How long have we been involved with the project?
We became involved in the Mt Messenger Bypass project in 2016 when NZTA approached us as we are manawhenua of this rohe and options for improving the road crossed our whenua.
Over three years we have worked closely with the Mt Messenger Alliance (NZTA and its partners who are delivering the project) to build a trusting relationship that ensures our manawhenua is respected and kaitiakitanga upheld.
We’ve been active in the process to select a route that has less environmental impact, compared to of the options. Rūnanga members have walked the land many times with the project team and worked in the field with their ecologists and engineers.
We’ve had input to the different aspects of the bypass project including the design of the bypass route, the project’s cultural expression, its large environmental programme and plans for building the bypass.
There was extensive consultation with local communities, roader users, councils and with us to arrive at a preferred route. Many options were considered, and we were part of the formal process to assess and identify a preferred route. Initially NZTA had favoured an option that ran through Parininihi, which of course is where we were planning to release kokako. The options process helped NZTA to revisit this and eventually a bypass route, which avoids the Parininihi and runs east of State Highway 3, was selected.
The new bypass will cross our land.
For some time, we’ve been talking to you about the Mt Messenger Bypass, most recently at the information sharing hui and at our AGM in September. These conversations are continuing.