The reconstruction of a dangerous Hawke's Bay Expressway stretch and a double intersection interchange has become a roundabout way to save a house which was to have been demolished to make way for the project.

The house was in the path of the realignment of Links Rd, part of the project merging the road with the expressway and Pakowhai Rd - an area once regarded as one of the 20 most dangerous intersection's on the NZ Transport Agency network.

But, complete with its solid matai flooring, it's moved and been resurrected as emergency housing in a unique deal between government departments, a local community, and a private landowner.

The arrangement, involving the removal of the house to a site at Waiohiki made available by landowners Tamati and Pauline Cairns, was recognised at Friday's dedication of the project.

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The house, built about 50 years ago for the Gregg family, had been on land required for the Links Rd approach to the roundabout.

Waiohiki community representative Denis O'Reilly said when the community learned the house would be demolished it intervened and suggested in times of a housing shortage use could be made by relocating the building.

Tamati Cairns agreed to make his land available on a right to occupy basis, the house was moved and with renovations currently being completed by Gemco is expected to be in use for the winter.

Tamati Cairns, who made land available for the relocation of the house, speaks during a dedication and blessing marking the completion of the roading project. Photo / Doug Laing
Tamati Cairns, who made land available for the relocation of the house, speaks during a dedication and blessing marking the completion of the roading project. Photo / Doug Laing

It had come at a cost of about $200,000 with several agencies and organisations coming together to "make it happen", O'Reilly said.

Among those involved were Government agency Te Puni Kokiri and the Waiohiki Community Trust and marae.

Held alongside the roundabout, as busy traffic rolled past, the dedication it was attended by the couple, members of the community from the area of the roundabout to Waiohiki, and representatives of the project leaders the NZTA, Hastings District Council and contractors Higgins.

Ngaire and Ross Duncan at the site of their neighbour's house before it was moved to make way for the roundabout project. PHOTO/DOUG LAING
Ngaire and Ross Duncan at the site of their neighbour's house before it was moved to make way for the roundabout project. PHOTO/DOUG LAING

The house had been on land acquired for the Links Rd realignment part of the project at what NZTA senior project manager Rob Partridge said had been 19th on the list of the most dangerous intersection on the highways network throughout New Zealand.

O'Reilly noted the traditional significance of the area, a junction near Pawhakairo which had been a meeting place of Maori and Pakeha in the 1850s and also local gatherings in the establishment of the kingitanga movement.

Ngaire Duncan, who with husband Ross was a neighbour of the Greggs said it was a sad day to see the house go, but they were thankful it had been able to be saved.