Two properties have been bought and three partial purchases of land have been made as moves to make an intersection safer on State Highway 1 south of Whangārei gains momentum.

There are seven landowners affected by the work scheduled at the Portland Rd and SH1 intersection and, in some cases, just a metre or two on the boundary has been bought to allow for road widening.

In June the NZ Transport Agency presented preferred options for the work at Loop Rd, south of Whangarei.

That included blocking the southern intersection of Loop Rd with State Highway 1 opposite Portland Rd, forcing traffic to the northern entrance where a roundabout had been recommended.


Work will also include widening of SH1 to make right turns into Portland Rd safer and realignment of the intersection to improve driver visibility.

For traffic travelling south and turning left into Portland Rd it would be made easier with the introduction of a slip lane. Wire-rope barriers and a flush centre median to separate opposing traffic would all add to safety improvements at the intersection.

But landowner Dave Gundry, who lives on Portland Rd, says $10,000 offered for a strip for road improvements along his property, bordering Portland Rd and another strip along SH1, was not enough.

Gundry said NZTA wanted to take 2500 square metres off his 10 acre block.

Gundry had owned the property for 35 years and said when he bought it he did not expect to have strips carved off it.

He had seen the aftermath of crashes at the busy intersection and he supported the safety work being done.

"I've got nothing against what they are doing to make it safer, but $10,000 is an insult.

"They shouldn't be able to dictate. I say the land is worth about $50,000 and that's reasonable. And it's the principle of the thing I thought we had rights. Rights to speak, rights to object, rights to negotiate."


He had not had the land recently valued.

NZ Transport Agency senior system manager Kevin Reid said while he could not discuss individual cases processes were followed to reach an amicable agreement with the landowner. He said it was the Crown, and not NZTA, who purchased the land.

Consultation with landowners began in March 2017.

Reid said NZTA got an independent market valuation and would pay for the landowner to have a separate valuation done.

"The valuations are used as the basis for negotiation."

Construction is planned to start in December or January, subject to gaining all necessary approvals.