1 Jul 2013

Protesters blockade garden centre in path of expressway

10:19 pm on 1 July 2013

A group protesting against the planned Kapiti Expressway near Wellington says the New Zealand Transport Agency has been heavy-handed with the community.

About 50 people from Save Kapiti on Monday morning blockaded the Livingstone Garden Centre in Raumati South, which is in the path of the $630 million four-lane road linking Mackay's Crossing to Peka Peka.

Garden centre owner Murray Livingstone has worked at the business for 19 years and has a home on the site. He said his land has been valued at $1.7 million and NZTA is trying to enforce a sale for just $700,000.

Protester Bianca Begovich said NZTA told Mr Livingstone it had intended the purchase of his property to go through by Monday but it has given him a two-month extension.

Ms Begovich believed the expressway would hurt the community and the Government should have opted for the alternative Western Link. She said that road would have connected small Kapiti communities and would be completed already if it had gone ahead.

Save Kapiti's appeal against the resource consent for the expressway will be heard on 10 July.

Protesters at the garden centre on Monday.

Protesters at the garden centre on Monday. Photo: RNZ