On Saturday, August 4, three members of the One Warkworth Business Association, met with the Minister of Housing and Urban Development and Transport Phil Twyford. The One Warkworth presentation stressed the following points:
Prioritise budgetary allocations for Warkworth
Under the Unitary Plan, the population of Warkworth is to grow from the current 4000 to a number greater than 25,000, and the wider Warkworth area from 24,000 to more than 52,000 people within a relatively short period of time. Warkworth will be one of the fastest growth areas in New Zealand and as such requires immediate investment in infrastructure now to adequately provide for this growth. Government and Auckland Council cannot be reactive. They must prioritise budgets to ensure Warkworth infrastructure can cope with this growth.
The Unitary Plan was adopted after the Puhoi to Warkworth State Highway 1 route and single northern off ramp was determined. But now that it’s apparent that the bulk of Warkworth’s new population will be to the south of the single northern interchange, an immediate commitment to a southern interchange is required. Land should be acquired and this work undertaken as part of the current Puhoi to Warkworth road construction project. This will avoid the cost of building then changing an existing structure. In the absence of a southern interchange, the bulk of Warkworth’s Auckland-bound traffic will need to travel north through the Hill Street intersection or try to negotiate the inadequate and troubled western connector route of Falls Road and Hudson Road.
Matakana link road
The Matakana link road should not be downgraded from the original four lane proposal (two each way) that was the subject of public consultation, to a two lane carriage way (one each way), as is now being considered. The road runs through and is to be the main route of entry and egress for the newly zoned 60 ha light industrial and commercial area. This is at present Warkworth’s largest industrial-zoned area and will be a significant place of employment and business and related traffic movements. At least three roads to the north and two roads to the south from this industrial precinct are to intersect with the Matakana link road, each needing either a light controlled intersection or a slip lane.
More land for local employment
Council have identified a need for more commercial and industrial-zoned land close to Warkworth. One Warkworth members have expressed a need for a large-scale industrial precinct, which will allow for sites of two to five hectares. In the absence of this precinct, existing businesses, who are large local employers, may relocate to other regions. On the other hand, the existence of such a precinct is likely to attract large-scale employers to the Warkworth area.
Chris Murphy, Chair