The stretch of road between Ōtaki and North of Levin has long been an accident hotspot and the cause of congestion on State Highway 1. The Government recognised the serious failings of this stretch of road, and began the process of identifying a preferred corridor for an expressway that would run from Ōtaki to North of Levin.
Once this corridor was identified - everything stopped. For the people who had properties in the proposed corridor, they were left with the uncertainty of not knowing when or if the road would be built, and unable to sell their properties for a fair price while the decision was in limbo. Businesses and the wider community put commercial decisions on hold, and still - people continued to die on this dangerous stretch of road.
Build Our Road is a campaign backed by the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust that sought to bring together community voices in a way that would have real impact with the decision makers of Government.
By telling the Build Our Road story through different perspectives using Facebook, events, local newspapers and national media, and drawing on our extensive networks we were soon able to send a representative group to Government to talk with the Minister of Transport.
Shortly after our meeting - an announcement was made by the Government that they were designating full funding for the design and construction of a two-lane expressway, with a delay on the construction start date.
Through content creation and our strategic relationships, we continued to advocate to the Government for the full, four-lane expressway and an expedited construction date. In January 2020, the Government made another announcement - this time designating funding for the full, four-lane expressway with construction to begin in 2025.