Will Election Help Pekapeka Get It’s Interchange?

Jeremy Smith says people who went to a public meeting at Te Horo 18 months ago may feel their campaign to reinstate the Pekapeka interchange will have paid off — if National wins the election. 

Proposed Peka Peka interchange — Photo: Stuff

National’s $330 million transport proposals for the Otaki electorate includes electric trains to Otaki plus two roading proposals it already signalled support for.

National’s promises

National has consistently criticised the delay on the Levin project ordered by Labour even though it is now back on the list. 

And it has said it will reinstate the proposed Pekapeka interchange, which is not on the to-do list.

KIN readers who drove up highway one over the last two years will have noticed National’s pre-campaign billboards promising to reinstate the Levin road.

Judith Collin’s view

National Leader Judith Collins

Party leader Judith Collins says bringing forward construction of the Horowhenua expressway will rectify what she calls the ‘shameful’ actions of the Labour government.  

She calls the decision against the Pekapeka interchange short-sighted. 

In January 2019, some 120 Te Horo and Pekapeka residents packed the Te Horo hall to hear NZTA representatives outline why the interchange did not make the to-do list — the population was not big enough to give value for money for the $22-29 million estimate.

The petition to reinstate the interchange with full interchanges both north and south-bound had 500 signatures on the night.

And the petition organiser said the estimated cost did not stack up.

Change of Govt. seen as a way forward

A suggestion at the meeting that changing the government was the best way to have the interchange reinstated was warmly received. 

This reporter, asked if the attempt to reinstate the interchange was worth it,  said the real test would be how high it would be on the spend list if National got in. 

Polls had suggested National was holding its support. But six weeks later came the Christchurch mosque massacre — and everything in NZ politics changed. 

The Peka Peka Interchange should have been built at the same time as the Expressway was built. Then Kapiti Mayor Rowan said it wasn’t wanted because some locals believed it would spoil their views. The NZTA didn’t mind obliging her because it saved many millions of dollars from the budget. Retrofitting it will now cost a lot more, but it needs to be done.

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