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Time to digest Opus recommendation

Auckland City
Transit
Manukau City

MEDIA RELEASE

9 March 2004


Time to digest Opus recommendation

Councillor Greg McKeown, Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group chairperson, says that time is needed for city politicians and officials to digest the latest Opus International reports before decisions are made by the Auckland and Manukau city councils and Transit New Zealand’s board.

“We have received the report from Opus this morning, and are releasing it to the public and media today,” says Mr McKeown. “This gets the information into the public arena as quickly as possible, but clearly time is now required to carefully consider the recommendations before further decisions are made.

“Opus have studied the geology, geography and growth of south-east Auckland and have presented new information and their recommendations for function, form, alignment and mode of the corridor. These need to be evaluated carefully within a broad context of national and regional transport, economic and social policies,” says Mr McKeown.

“The New Zealand Land Transport Strategy [2002] and the Land Transport Management Act [2003] set a new scene for major transport projects around the country, with increased emphasis on sustainability. We’ve moved beyond a ‘predict and provide’ approach to transport, and there is heightened recognition of the importance of urban form and good urban design,” says Mr McKeown. “The policy framework within which city politicians and officials will consider the Opus recommendations is quite broad.”

Last year Eastdor completed a literature review and a high-level strategy study of the Eastern Transport Corridor and concluded that doing nothing was not an option. The Opus work has included two phases of public consultation, and has considered the function of the Eastern Transport Corridor with a view to making a recommendation for form, alignments and modes – where transport infrastructure should be developed, what should travel on it, and how it could be built.

The Eastern Corridor Steering Group consists of political and appointed representatives of Transit New Zealand, and Auckland and Manukau city councils. It has no formal statutory authority but does make recommendations to the three principle organisations involved in the project.

The Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group has not endorsed Opus International’s report.

The Eastern Transport Corridor Steering Group will meet in early April to discuss Opus International’s recommendation, and the proposed timeframe is that the group’s recommendations will be presented to Auckland and Manukau city council’s transport committees, and Transit New Zealand’s board, in May.

Ends

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