NZTA have sent an update about Community engagement on the Ōtaki to north of Levin highway:
In August and September  we hosted ten community drop-in sessions between Manakau, Ohau, Levin and Koputaroa about the draft preferred alignment of the new highway. Nearly 800 people came along to these sessions to find out more and have a chat with the team.
Our interactive map was available online and at drop-in sessions. We had more than 4000 visits to our interactive Social Pinpoint by more than 1300 online users. Of those users, 116 people provided 269 comments on the map. While the map is now closed for comments, you can still view comments made during engagement.
In addition, 26 people completed the feedback form and 67 people provided their feedback via email. We’ve also held over 100 meetings with property owners.
Analysis of feedback from this engagement period is ongoing, however we have identified some emerging themes from community feedback.
There were many discussions about:
- the difference between a roundabout and a full interchange – and what could work best for the new highway,
- how the east-west links will be maintained for walking and cycling,
- what the interchange at Tararua Road could look like,
- how people will access the new highway, and
- what the new highway will mean for recreational horse riders.
The feedback will continue to be analysed in the coming weeks and we will update you again later this year. The full engagement report will be published next year, when we let property owners and the community know about refinements to the draft preferred alignment.
There’s an enormous amount of consultation going on at this early stage, but it will continue as the project moves on, even though construction is not planned to start until 2025.
And a note for recreational horse riders: the project scope does not include a bridleway. You may wish to lobby for horses to be included in the scope.
Find out more about the new highway.