Environment Court rules in favour of Mt Messenger Bypass

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Mt Messenger Bypass, new zealand, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency,

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NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi welcomes today’s Environment Court ruling supporting the final block of 11 hectares of land required for the 6km Mt Messenger Bypass to be compulsorily purchased through the Public Works Act.

The ruling dismisses the objection to the Public Works Act purchase.

NZTA General Manager Transport Services Brett Gliddon says the ruling supports the approach and actions taken by NZTA and the Crown.

Today’s ruling follows a series of court rulings in favour of NZTA and the Crown over many years. 

“This is the last parcel of land needed at the northern end of the Bypass. It is always our preference to purchase property by agreement rather than compulsory acquisition. In good faith, and in compliance with the legislation, since 2017 we have made extensive efforts to acquire land by agreement.”

The Bypass has faced complex challenges from the outset, with extensive delays caused mostly by multiple legal challenges – none of which have been successful.

“We acknowledge the cumulative impact this has had on the rate of progress and costs for the Bypass project. For example, a $37 million increase is the estimated impact of NZTA being unable to start work on the land in question during the 2023/2024 summer construction season alone. 

The Mt Messenger Alliance has made great progress in other areas of the new alignment, including 13% of earthworks completed and construction of the 235 metre tunnel about to commence, with strong support from project partners including Ngāti Tama as mana whenua.

“The Alliance team has worked tirelessly and innovatively to adjust their approach to construction while delays occurred,” adds Mr Gliddon.

“For example, the project’s cableway to haul equipment and workers into the remote heart of the project area is a first for New Zealand and continues to receive accolades from within the industry.

“Once completed, the Bypass will provide much-needed interregional economic, resilience, safety and environmental benefits, including for local communities, businesses, freight and all State Highway 3 road users,” Mr Gliddon says.

Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

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