A controversial road costing up to $1.85 billion through Auckland's industrial belt has attracted a number of appeals, including from local iwi Ngati Whatua and The Onehunga Enhancement Society (TOES).
The east-west link, a four-lane road connecting State Highway 1 at Sylvia Park to SH20 at Onehunga, has approval from a Board of Inquiry and was on the former National Government's programme of roads of national significance.
TOES chairman Jim Jackson said while the Labour-Green confidence and supply agreement says that "Auckland's East-West motorway link will not proceed as currently proposed", the community group was concerned that no alternative proposal has been put forward.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is disappointed that the new coalition government has not yet made good on its promise to scrap the East-West link
He said that because of that, TOES asked the Government to withdraw the Notices of Requirement and surrender the resource consents for the current east-west link to avoid them either being locked into place, or having to appeal them to the High Court.
The Government replied, saying that it had asked the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to carry out a review of the east-west link.
"On the basis that this review might identify options that could utilise the approved designation", it said to TOES that "it would be premature for the NZTA to withdraw the designations or consents at this time."
"Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei is also disappointed that the new coalition government has not yet made good on its promise to scrap the road.. It is concerned the NZTA will bank the consents and wait for a change of government to build the motorway, said Ngati Whatua deputy chairman Ngarimu Blair..
TOES have focused their appeal on the huge amount of coastal reclamation granted in the designations and consents.
"The New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement says avoid reclamation unless there is no land outside the coast available for the project or there is no practicable alternative. The Auckland Unitary Plan requires also restricts reclamation." Jackson said.
He said if the road proceeds as proposed, this would be one of the largest reclamations in Auckland since the RMA 1991.
"While reclamation for the right reasons and in the right places can be appropriate, such as the new beaches at Taumanu – Onehunga Bay, the massive reclamation for the East West Link is for the wrong reason – to build a road. There is land available outside the coast for the project and there is a practicable alternative.
"The Onehunga foreshore has been the subject of so much poor reclamation in the past. Enough is enough. We need to learn from the mistakes of the past and not repeat them."
Blair said it must also put right the Board of Inquiry's views around considering all Iwi's views in the project as being equal.
"Iwi based in the Hauraki and Thames areas submitted in support of this motorway that will destroy habitat for rare and endangered birds special to the people of the Manukau. Their view should simply not have been considered".
Other parties appealing the decision include the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, Mercury Energy and Jackson Electrical.