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Communities deserve better from transport agency

Darien Fenton
Transport Spokesperson

5 December 2013

Communities deserve better from transport agency

NZTA needs to rethink it engagement with local communities affected by the construction of major roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson.

Her comments follow meetings with residents affected by the construction of a four-lane expressway through Kapiti.

“National is bulldozing its road hungry agenda through communities, homes and culturally important sites.

“Despite the fact construction has already begun some residents affected by the Kapiti Expressway are only now finding out their homes may be acquired, while others have yet to reach settlement.

“One woman I meet yesterday just bought her house in September with no indication it might be acquired until she was actually moving in.

“I’m also very concerned about the process being undertaken to ensure local iwi have control over the cultural and spiritual issues in wāhi tapu sites.

“When koiwi tangata was discovered near El Rancho in Waikanae recently, work stopped on the site.

“It was shocking, therefore, for kuia to find construction workers eating lunch near the site yesterday.

“The Kapiti community isn’t the only one to suffer NZTA’s heavy hand. It also received a fail mark this week from the Māngere and Otahuhu communities who presented a 4000 signature petition to parliament over proposals to run the bulldozers through their communities, schools and churches.

“NZTA and its officials need to slow down, show some respect and put people before asphalt.

ENDS

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