Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Speech notes – opening of Mangatawhiri Deviation

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport

December 18 2008 Media Statement

Speech notes – opening of Mangatawhiri Deviation

Good afternoon and thank you all for coming. I am delighted to be here at what is my first road opening as Minister of Transport. I hope to see many more, including a few in this region, but more on that later.

Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge a number of you here today – Mariana Ormsby, Toko Pompei, Iti Rawiri and the iwi from Mangatangi Marae; Mayor Mark Ball of Franklin District Council; Mayor Peter Harris of Waikato District Council; chairperson of Environment Waikato, Peter Buckley; chairperson of the Waikato Regional Transport Committee, Norm Barker; NZ Transport Agency Regional Director Harry Wilson, Don Shanks of the Matatangi Fire Brigade and the members of the local community affected by this project.

I also know that teachers and students from Matatangi, Maramarua and Mangatawhiri schools are here today. It is great to see the community get involved in projects like these.

And I thank everyone in the local community for their patience on this project.

I’d like to congratulate the New Zealand Transport Agency on their work on this project to get it completed before the busy holiday period.
Background to this project

As a link between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsular, East Waikato and also the Bay of Plenty, this route has always carried large volumes of traffic. During holiday periods this stretch is especially busy, and unfortunately it has had a poor track record when it comes to safety.

The existing route was windy, lacked passing lanes and was accessed by several local roads and farms. The crashes on this route have included a large number of fatalities, and I know that the impact of these deaths is keenly felt by the community.


We all know that roads and transport infrastructure drive the economy, but we sometimes lose sight of the great safety benefits they offer as well. Waikato has one of the highest regional road tolls in New Zealand, with over 60 deaths already this year. While the current toll for the region is tracking lower than at the same time last year, we can always work to improve road safety.

As you all know, there is no single factor to combat the road toll, but engineering plays an important part, alongside education and enforcement. This project replaces the old section of the highway with a straighter, wider route that incorporates passing lanes and restricts traffic access.

Other major projects

While the benefits to the region of this project are obvious, this is just one of many projects planned for Waikato. The New Zealand Transport Agency has begun planning work to upgrade the next section of SH2 directly to the east of Mangatawhiri. Work is underway on the design of the SH2 Maramarua Deviation and the investigation of the adjacent Kopuku Realignment.

The government is committed to delivering critical infrastructure, and will be giving priority treatment to the completion of the Waikato Expressway. A project that will fuel long term economic growth in this region, boost the national economy and, like this deviation, offer a number of safety benefits.
Finally, I would like to congratulate you all on your patience. Construction has caused disruption to your travel and I know that your cooperation has been greatly appreciated.


NB: Delivered 17 December

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election