Public Works Act, Te Atatu Road Acquisitions

In September 2011, 109 property owners in Te Atatu Rd and Edmonton Road received notices from Auckland Transport(AT) saying that parts of their properties were required for road widening. In the pamphlet it was stated the project would improve traffic flow and provide for increase in general and heavy traffic flow. We were given a projected timeline of
2012-2013 — Land Acquisitions
2013-2014 — Construction
That was six years ago!!!
The following month Te Atatu Property Owners Group (TPOG) was formed to share information with affected property owners. In December 2011 a delegation of 20 TPOG members attended the Henderson-Massey Local Board meeting to express our concerns.
In January 2012 Auckland Council Property Limited (ACPL) advised they had been appointed as negotiators for land purchases by AT. Prior to that AT had written to landowners asking them to sign a document giving access to their properties over a period of 24 months for a consideration of 10 cents. (access to be given before purchases were paid for) I refused to sign.
I received four offers for my land –$20,000, $28,000, $45,000 and $47,000. I rejected the first three and accepted $47,000 in July 2013. It was another 4 months before I received payment. In early negotiations one of our members was offered $12,000 for her land. Pressure was put on her to sign an agreement and she was told land prices were likely to drop. She eventually settled for $40,000.
In November 2013 I produced a 35 page booklet entitled “The Public Works Act A Layman’s View”. If you would like a copy free to download either in PDF or Word format, please contact me at gary.osborne@vodafone.co.nz asking for a copy.
The Public Works Act is an anachronism. I have spoken to several valuers and lawyers who agree with me. I presented my local MP with a copy of the booklet and at a public meeting at which Simon Bridges was guest speaker, asked if he would be prepared to have a look at the Act. His reaction was that by and large it is working and they had to consider the overall public good.
It’s not only property owners who have suffered from this long drawn-out project but businesses and the travelling public as well. The anticipated completion date has now been put out to August 2017. Frankly, on past experience, I don’t see completion this side of Christmas 2017.
For details on a petition by Paul Richards, business owner, asking for an earlier completion date for the road works refer to http://www.clubphysical.co.nz/petition

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