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The Gauntlet: Issue #34

Newsletter #34 - 11 May 2017

We’ve been thinking about killing two birds with one shot. No, not just because it is duck shooting season but because we reckon that the Matakana Link and Sandspit Link can be built with the same budget.


The premiere of the TV series “Gutsful” airs tonight at 8:30pm on TV2. It will later be streamed on demand here:

We feature in episode 4 on June 8. It will be interesting to see how the show is put together.


Auckland Transport want your feedback on the Matakana Link Road options by 20 May 2017. Provide your feedback here:

We have been asked by several subscribers which of Auckland Transport’s four options for the Matakana Link Road we support. Here are the four options being considered, after being narrowed down from ten initial alignments:

Effectively, the differences between the options are the destruction of a house (Options B & D), the avoidance of a wide section of bush (Options B-D), the avoidance of the showgrounds (Options A,C & D), and the avoidance of the Clayden Road intersection (Options B-D).

Although Auckland Transport assessed the options based on 10 criteria, the public isn’t spoilt for choice. As said previously in Issue 32, the connectivity with the Sandspit Link is the most important issue.

There are broadly two potential alignments for the Sandspit Link, one through the southern perimeter of the quarry and one to the north. Here is how they could look.

The most likely location for the Sandspit Link intersection is adjacent to the cattery on Sandspit Road. The general terrain is rolling country where cut-and-fill can maintain a consistent gradient and straighter alignment.

The difference between a northern Matakana Link/Sandspit Link intersection and a southern intersection is the escarpment earthworks to the east of Matakana Road. Also, there is plenty of material left to be extracted at the northern quarry face.

The developers of the land behind the showgrounds, who are also developing Stubbs Farm, also have their own plans. They are very much in their preliminary concept planning but have produced this scheme plan of potential land uses.

Ideally, Option C is the preferred option of the developers. Taking everything into account, including Sandspit Link, we concur.


The Matakana Link doesn’t come cheap. At a cost of $42m, it is twice the $21m benefits calculated ( The road is only 1300 metres long, costing over $33,000 a metre.

We did some comparisons. As the table below demonstrates, the Matakana Link is built to a motorway standard, even though by Auckland Transport’s admission it won’t carry half the traffic that currently uses Sandspit or Matakana Road (or even Elizabeth Street). Even the motorway, when finished, will carry less than Sandspit Road, Great North Road, Browns Road, and Woodcocks Road.