Penny’s Piece, August 2015

Penny Gaylor Otaki's KCDC councillor
Penny Gaylor
Otaki’s KCDC councillor

SH1 to the North

I question the logic of the New Zealand Transport Agency.

To the south of Otaki, NZTA are spending $1 Billion to shave off 10 minutes, meanwhile to the north NZTA are spending, I don’t know, maybe $1million that will add on 10 minutes to drive-time. Same government agency, neighbouring projects, same State Highway 1, and yet completely contradictory philosophy with regard to what the plans are for our SH1.

 Once the Expressway is completed between Raumati through to the north of Otaki the four-lane $1 Billion road will even potentially have vehicles legally driving at 110 kmph.

 Currently the SH1 road-works north of Otaki at Manakau and Ohau have traffic slowing down while they install traffic calming edges, eliminate passing lanes and then ultimately permanently reduce the speed to 80 kmph.  

 What on earth is going on with that agency?

 If they had consulted with the Otaki community we might have heard why on earth this ridiculous situation is happening.  Throughout the consultation for the Kapiti roading changes we’ve been told it is to reduce travel time for the trucks and cars, but then these changes to our north make a farce of Government’s case.

By my maths, minus 10 minutes, plus 10 minutes equals zero minutes for a $1 Billion Madness.

 Ultra Fast Broadband

Council has submitted its bid on behalf of Otaki to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment for the second stage of the government’s ultra-fast broadband roll-out.

This follows the government indication that there is money available to increase coverage throughout the country and inviting local councils to put in a bid.

 Otaki missed out on the current UFB, even though government is rolling it out across Kapiti. Access to improved broadband is a must for our businesses, students and the community who would benefit from improved productivity, educational and health outcomes. With high growth expected in our area, support for this initiative in Ōtaki is extremely strong.

 The government’s bid process requires bidding councils to submit a registration of interest and provide a digital enablement plan.  You can find a copy of our bid can be found on Council’s website – www.kapiticoast.govt.nz  A detailed Business Case will be pitched to government by September, and in the meantime I will continue to canvas local businesses to fill out a questionnaire to help us build the picture of the local benefits.

 A final decision on which areas of the country will get the funding is expected to be made by the end of this year.