NZTA’s decision to re-evaluate the Horowhenua Expressway from Otaki to north of Levin is not only siphoning investment out of the region but is also soul-destroying for the Horowhenua community, Local Otaki MP Nathan Guy.
“The future of the Horowhenua Expressway has been up in the air since June, and 400 affected land owners are likely to stay in limbo until Christmas Eve before they are told what the preferred route is.
“NZTA has continued to push out the deadline for deciding on which of the three potential routes will be used, but it is frustrating residents who are waiting in limbo.
“The Horowhenua Expressway will have a massive economic boost to the Horowhenua district and the wider region. Investment in the stretch of road would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and a major boost to local businesses.
“The previous National Government recognised the importance of the route and developed plans for the road, but the Labour-led Government has since indicated they will be down-scaling the project and now have three options on the table.
“Rather than building the four lane expressway to future proof for continue economic growth in Horowhenua and the wider region, the Government is instead only going to build two lanes. With congestion in Levin already at a diabolical state, this is a short-sighted decision by the Government.
“It should be a priority to build this road out to four lanes given the focus on road safety in the Government Policy Statement on Transport, especially as this section of road has been described as ‘death highway’.
“National committed to major investment across New Zealand’s regions to fund much needed highway projects that would have dramatically reduced road harm, boosted growth, created jobs and provided economic opportunities.
“Unfortunately Transport Minister Phil Twyford has stripped back this investment in order to fund a tram set in Auckland.
“Residents want a fast decision so they can get on with life, but the Government is making them wait while the Minister prioritises central Auckland trams. It’s not good enough.”