28 Feb 2016

Buller council pushes for Tasman road link

10:27 am on 28 February 2016

Buller District Council is pushing ahead with an idea for a new road linking the West Coast with the Tasman region, Mayor Garry Howard says.

Negotiating Hawks Crag in the Buller Gorge might be a thing of the past if a new road to the West Coast is built.

Negotiating Hawks Crag in the Buller Gorge could be a thing of the past if a new road to the West Coast is built. Photo: RNZ/Tracy Neal

The council agreed late last year to ask for government help with an investigation into the proposed 56-kilometre road, which would cross through part of Kahurangi National Park.

At the time, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said he was working with the council on a study of the proposed route, as part of the new West Coast Regional Growth Study.

The proposed road would link Little Wanganui, south of Karamea, with Tapawera in the Motueka Valley.

The proposed road would link Little Wanganui, south of Karamea, with Tapawera in the Motueka Valley. Photo: Supplied: Buller District Council

Mr Howard said a company had now been appointed to do the regional growth study, and research into the proposed road would run parallel with that.

"We are still keen to see the investigation with regard to the Wangapeka to Tapawera road - the northern link to the Tasman district - very keen to see the investigation proceed."

The proposed Wangapeka link route would cut the journey from Karamea to Nelson from 328km to approximately 169km.