The expressway is going east.
That's the conclusion one Manakau family has reached – and it's hard to disagree – after seeing their official letter from the New Zealand Transport Agency.
The letter to the Ironsides arrived on Tuesday and brought the news that the four-lane Otaki to north of Levin expressway will run through their property no matter which route it finally takes.
The Ironsides live on a 23 acre property just south of Manakau, and east of SH1. Paula Ironside said the letter indicated that all shortlisted routes – as yet undisclosed – affected their property.
That implies the west is out, the east is where all shortlisted routes for the expressway lie and where the expressway, if built, will eventually run, Mrs Ironside said.
NZTA would not comment, saying shortlisted options would be released in early February and a second round of public consultation would take place.
The Ironsides' experience is backed up by social media chatter this week, with plenty of noise from affected residents on the east from Arapaepae Rd near Levin all the way down to Manakau, but no chatter at all from western households.
Many residents were expressing dismay online to find their eastern-Horowhenua rural properties in the firing line.
Craig Ironside said they had anticipated for several months, following public meetings last year, they were likely to be affected to some degree, but being affected by all route options still came as a surprise.
"We are a little bit frustrated by the uncertainty but reasonably pragmatic," he said.
"I think the new road is a good idea. Where we are, the traffic on public holidays is just ridiculous, and anything that can help fix that is good.
"My only thing is being in limbo. If they want the property that's fine. Just get on with it.
We can agree a price and I'll just pick up and do what I do elsewhere.
"But being in limbo for years and years will be sub-optimal. The uncertainty of not knowing means I can't do anything until we do have certainty."
The Ironsides run a racehorse breeding operation on their property and have about 20 horses there. They moved in three years ago and, Mr Ironside said, had spent around $100,000 developing it for horses.
"We bought this property with the idea to build up a lower North Island breeding stud. We were about to spend money on stables. There's no point in forking money into the property now."
Mrs Ironside said there was a one hectare plot of protected and ecologically-sensitive bush on the property and she was concerned for its future.
The Ironsides meet with NZTA officials on their property next week to learn more about the future of their home and business.
Their uncertainty will, though, continue for at least another five months, with NZTA having said it would not confirm its preferred route until the second half of the year.