20 Dec 2013

Rotorua roading project put on hold

6:30 am on 20 December 2013

A major roading project in Rotorua opposed by three hapu has been put on hold.

The proposed road called the Rotorua Eastern Arterial will run from the airport close to Lake Rotorua towards Sala Street.

Three Te Arawa hapu are against the road partly because it would cut through tribal land, where they harvest rongoa Maori (Maori herbal medicines).

The trio of sub-tribes, and members from the Rotorua District Council and the Transport Agency attended a hui about the Rotorua Eastern Arterial route on Wednesday.

Nireaha Pirika, who's a spokesperson from one of the hapu, Ngati Uenukukopako, attended, and is pleased with the outcome.

He said the Transport Agency has agreed to put on hold any decisions about the roading project.

Mr Pirika said he understands the department will draw up a memorandum of understanding so each party knows where they stand on the roading matter.

The Transport Agency says it's committed to finding a transport solution, and says it's important to take time to review options.

It says confirmation of the preferred option is currently postponed.