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.
Since then, 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.
We’re very pleased to have reached this point.
Thanks to the many of you who’ve shared your questions and thoughts with us over this time. Your feedback has been invaluable.
With your guidance and support, we’ve reached the point where we’re pleased to bring the Mt Messenger Bypass Agreements to our membership for voting. Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou, ā, ki a koutou katoa.