Joyce Shocks Rowan

Mayor Swipes Joyce Over

‘Shock Tactics’

By Alan Tristram
10th September 2009

Jenny Rowan on the farmThe KCDC Mayor Jenny Rowan has launched an unprecedented attack on a high-ranking Government Minister as relations between the Council and the National Government reach a new low.

It’s a move which may leave local National Party supporters wondering just who they should support.

Mayor Rowan says it’s hard to believe Minister of Transport Steven Joyce isn’t deliberately using “shock tactics” to upset and disorient the community so he can drive through “the cheapest and ugliest roading option for the District.”

She says:“He’s presented us with two poorly conceived, destructive options. One is a dog and the other a lemon, and told us to make a decision on one of them in six weeks.

“This is classic ‘think big’ behaviour – with more emphasis on the big than the think,” she says.

“Both options will have devastating impacts on people’s homes, communities and businesses and one has the potential to displace at least 400 homes.

“Effectively,’ she says, “he’s made it so difficult and traumatic for people to choose between them that this has opened the way to promote a third option – the conversion of the Western Link into a four-laned motorway.

“In allowing this option back on the table, Mr Joyce is re-introducing the Sandhills Motorway, the very project his own Agency rejected 12 years ago.”

“I also need to point out that the current Board of the New Zealand Transport Agency doesn’t support this option and took it off the list for community consultation,” she says.

Ms Rowan says any proposal to use all or part of the Western Link for a Motorway will take at least five years to get through the design, consenting and land purchase processes.

“This is far from straightforward and the project would not necessarily get the required resource consents as a four-laned Motorway,” she says.

“The State Highway already divides the community in two.  Building a motorway down all or part of the Western Link alignment would introduce yet another barrier to our community.”