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The Gauntlet: Issue #10

Newsletter #10 - 24 November 2016

Debate about Hill Street is really gaining momentum. In the past fortnight, the topic has dominated letters to the editor in the local newspapers. Check out the letters in today’s issue of the Rodney Times here:

For our team, this week has been about the logistics of organizing the petition. We would especially like to thank Harveys Warkworth for their generous use of their printer to print our petition booklets, flyers, and posters.

Over the next week, we’re also giving presentations to local industry associations about the need to Fix Hill Street Now.


On Wednesday 30 November, we will be launching our petition at the Bridgehouse. We will also be revealing our different billboards that will be erected the following day.

Starting at 5:30pm at the bar, we will mingle, show what we have been up to, what progress we have made, and what to look forward to. Our engineers will give a brief presentation about the problems and what can be done.

Pencil in that date and time. We’ll be circulating flyers to shopowners during the week to promote the meeting.


It is one thing to demand something to be done and another to ensure that it can be done. Petitions are no different.

The purpose of a petition is to send a message to show the strength of feeling of a community to get action from elected officials on a particular issue. The message must be clear so that officials don’t find excuses to dismiss it, hijack the petition, or to do something else.

Petitions lodged with Parliament are tabled for the public record. Just like Citizens Initiated Referenda, they aren’t binding, however. Online petitions can be presented to ministers.

Taking into account the strength of feeling not only amongst locals but also across the wider region, we have chosen to run a manual petition and online system simultaneously. We’ve created our own online petition system that is as close as possible to what would otherwise comply with Parliamentary Standing Orders. We will provide both the petitions to our sponsor, Mark Mitchell MP, who will table the manual petition with the House of Representatives and the online petition with the Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges.


Our message is quite simple: “Fix Hill Street Now.” In terms of the “5 Ws and H”:


We want the government.


To improve the Hill Street intersection to remedy current and future congestion and safety problems.


The area intersecting State Highway 1, Hill Street, Elizabeth Street, Matakana Road, Sandspit Road, Millstream Place, and Kowhai Park.


Before other roading projects make the problem worse.


Because the problem will get worse.


By using the fund set aside under New Zealand Transport Agency’s “SH1 Warkworth intersection improvements” project.

We worked with the Clerk of the House of Representative to bring these elements together into the following approved petition wording:

“I, the undersigned,

request that the House of Representatives recommend to the Government,

as part of the New Zealand Transport Agency’s “SH1 Warkworth intersection improvements” project,

that it prioritise design, funding, and works improvements for the Hill Street intersection

(being the intersections of State Highway 1, Hill Street, Elizabeth Street, Matakana Road, Sandspit Road, Millstream Place, and Kowhai Park)

to address current and future safety and congestion issues

and commence necessary works before any other nearby works exacerbate congestion at the intersection.”

We will be circulating petition booklets to local businesses. These booklets also include information explaining the cause of problems with Hill Street and why it needs to be fixed now before matters get worse. When you se