Andre Baker on Otaki’s Reaction
to Expressway Proposals
The decision by Transport Minister Stephen Joyce to construct a four-lane motorway by-passing Otaki has been received with ‘anger, confusion — and some relief,’ says Andre Baker, chair of the Otaki Community Board.
At the only public meeting in the Otaki Township (11/9/09), the general response to MP Nathan Guy was that there was ‘too little detail, and only one option proposed by NZ Transport Agency(NZTA) –which is unacceptable,’ Mr Baker says.
‘Affected property owners reminded Nathan Guy and NZTA officials that the 2002 community consultative process was ill conceived and incomplete,’ he says.
‘The issue of compensation was also raised,with a demand that NZTA give assurances that this would not become an unnecessarily complex and protracted process.’
Mr Baker also says the meeting demanded NZTA provide the opportunity for Otaki to revisit the options explored in 2002.
This should include more detail regarding the future upgrade of rail, retaining the historic Otaki Railway station, and organising bus tours for the community so people can understand the visual impact of Minister Joyce’s motorway plans.
He adds:’In my view, mitigation of the social and economic impacts to Otaki retail, industrial and private property owners needs to be managed in a manner that is mana enhancing and builds capacity for the future growth and potential of the Otaki community.’