6 Jul 2011

Kapiti Expressway will go ahead, says minister

7:49 pm on 6 July 2011

A 4000-signature petition and a noisy protest at Parliament have not changed the Transport Minister's mind over the Kapiti Expressway near Wellington.

More than 200 people marched to Parliament on Wednesday carrying banners accusing the Government of "riding roughshod over Kapiti".

The planned four-lane expressway stretches from MacKays Crossing to just north of Otaki and could cost up to $855 million, take out 75 homes and run through a Maori burial ground.

The protesters' petition asks for a local two-lane road and an upgrade of State Highway 1 and the railway instead of an expressway.

Raumati resident Gordon Bathgate, whose home will have to be demolished, said he hoped the protest would change Transport Minister Steven Joyce's mind.

But Mr Joyce will not review the expressway decision, saying it is important it gets sorted for the benefit of Wellingtonians.