One of the most interesting (and I wish I could say surprising) things about reaction to the Board of Inquiry decision to decline resource consent for a Basin Reserve flyover is how reluctant the New Zealand Transport Agency, many local councils, and flyover cheerleaders in the business community have been to examine what the Board actually said.

Such organisations appear to regard the Board decision as a toxic document that can be handled only with tongs. The idea of paying serious attention to the Board’s conclusions appears not to have occurred to them.

So I was very struck by the following letter, which Kate Zwartz wrote in response to a report in the Petone Herald of Poririua Mayor Nick Leggett and Kapiti Mayor Ross Church applauding NZTA’s plan to appeal the Board’s decision, and asked her for permission to republish it. Over to you, Kate:

How extraordinary that mayors and council executives can applaud the decision of New Zealand Transport Agency, a government body, to throw more public money after bad.

The decision of the Board of Inquiry, which heard months of detailed evidence from both sides, was crystal clear.  Here are a few direct quotes from the Board’s Final Report and Decision, August 2014:

“… the quantum of transportation benefits is substantially less than originally claimed by the Transport Agency.”  [1317]

“… we do not consider the Project can be credited with being a long term solution.”   [504]

“… we have found that there would be significant adverse effects.”  [1182]

“… it is our view that it is impracticable to avoid this structure dominating this sensitive environment.”  [985]

Why is NZTA reluctant to accept this decision?  Let’s get on with designing proper, fit-for-purpose solutions and drop the failed flyover.