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Released Date

Monday February 24 2020

Published by

HNZT

Build Our Road group continues to push forwards on O2NL construction timeline

Representatives from advocacy group ‘Build Our Road’ say that they will continue to advocate for the people and businesses of Horowhenua around the construction of the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway.

Build Our Road spokesperson and member of the horticulture and farming community, Geoff Lewis says that while last week’s announcement from the Government was positive, he still believes that advocacy is needed to speed up the timeline. 

“My feeling is that this project could be accelerated without any difficulty, and we will advocate for the project to begin as closely to the completion of the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway as possible.” 

“Otherwise, it will be ten years before our community sees value from this announcement and there are still grave concerns for the safety of our roads. They simply aren’t suitable for our agricultural vehicles, commuter traffic and trucks.” 

Build Our Road is an initiative supported by the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust, and chair Antony Young says that the announcement was a clear example of what is possible when communities come together.  

“Minister Twyford said in an interview that it was the advocacy of community and business leaders that helped him in making the decision to allocate funding for the road. This shows that it’s not just the Council that politicians listen too.” 

“We worked really closely with the media, including the Horowhenua Chronicle, Stuff.co.nz and Radio New Zealand to tell the many stories of how this road had affected our community. Within just four months, 27 media stories about the road were published, bringing the nations eyes to our doorstep. 

Mr. Lewis says that the community's determination helped the group to do what they knew was right. “We [the Build Our Road group] knew that we had the backing of the community, and that strengthened our resolve to advocate strongly directly to the Minister and the NZTA. 

 “Our concerns are very much now with those affected landowners, and we want to see an environment where their situations can be resolved as speedily as possible.”

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