The NZ Transport Agency staff responsible for the Basin Reserve traffic improvements (read: flyover) fronted up to last night’s MVRA meeting as part of their community engagement. This was a very welcome development from an agency that has traditionally been reluctant to talk to the people who will be most affected by their roading projects, and Frank Fernandez and Tony Brennand from NZ Transport Agency were very forthcoming with the consultation approach they intend taking.
The process is likely to work as follows:
- NZTA will launch a website before Christmas that will provide the full range of information about the project, which will gradually be improved as more information is added to it.
- A brochure about the project will be sent to all homes in the greater Wellington area in February 2010, a week or two before the formal consultation process commences at the end of February.
- The consultation process will run for six weeks from the end of February and will include multiple mechanisms for getting community input.
- Once the responses have been collated, recommendations will be made on which options should go forward into a detailed design phase, and a decision will be made by the NZ Transport Agency board as to which one will be adopted. Construction is currently slated to begin in 2013/14, but this date is subject to change.
There was robust and vigorous feedback from the MVRA committee and considerable concern expressed that NZTA have already made the decision to build a flyover. Both Frank and Tony claimed this was not the case, and that all options were still on the table. They also said that the decision on which option would be selected would be made by the four government agencies involved – the Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and the NZ Transport Agency – rather than the decision being made solely by NZTA.
MVRA will keep residents informed about this project, which is likely to have a significant impact on the southern end of our neighbourhood.