Couple 'shortchanged' over wrecked rural idyll
The NZ Transport Agency is being accused of shortchanging a couple faced with a $60,000 bill to soundproof their farmhouse from the traffic noise of the new western bypass.
Roger and Vivian Murray, whose family have lived at Te Kowahi Rd since 1929, were seeking the cash to install double glazing and a soundproof fence between their family home and the new bypass.
But they claimed the agency had offered them only a fraction of the soundproofing cost, and would not say how much because of a confidentiality agreement they had signed with the agency.
Mrs Murray said the couple's quiet country lifestyle had been corrupted by the widening of their road and the building of the bypass.
Though the work on the bypass began four years ago and is now complete, the work on SH39 (Te Kowhai Road) will be complete in June.
"We don't feel like we live in the country anymore. It feels like we are in the city," Mrs Murray said. "I end up crying, it's depressing."
The couple accepted the change to the roads were there to stay, but said they just wanted to be treated fairly and get some privacy.
What was once a quiet dairy farming area, is now a hive of activity with vehicles using the new roads.
Transport Agency media manager Glenda Dobbyn said: "The NZ Transport Agency has engaged in confidential discussions with Mr and Mrs Murray through their legal representative, for that reason this matter cannot be discussed.