Ultimatum over Tauranga Northern Link

Smith’s Farm access issues re-surface. Photo: Supplied.

Tauranga City Council is sending an ultimatum to the government over the stalled Tauranga Northern Link Highway - no highway, no special housing area at Smith’s Farm.

“If we don’t get the Northern Link, we will just leave the housing area,” says Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless.

“We will just leave the housing area in abeyance until such time as the government takes its responsibilities here seriously.”

Smith’s Farm is vacant land with access off Cambridge Road currently via Westridge Drive.

The housing area will be accessed off a realigned and expanded Richards Way.

The 6.8km TNL project from Te Puna to Takitimu Drive passes right past the Smith’s Farm site. It was originally expected to be completed in 2021, but is now stalled.

In 2016 the city council decided to wait until the TNL was planned, along with the access, before going ahead with the sub-division.

NZTA advised council in 2016 it was prepared to pay about 20 per cent of the cost of building a local access road for Smiths Farm if the St Andrews Drive alignment was chosen.

Based on the most recent $6m cost estimate, this would be a contribution of approximately $1.2m.

Planning staff told the city Transformation Committee this week NZTA is ‘rescoping’ the TNL, and workshops are expected with council staff over the next couple of weeks.

NZTA was open to looking at making the access a stand-alone project that occurs ahead of the delivery of the TNL.

“Progression of the northern link is absolutely essential to us progressing the housing area to help the government out,” says Greg. “So I would take a fairly strong stance on that.”

SunLive last reported on the Smith's Farm access in January this year when councillors learned the land may no longer be required for housing, but for sports fields. The access would be under the TNL.


7 Comments

What are Labour playing at?

Posted on 09-06-2018 23:33 | By Bay Citizen

Labour have behaved very badly on this one. The Northern Link was approved years ago and funding granted in April 2016. Construction was meant to start this year. To be backtracking now, or at least prevaricating, is stupid, particularly as this project is a such an obvious no-brainer to fix a very congested road. So TMcDonald, National DID recognise the problem and DID do something about it; Labour merely had to do nothing other than let NZTA get on with the procurement, which they were half way through before Labour inexplicably told them to down tools.

Gee, it's pathetic how

Posted on 09-06-2018 14:55 | By TMcDonald

governments and councils of past have sat on their behinds and done damn near nothing to improve our roading / environment / education / healthcare and more, yet now suddenly we have a plethora of outspoken critics who talk about responsibilities and the urgent need to address the dire shortfalls in all of the above. This road needed sorting 5 years ago BEFORE the high density Omokoroa housing developments were all approved. National, WBOPRC and TCC have all sat on their hands on this and other issues. So yes, the 7 month old Labour Government is not immediately jumping through hoops at the whim of local bleeting Tauranga politicians like Crosby, Brownless and Muller – even so, ultimatums are certainly not part of good leadership. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Three cheers

Posted on 09-06-2018 13:35 | By rastus

While I cannot pretend (and neither I think can others) to know all the politics behind this decision, but if the mayor is putting some pressure on central govt then why complain. Our roading problems go back a very long way and our district has contributed many millions to the national cause, so a little bit in return would not go astray IMHO.

Red perhaps?

Posted on 09-06-2018 12:47 | By Mike Kuipers von Lande

You’re not a supporter of Taxinder by any chance Angela? Yes the council has failed spectacularly with the Bella Vista fiasco, but have made a commitment (at least in theory) to fix the problem. It remains to be seen whether the reality meets the promise, but in terms of the roading issue, Taxinder has withdrawn support from the plan, without offering any viable alternative. We can’t just keep dumping more housing into areas serviced by inadequate roading.

@ Angela (Mt Maunganui)

Posted on 09-06-2018 12:14 | By Crash test dummies

I think you are over estimating the source here, toddler would apper more accurate than teenager. Yes of course it is well overdue for TCC ratepayers to give the ultimatium to Councillors to get their act together. Sadly the attitude seems to be that "we can do no wrong... and even if it ’might’ look like us actually it was someone else...".

All Politics

Posted on 09-06-2018 10:46 | By rosbo

Remember that TNL was authorised during the tenure of the National Government when Simon Bridges was Transport Minister. The present Government could not possibly let it go ahead because National would take the credit and they couldn’t allow that, could they?

Didums... Mr Mayor!

Posted on 09-06-2018 10:26 | By Angela (Mt Maunganui)

Whilst we all want our roads improved, to me your ultimatum smacks of a spoilt teenager having a tantrum when it does not get what it wants. To say... "If we don’t get the Northern Link, we will just leave the housing area in abeyance until such time as government takes its responsibilities here seriously." What would happen if many ratepayers decided to give TCC similar ultimatums concerning years of incompetence, poor service and broken promises? You dare to talk about ’responsibilities’, after the latest TCC housing fiasco! Should we threaten to withhold our rates, dump our rubbish on council’s doorstep etc when TCC don’t deliver exactly as planned? Mayor Greg Brownless, you should look inwards before delivering ultimatums worded like this.

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