Big victory for South AK in fight against East-West motorway
victory for South Auckland in fight against East-West
Thursday 16 January, 2014
Mana is delighted with last night’s announcement by Auckland Transport Manager Rick Walden that the agency has abandoned plans to put an East-West motorway link through South Auckland.
Walden made the announcement to a large public meeting at Wymondly School in Otara last night.
“We are thrilled for these communities” says Mana co-Vice President John Minto. “The relief at the meeting was palpable.”
Council planners had come up with four options for the East-West link with their preferred option being the destruction of hundreds of homes in Mangere and Otahuhu as well as several schools (including Wymondly) while taking the road in a tunnel under Kings College to avoid disrupting the education for students from Remuera.
“Abandoning this proposal is a victory for the Mangere, Otahuhu and Otara communities which have mobilised solidly to oppose the proposed new link,” said Minto.
Mana kicked off the campaign against the motorway as part of last year’s local body election campaign. A standing-room-only public meeting in Mangere launched the campaign with Mana candidates pledging to fight the new road.
The proposed road options had been discussed with so-called “stakeholders” but the communities were never informed till Mana began campaigning.
A community group called ROCC (Respect our Community Campaign) was formed with Mana support to carry the campaign forward. This group was stunningly successful in mobilising South Auckland communities against the road. Among many other things ROCC produced two broadsheet newspapers which informed and galvanised these communities.
We congratulate ROCC and its indefatigable spokesperson Roger Fowler for this big victory.
And a big congratulations to the people of Mangere, Otahuhu and Otara.
“I doubt any road proposal anywhere in New Zealand has been stopped by a public campaign before formal proposals have been put to the community”.
A victory to celebrate and savor.