NZTA’s surprise announcement of wanting to revisit the design options is a disingenuous ploy to derail SkyPath. NZTA knows that changing the design at this late stage requires going back and reopening SkyPath’s resource consent application. This would risk years of delay as the NRA would take it to the Environment Court again.
NZTA have been involved in every step of the SkyPath design and consenting process (sometimes reluctantly, sometimes helpfully). This included reviews of the design options, construction materials and widths of the shared path to identify the optimal solution. NZTA then supported Auckland Council’s application for resource consent of the final design for SkyPath.
With SkyPath’s consent obtained, the Government asked NZTA to deliver SkyPath and has provided the funding. It is unnecessary and unacceptable for NZTA to now want to revisit the design.
Until recently, SkyPath was progress well:
- NZTA was committed to delivering SkyPath per the conditions of the resource consent
- NZTA’s consultants, engineers Beca and architects Monk McKenzie, had reviewed SkyPath and identified no key issues
- NZTA was preparing to commission SkyPath Trust’s design team to assist in its detailed business case and
- NZTA was in discussion with SkyPath Trust to acquire the project’s intellectual property.
Then it all ground to a halt and we learnt that NZTA wants to go back in time and revisit the design options.
Hence we are calling on Minister Twyford to get NZTA focused on the delivery of SkyPath.