Expressway Opponents use Kāpiti Speakers’ Corner to boost legal challenge

Work on the MacKay’s Crossing to Peka Peka Expressway can not proceed until the latest legal challenge is heard, explained SaveKāpiti spokesman Mark Harris at the Kāpiti Speakers’ Corner in on 4 May.

Just prior to the weekend, SaveKāpiti announced it was appealing to the High Court against the Board of Inquiry’s approval of the Expressway.

He said that the appeal process will start in the High Court on June 17 and would halt actions on the Expressway while it continued.

The challenge will argue on a point of law that the Board compared the Expressway with a do-nothing option — when it should have compared the Expressway plans with the many benefits offered by the Western Link Road (WLR).

Mr Harris outlined the benefits of the WLR, which he said was a ‘much better’ idea than the Expressway and would cost much less.

But, he said the NZ Transport Agency had ‘lied and cheated’ and had tried to marginalise opponents.

And, in a dramatic move, he asked listeners to look west at the impressive sight of Kāpiti Island which he said would be obliterated by the massive bulk of the Expressway. He said the new road will, on average, be 8 metres above the existing ground level he said.

Mr Harris stressed the advantages of the previous plan for the two-lane WLR, developed by the Kāpiti Coast District Council.

And he accused local politicians of failing to support his group in their fight against the Expressway, which he said would only generate a total of 650 jobs, with only about 150 of these in Kāpiti, compared with the 4,000 predicted for the Western Link Road.

Mr Harris rejected claims by two Kāpiti District Councillors that the new motorway will bring prosperity to the district. He criticised Clrs. Roger Booth and Tony Lester for claiming, on National Radio, that the Expressway will bring prosperity to Kāpiti. Mr Harris argued that Clrs Booth and Lester had no evidence for this, and claimed instead that the new road will take prosperity and traffic through, and not to, the District.

There was a dramatic confrontation during the event when Observer reporter Joel Maxwell appeared briefly among the listeners (he wasn’t covering the meeting).

Mr Harris asked him why the Observer wasn’t covering what happened and why it was failing to use news releases from SaveKāpiti.

But after an angry exchange Mr Maxwell refused the challenge and walked off.

The gathering at Speakers’ Corner was the fifth to be held at noon on a Saturday and, as has become customary, it was preceded by a musical blast from Cr K Gurunathan using an ancient Jewish shofar horn.

Friends of Free Speech Kāpiti Speakers Corner

Free Speech for all anytime at the Kāpiti Speakers’ Corner

Between The Paraparaumu Library and the Council Building

Contact: [email protected]

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