More Whangarei communities are meeting to go through concerns over a proposal to widen State Highway One south of the city.
Mangapai residents are the latest to hold a meeting over concerns a proposed highway will cut through their community. And Otaika residents have organised a meeting of their own for Saturday.
NZTA had proposed four options for the Whangarei to Ruakaka section of the Whangarei to Te Hana SH1 upgrade. Option C has raised the ire of Mangapai residents, who gathered on Sunday to talk about their concerns.
This came after Waipu residents spoke out about the two options for a proposed Brynderwyn bypass which would cut through their community.
Mangapai Hall chairman Michael Meyer said more than 100 people turned up on Sunday.
"They were worried a 100-plus-year-old community is about to be ripped in half."
He led the meeting, where Whangarei District Councillor Phil Halse and Northland Regional Councillor Rick Stolwerk both spoke.
Option C takes a wide berth to the west of the existing highway, plotting a path near Otaika, Puwera, Mangapai and Mata.
Mr Meyer said the "rumour mill" started a couple of weeks ago, and he wanted to hold a meeting so residents could get some factual information.
"I think the thing that has really upset a lot of people was that they found out by Chinese whispers."
He said people were annoyed by the short notice between when they got the information in their letterboxes and when the public meetings were, and when submissions close.
Mr Meyer said people had concerns the road would cut through their houses, their property, and their community.
He said Mangapai was settled in the early 1800s and the community had young families and retirees. He said it was growing fast and would be split in half by Option C.
Mr Meyer said the gathering would be putting in a community submission which gave an overview of why the community oppose Option C. As well, people were encouraged to make individual submissions.
New Zealand Transport Agency system design manager Brett Gliddon said the agency had a great response so far, with more than 200 submissions from the public and community which have provided a range of feedback and detail via the postal forms and online.
"Once the feedback period has closed the Transport Agency will coordinate the feedback and use this to develop key themes to help with the next stage in the planning and engagement process."
"This is the first round of engagement, the NZ Transport Agency will be seeking further feedback during other stages leading up to construction."
Otaika resident Lisa Anderson has organised a community meeting for residents in Otaika and surrounding areas also affected by Option C.
The meeting will be held the Otaika Hall on Valley View Rd at 2pm on Saturday. She said she had arranged for an NZTA representative to attend.