HOT TOPIC: SURPRISE – A Motorway is Back. East West Connections Feedback Sought

As well as truck lanes in a residential area


We do not even know the land use within the next 30 years

Auckland Transport and NZTA are again seeking feedback on the East-West Connections project through the Onehunga-Southdown heavy industrial complex. If you are wondering yes we have been through this exercise late last year (East West Connections Feedback Acknowledged) however, Auckland Transport at the time did say more feedback would be sought.

Well now it is seeking that feedback:

Have your say on East West Connections

17/06/2015 09:12 a.m.

Joint Media release: NZTA/AucklandTransport

Community feedback is being sought on the preferred approach identified by the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport for the East West Connections project to improve freight connections into and out of the Onehunga-Penrose industrial hub as well as the reliability of bus services between Māngere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park.

East West Connections (along with AMETI) was identified in the Auckland Plan as one of the top three transport priorities for Auckland. The investigations into this project also forms part of the Auckland Accelerated Projects capital funding package included in the 2014 budget and is a key priority for central government.

For Onehunga-Penrose a staged full connection on the north side of the Māngere Inlet between SH1 to SH20 has been identified as the best long-term solution to the current transport issues.

The Onehunga-Penrose industrial hub is a significant economic area for Auckland and New Zealand, contributing $5 billion a year in GDP and employing more than 64,000 people. Many of New Zealand’s largest distribution and logistics facilities are located there because access to both state highways and connections to the rail network create efficiencies in freight movements for Auckland and the Upper North Island. This area currently suffers from significant congestion, especially at the approaches to SH20 and SH1, which hinders freight movements and ultimately restricts productivity and economic growth.

Brett Gliddon, the Transport Agency’s Highway Manager for Auckland and Northland, says the preferred approach for Onehunga-Penrose will improve the reliability of freight journeys in the area and will provide an additional route which makes the transport network more resilient for all users. It will also improve pedestrian and cycling facilities and connections for buses and general traffic. In addition to the transport improvements, there are opportunities to achieve some positive environmental outcomes, particularly for the Māngere Inlet.

“This project is all about improving access into and out of Onehunga-Penrose. For this reason the new connection is expected to be a “limited access” state highway, not a motorway” stressed Mr Gliddon.

“We are still in the early stages of the project and we would like feedback from the community to help us further develop the project. We encourage people to let us know what they think” says Mr Gliddon.

As well as the approach for Onehunga-Penrose there has been substantial work undertaken to identify how to speed up bus services between Māngere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park and improve connections. These improvements are aimed at supporting AT’s Frequent Network, which will have buses and trains at least every 15 minutes from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.

AT’s Key Strategic Initiatives Project Director, Theunis Van Schalkwyk, says that the plans propose bus priority and transit lanes at key pinch points along the future Frequent Network bus route.

“Buses often get stuck in traffic, for example along Massey and Walmsley roads. The average travel time between Māngere and Ōtāhuhu at 8am is 22 minutes, but congestion and queuing can slow this down to half an hour. Similarly the bus journey between Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park can take anywhere between 17 and 29 minutes.

“Bus and transit lanes would speed up bus journeys and, most importantly, make sure passengers can rely on the travel time. We are also proposing sheltered bus stops along the route, upgraded bus stops at Ōtāhuhu town centre and an upgraded bus station at Māngere town centre.”

New facilities are also proposed along the route between Māngere, Ōtāhuhu and Sylvia Park to improve cycle and pedestrian safety.

The Transport Agency and AT are planning a series of open days this month. They are encouraging people to come along to find out more about the projects, ask any questions you may have, and provide feedback on the preferred approaches.

Dates and locations for the open days are:

  • Saturday 20 June from 3-6pm: Onehunga Café, 259 Onehunga Mall.
  • Thursday 25 June from 6-10 pm: Onehunga Night Markets, Dress-Smart, 151 Arthur Street.
  • Saturday 27 June from 9am-2pm: Māngere Town Centre, 93 Bader Drive (outside the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board Office).
  • Saturday 4 July from 3-6pm: Onehunga Café, 259 Onehunga Mall.

Find out more about the East West Connections project



Effectively Auckland Transport and NZTA have gone for Option F that was mooted last year.

Option F
Option F

The revised Option F that is being is having feedback being sought on can be seen below:

East West Link Connex June 2015
East West Link Connex June 2015

Also and again feedback is sought for the public and now freight transit lanes through Mangere and Otahuhu as seen below in this graphic:

ast West Link PT and Truck Connex June 2015
East West Link PT and Truck Connex June 2015

You can see the full size version of both graphics here:

The Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board have also put a presser out stating:

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board welcomes East West progress

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board is welcoming good progress being made on the East West Connections – citing the proposed link between State Highways 1 and 20 as crucial to the economic viability of this key industrial hub.

East West Connections is a joint New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Auckland Transport (AT) programme to improve freight efficiency, commuter travel, public transport and walking and cycling options over the next 30 years.

The project focuses on Onehunga, Mt Wellington, Otahuhu, Penrose, Mangere and East Tamaki – an industrial hub that employs over 130,000 people and generates more than $10 billion a year in GDP.

The local board will continue working with lead agencies to ensure the views of local residents and the business community are fully considered.

Says board chair Simon Randall: “We’re keen to ensure the best community outcomes arise from finalised designs for a high-functioning freight corridor as well as much improved walking and cycling connections.

“On the environmental front, we want to ensure that this project leads to bold improvements in the Mangere inlet’s environment; and that the current flows of pollution into the Manukau Harbour are addressed.”

“We are also keen to see that other potential benefits of such a proposal are dully considered. Key priorities here include the undergrounding of high voltage power lines, co-locating the Onehunga bus and rail interchanges, and future proofing for rail to the airport.

Simon Randall says it is pleasing to note that NZTA and AT in coming days will conduct open days on the preferred option. The board has offered its support for these.

Open day dates and locations are:

  • Saturday 20 June – 3-6pm – Onehunga Café, 259 Onehunga Mall
  • Thursday 25 June – 6-10 pm – Onehunga Night Markets,  Dress-Smart, 151 Arthur Street
  • Saturday 27 June – 9am-2pm – Māngere Town Centre, 93 Bader Drive (outside the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board Office)
  • Saturday 4 July – 3-6pm – Onehunga Café, 259 Onehunga Mall.


I hope that Local Board realises the following:

  1. Options A and B (which I supported) were more viable and beneficial to the traffic situation of the Onehunga-Southdown Industrial Complex
  2. The land use for the complex is not even certain with strong belief most of the area owing to population pressures will be converted to residential and supporting commercial. This is because heavy industry is both incompatible with residential and commercial while being intolerable to high land prices. That is heavy industry will move when land prices are high to areas where land prices are cheaper (so Wiri, Takanini, Drury South, and Glenbrook)
  3. There is no certainty that if Option F is ever build that there will be a clear and clean access path for the Onehunga Line to be extended to the Airport (thus the Airport Line). If anything Option F kills off any remote chance for the Airport Line.
  4. The motorway will cut off Onehunga to the foreshore of the Mangere Inlet to the rest of the urban fabric REGARDLESS if it is industrial now or residential in 30 years time

Time to get your feedback in folks. Although there is a VERY strong sense of irony in the first question of the feedback form:

1. We welcome your feedback on the approach identified to improve connections into and out of Onehunga-Penrose. This could include information that you think we should consider to ensure efficient connections for freight, cars, cyclists and pedestrians, or possible impacts on the environment, property and the local community. We would like to understand what you like, as well as what you think could be improved.

You have until July 17 to get your feedback in.

Options A and B

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