August 07, 2017
Ngati Whatua backs Labour transport plan
Ngati Whatua Orakei has welcomed Labour's call to scrap the East-West Link as part of its rethink of Auckland transport plans.
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced a Labour-led government would build light rail from the city to the airport, light rail alongside the northwestern motorway to Westgate, and boost bus services.
Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says the hapu had opposed consents for the New Zealand Transport Agency to build a new motorway between Penrose and Onehunga, which includes territory where the tribe has a long historical association.
The link would damage special ecological areas, block the community from Manukau harbour, destroy the serenity of Waikaraka cemetery and disfigure the volcanic crater Te Hopua a Rangi.
He says the $2 billion would be better spent on projects that build mass transit options to unclog Auckland’s roads.
Mr Blair says Ngati Whatua supports changing the investment focus from cars to public transport and active transport which reduces emissions, protects waterways and improves people's health as they walk and ride more on safer streets.
Maori children in Auckland suffer injuries on Auckland roads at an unacceptably 65 percent higher rate than non-Maori.
The National Party’s transport plans, also unveiled yesterday, were for more road projects and some investment in heavy rail.
Copyright © 2017, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com