Kapiti Protesters Gather

Motorway demo  2013 004Granny-led group calls for junking of Govt’s motorway plan

By Alan Tristram

A sizeable group of Kapiti people, led by grannies (and grandpa’s) in their 80’s,have staged a demonstration on the site of the first intersection planned for the new Expressway through the District.

Veteran protester Bobby Taylor says she want the Government to return to plans laid out with the help of her late son-in-law, Leon Kiel.

Mr Kiel worked for many years on plans for the green, community-backed, Western Link Road, which would have been two-lane, and included special paths for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.

Junked by the National Government

But this was junked by the National Government in favour of a massive four-lane Expressway with almost none of the features planned by Mr Kiel and other conservationists.

The protest which attracted nearly 50 people — and plenty of supporting toots from vehicles on SH1 — was organised by Save Kapiti, which has already held up the start of the ExpresswayMotorway demo  2013 007 by appealing to the High Court.

Bobby Taylor (2nd from right in photo) says she’s confident the Expressway can be stopped. She says she campaigned against the Vietnam War, the Springbok Tour, and  nuclear proliferation — and saw all these movements succeed in NZ. The same can happen with the Expressway, she says.

Livingstone Gardens threatened

Protesters were also there to support landowner, Murray Livingstone (3rd from right in photo) whose garden business, and home, is threatened by motorway plans.

The NZ Transport Agency, he says, is refusing to come up with a sensible compensation offer for the half of his property it wants to lop off. This land includes his business premises and living accommodation.

Despite official calls from him to vacate, Mr Livingstone says he won’t budge until the Government agency comes up with a decent offer.