NZTA have extended their Wairarapa SH2 speed review consultation deadline by three weeks. PHOTO/FILE
Today’s deadline for people to comment on the Wairarapa State Highway 2 speed review consultation has been extended, due to the latest level 4 lockdown, as well as a booklet distribution error.
People will now have until Sunday, September 19, to have their say on the New Zealand Transport Agency’s proposed new speed limits and safety improvement plans for SH2 between Masterton and Featherston.
NZTA made the three week extension to ensure that everyone in the community could make a submission under the circumstances.
Thus far, the consultation has been widely advertised with people able to make submissions using several different channels, including online, email and post. Printed consultation booklets with submission forms have also been available at council offices and libraries.
Consultation booklets were also intended to be delivered to all properties from Masterton to Featherston. However, a distribution error has meant that the booklets were not delivered in some parts of the community as planned.
NZTA director of regional relationships Emma Speight said the agency was pleased with the level of engagement and the number of submissions they had received so far, but that it was important to them that everyone had the opportunity to have their say.
“As we are at alert level 4, we are currently unable to print more booklets and have them delivered to the addresses that have not received them. Therefore, we are encouraging everyone who may have been waiting on the booklets to be delivered to now make their submission online or via email,” she said.
“We also know that the speed review may not be top of mind under the current circumstances, so we’re hoping that extending the consultation period will give people who haven’t already submitted a chance to provide more considered feedback that will help us finalise our decisions.”
Speight said if the alert levels changed with reasonable time left in the consultation period, NZTA would look to reprint the booklets and have them redistributed to those letterboxes that hadn’t received them.
The news of the extension was welcomed by AA Wairarapa chairman Craig Bowyer.
“With covid-19, people’s minds may not be on the speed review and we can’t lose sight of it.
“Extending the deadline will give everyone a chance to have their say and be clear and vocal for what they want.”
NZTA will now be increasing the promotion of the consultation online to ensure that it reaches as many people as possible.
The extension of the consultation period is not expected to impact the timeframes for the construction of the safety infrastructure improvements, which is still subject to funding, or on any possible speed limit changes.
- People who have not yet had their say on the SH2 Wairarapa improvements and wish to do so, should visit: nzta.govt.nz/projects/sh2-wairarapa-highway-improvements/