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The Gauntlet: Issue #32

Newsletter #32 - 27 April 2017

With many taking Monday and Tuesday off, much more has been squeezed into the shorter week, including traffic. On Wednesday, Auckland Transport held the first of its consultation meetings for the alignment of the Matakana Link Road. On Thursday, TVNZ announced the airing date for our TV show.


You heard that right. TVNZ announced their winter line-up, which included a new show called “Gutsful.” The show premieres on May 11 and the Fix Hill Street Now campaign features in Episode 4, which airs on Thursday 1 June at 8:30pm on TV2.

We’re holding a screening event at The Bridgehouse on Elizabeth Street in Warkworth, starting at 7:30pm. You’re all invited to come and watch our team on the big screen. We have seen snippets of the show and it will be a hoot!

Details of the event can be found here: Please let our Facebook page know if you are interested in attending.

Here is how TVNZ announced the show:

Brand new TV2 locally produced series Gutsful is a collision of the best of the worst!

The word ‘gutsful’ is uniquely Kiwi; an extension of the experience of feeling ‘gutted’ after an unfortunate event.

New Zealand is awash with disgruntlement. As city people move into the country to whine about cow shit and metal roads, in turn rural folk object to a house being built down their quiet country road.

Gutsful takes a distinctive approach to community disputes, straying into seemingly cosy communities, to dig-up smoldering disputes and burning issues. We’ll give a voice to the often-trod trials of pesky pets and boundary bandits. But also cast a wider net to encompass rest home rabble-rousers, consumer rip-offs, local litterbugs and rogue animals.

Gutsful’s participants are colloquial, quirky, frustrated, teary-eyed and hell bent on getting justice. They come in all shapes and sizes. Grey-haired senior citizens, unruly 20-somethings, solo Mums and rustic locals.

Here’s a programme that will listen to all your gripes, grizzles and grievances. This is no voyeuristic ramble around your shambles. They’re putting it right … (within reason).


On Wednesday, Auckland Transport presented their options for the Matakana Link Road alignment. In attendance were the developers of the land most affected by the proposed road’s route, who also happen to be developers of the land affected by Stage 2 of the Western Collector between State Highway 1 and Falls Road. We saw their extensive plans for the area.

To view Auckland Transport’s options and provide feedback, visit here:

Here are the four options being considered, after being narrowed down from ten initial alignments:

The location of the intersection with State Highway 1 is not negotiable as NZTA have specified where it must be. Technically, Auckland Transport are responsible for the works beyond 60 metres from that intersection.

As we see it, the five issues to consider are:

  1. The location, design and integration of the intersection with Matakana Road;

  2. The number and location of crossing places (entranceways and intersections) along the limited access road;

  3. The integration with the developers’ plans;

  4. The integration with public spaces, including parks, reserves, schools, facilities, and pedestrian areas; and

  5. The synergies of construction in the area.


The location of the intersection with Matakana Road is important for safety reasons and integration with the future link with Sandspit Road.

Imagine locating the Matakana Link intersection near Clayden Road. If there was a roundabout in that location, how many out-of-towners heading for Matakana will make a wrong turn up Clayden Road? Option A also will be the most expensive option as it traverses steeper terrain.

The benefit of Option A, however, is that it provides more manageable terrain for the adjacent Sandspit Link. The other options will require more earthworks to fill the steeper drop to the east of Matakana Road.

What is most concerning to us is that the Sandspit Link is scheduled a decade behind the Hill Street intersection upgrade. In other words, Auckland Transport are delaying the construction phase of the Hill Street upgrade due to their concerns about disruption and are relying on the Matakana Link Road to provide an alternative route.

Can you see the problem? What about Sandspit Road traffic? Is Sharps Road their “alternative route?”

If Auckland Transport are genuinely serious about the risk of disruption caused by upgrading Hill Street, their plans for the Sandspit Link should be more progressed. Instead, not one landowner or developer of the land between Matakana and Sandspit Roads attended the consultation.

Remember, by the time that the Matakana Link Road and motorway are completed, NZTA reckon that Sandspit Road traffic will be 18200 annual average daily trips (AADT), whereas Matakana Road will only have 13000 AADT. When the deteriorating Sandspit Road and the Hill Street intersection are being dug up, is Matakana Road expected to handle 31200 vehicles a day between Sharps Road and the Matakana Link Road?

Jacobs prepared the chart below months before the NZTA revised their projections. Even then, it was recognised that a Sandspit Link diverted more traffic away from the Hill Street intersection than a Matakana Link. See below.

We think that Auckland Transport might be pleasantly surprised how keen the landowners between Matakana and Sandspit Road want a road through their future urban-zoned land. Option C could be more feasible for the Sandspit Link and Matakana Link sites if earthworks could be coordinated between the sites. Also, the Hill Street upgrade and Sandspit Road rebuild could also have shorter construction phases if the Sandspit Link was factored in, making all projects more feasible.


Auckland Transport’s designs for the Matakana Link Road won’t come cheap. The bridge across Millstream will be almost as wide as the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the road’s cross-section will be at least 30 metres wide.

Usually, developers are expected to build roads and have the extra costs of distributor roads deducted from financial contributions. The Matakana Link Road, however, is taxpayer funded and the pace that it has progressed has been assisted by developers.

The road is only 1300 metres long, costing $32,000 a metre. It is primarily to get traffic from Matakana Road to the motorway (and, most likely, the new Pak ‘n Save complex between Hudson Road and the Western Collector). It is a limited access road, so any roads and entranceways along its route must keep disruption to flows at a minimum.

Saying that, Auckland Transport must ensure that the developers’ plans for adjoining sites is mutually beneficial. All options in the consultation include a wide corridor of land between the link road and the A&P showgrounds. The developers prefer an alignment like Option C and their preliminary designs include land set aside for a school and public swimming pool in that corridor.

A school would work on that site. The peak flows for schools are different to the commuter and weekend peak flows. A retirement village and public facilities will only need one entranceway each. A median strip might be necessary between the entrances to avoid disruption to flow.

There is a lot of tweaking to do. We’ll keep you posted about what develops.


Thank you for subscribing and thank you to donors and volunteers who have got our campaign into full swing. Please contact us if you would like to donate, volunteer, or have any suggestions.

To make a donation, our bank account details are:

Account Name: “FixHillStreetNow Action Group” Bank Account Number: 12-3095-0042062-00.

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