.

Submissions closed in August on the application by the NZ Transport Agency to build the $630 million MacKays to Peka Peka section of the road of national significance.

A summary report by the Environmental Protection Authority - administering the process - said about 56 per cent were in full or part opposition to the application.

About 42 per cent were in full or part support, with the remainder mixed or neutral.

Most submissions came from Waikanae, with 27 per cent, followed by Paraparaumu, 19 per cent.

The report said the "high level" content of the submissions covered a raft of issues, including adverse environmental effects, separation of local and through-traffic, and cultural impacts.

The majority of submissions were made by individuals, comprising 90 per cent.

The remainder were from advocacy groups, businesses, central and local government, and iwi.

This included submissions by groups such as the NZ Forest Owners Association, which outlined the economic benefits of the road for the nation.

The report summary of the submission said that as the largest user in the road transport sector, carrying about 31 million tonnes of logs and manufactured products annually, "forest industry competitiveness will be enhanced by the expressway".

It said there would be significant growth in the harvest and export of wood products from the region.

The Whanganui Employer's Chamber of Commerce was another group from outside the district keen to see the road go ahead.

The summary of its submission said reduced travel times would help open the Whanganui region up as a viable short break market for people from the Wellington and Kapiti regions.

Meanwhile, the Conservation Department's submission was neutral - the summary saying it is generally supportive of the transport agency's approach as it avoids areas of significant wetlands and indigenous vegetation.

"There is uncertainty regarding potential effects and careful attention needs to be given to the ongoing management of effects and mitigation techniques given the high ecological values of the receiving environment," the summary said.

DOC calls for a raft of conditions and changes to the application if the board approves the application.

Waikanae Christian Holiday Park, which runs El Rancho in Waikanae, opposed the application.

It called for the board to decline the application in full, over concerns ranging from community severance to the impact on the camp, neighbouring the planned route.

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Also submitting was opposition group Save Kapiti, which will have legal representation at the hearing beginning November 12.

The summary report said it opposes the application - saying it is contrary to national, regional and local legislation, rules and policies.

It said there would be adverse economic, social and environmental effects, and a better alternative would be a local arterial road linking Raumati, Paraparaumu and Waikanae.

This would include a second Waikanae River bridge, and would be significantly less expensive than the proposed four-lane expressway.

- Kapiti Observer

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