Wellington, Jan 20 NZPA - The Waterview Connection roading project in Auckland will be considered under a new consent process, Transport Minister Steven Joyce said today.
Mr Joyce said there had been good progress on Auckland's Western Ring Route which included the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) deciding to apply for the Waterview Connection to be considered under the new national consenting process.
Also construction would be bought forward on the Lincoln Road interchange on the Northwestern Motorway which would now start this year.
Mr Joyce said that the new consenting process for the Waterview Connection project would replace the usual two-step process of a council hearing followed by an Environment Court hearing, with either a single hearing before a board of inquiry, or a direct referral to the Environment Court.
"The ability to make a direct application to the Environment Protection Agency under the RMA was introduced by Government last year to streamline the decision-making process on matters of national significance," Mr Joyce said.
"I'm pleased to see that the NZTA is seeking to use this provision to ensure community involvement in this sensitive project while keeping to the completion date of 2015/16."
The NZTA has today confirmed alignment changes for the Waterview Connection announced last December, Mr Joyce said.
Construction of the Lincoln Road interchange has been brought forward and will commence this year, following the appointment last week of contractors to undertake the next phase of design.