Protest group hits road

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The local group formed last month to protest the proposed Southern Links roads through Tamahere will ask planners to consider another route option.

Group spokesman Andrew Gibson said the committee formed following the July 12 meeting plans to meet Grant Eccles of the Southern Links investigating team and ask for consideration of a more practical route through the industrial areas adjacent to Hamilton Airport.

“This would be better to serve the industrial areas, the airport and of course Mystery Creek Events Centre,” Gibson said.

“It seems a much better proposition to service industry, the airport and so on, and to form a road on the other [east] side of the river at, say, Porrit’s quarry where it can naturally link with the Discombe Rd part of the Waikato Expressway.”

The committee also hopes to join forces with with two other major affected property owners, the Rimmington and Vela families.

Gibson said various efforts were being made by affected landowners to gather information, including on the area’s history, archealogical and ecological sites, and on soil types in the path of the road proposals. Roading consultants had also been engaged to look at alternative routes with less impact on the Tamahere community.

The current proposals were putting at risk the multi-million dollar Vela horse stud in Pencarrow Road, whose loss would be a significant blow to the region’s economy.

Gibson said the group wanted to gauge support for direct protest action such as a march along Airport Road from Newell Rd to the Tamahere Community Centre on a Saturday that coincided with the Tamahere market. A public meeting would follow the march.

“We would need to be certain that at least 200 people would take part before going ahead,” he said. “There is little point in having a band of 20 to 30 people if we are trying to make a point.”

Comment below on whether your support a protest march or not.

Gibson said the Waikato District Council continued to be notable by its absence from the road debate.

“It seems that this is a recurring feature, not just here in Tamahere, but in other areas of the Waikato district to the north of Hamilton.

Tamahere’s councillor had a fiduciary duty to the ratepayers of the ward, he said.

“At the very least they should come out and tell the community what they know or don’t know about the scheme. Its little comfort to the affected residents for the local councillor to tell them not to become “emotional” when it affects their primary asset. So far the silence from the council has been deafening.”

Gibson said Tamahere’s experience was being repeated elsewhere, including northeast of Hamilton from Puketaha Road to Dey St in Hamilton East.

“I have been contacted by at least three people who find themselves or their immediate community battling the NZTA to get either proper compensation, proper responses to their questions, or proper advice as to the ramifications of the designation placed over their properties.”

A common theme ran through all the complaints – lack of one-on-one consultation, a high degree of “intrigue” used by authorities, a tendency to play one group off against another, a high level of misinformation, seemingly acting outside the scope of resource consents or even without consent, and a general “fobbing off’ of affected parties.

Andrew Taylor (Puketaha Rd) spoke eloquently to the Tamahere protest group about his trials and tribulations regarding the designation placed over two of his properties, Gibson said.

“If the experience of others is anything like Tamahere residents will go through then it could be classified loosely as a disaster for some residents who find themselves in a designated area. In the short term their properties will be unsaleable and unable to be enhanced for future subdivision or development.

“Tamahere is already cut in two by State Highway one. Any further roading of the scope of the new expressway will slice our community further and create dislocated families within our own peaceful area.”

2 thoughts on “Protest group hits road

  • August 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm
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    Hi

    Totally agree Tamahere needs to make itself heard. This is potentially horrendous for Tamahere, another 15 years of uncertainty following on from the Waikato expressway.

    We need to get the word out, I have put out 70 information flyers to Pickering, Oaklea and Tamahere Drive residents.

    Rgds Mark

    Reply

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