New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) consent applications related to the building of the Ngaruawahia section of the Waikato Expressway have been granted in a decision by independent hearing commissioners appointed by Environment Waikato and Waikato District Council.
In a joint hearing report, commissioners also approved notices of requirement from NZTA related to altering existing designations of land for both the Ngaruawahia and Hamilton sections of the expressway.
The consent applications related to earthworks, discharging overburden to land, a bridge over the Waikato River, culverts, wetlands work, groundwater take, stormwater discharge and water take and use.
The notices of requirements related to land required for expressway-related purposes. As a “requiring authority”, NZTA is able to give notice of requirements for such changes but they are subject to scrutiny by local councils.
The hearing report said that with appropriate conditions applied to the consents the environmental effects of the proposed activities would be “minor” and “thus the application for the consents can be granted and the [notices of requirement] can be confirmed”.
The report said the efforts of NZTA, submitters and council staff meant NZTA had ensured its proposal and mitigation methods were of a high standard “and we have been able to include those methods in conditions”.
The commissioners thanked everyone involved in the hearing. “Throughout the proceedings a fair degree of goodwill and the willingness to listen to other perspectives was apparent,” the report said.