29 Jul 2017

Local mayor critical of Labour's Manawatu Gorge plans

1:26 pm on 29 July 2017

Tararua District mayor Tracey Collins isn't backing the Labour Party's preferred route to replace the Manawatu Gorge Road.

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Several slips have closed the Manawatu Gorge road. Photo: NZTA

Multiple slips have closed the road - the main route between Palmerston North and Hawke's Bay.

Should it win the September election, Labour has pledged to speed up consenting and construction of a new route, likely to the north of the gorge through the Te Apiti wind farm.

But Ms Collis said the route wouldn't go through Woodville.

"For our residents, you know, that's extra distance, it's extra fuel, it's a lot slower for the trucks.

"I don't think that they have considered the wider economics of that route, right through to the Port of Napier."

The Transport Minister has said that a proposal on whether a permanent alternative will go ahead should be finalised by December.

Three organisations are currently tendering to investigate a long-term alternative.

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