Support the Guardian

Available for everyone, funded by readers

Businesses urged to start conversation with Waka Kotahi

Businesses urged to start conversation with Waka Kotahi
Harvey’s Bakehouse co-owner Emma Halliday and Canterbury Motorcycles and Kawasaki Canterbury Ltd, owner, Clint Collett.

A Rakaia business owner has a message for his compatriots in Tinwald ahead of major roadworks.
Open the lines of communication with Waka Kotahi now, before the road works start, Clint Collett says.
“Those businesses want to be clear in who they are dealing with and who they need to talk to if they do have issues.
“And get it sorted now before it’s too late.”
Collett, the owner of Canterbury Motorcycles and Kawasaki Canterbury Ltd in Rakaia, was furious with a lack of consultation before road works beginning in Rakaia associated with installing in-road scales for the weigh station north of the bridge.
In response to community backlash, Waka Kotahi responded with an increased level of engagement, Collett said.
The affected businesses received a consultant to help sort issues and keep them informed as the works continued.
During a Tinwald project briefing with the Ashburton District Council in April, Waka Kotahi’s director of regional relationships, James Caygill, said he was “frankly mortified” at the engagement, or lack of, that occurred in Rakaia.
But he was “satisfied we have engaged and will continue to engage with the businesses [in Tinwald].”
The Rakaia situation differs as Tinwald has known about the project since it was announced in 2020, Collett said.
Even so, he is encouraging any Tinwald business facing an impact of months of roadworks to get ahead of any potential issues by finding out who they need to deal with now.
Fulton Hogan is the contractor in Tinwald, with a tender price of close to $5 million, and will start work in July.
The project is centred on the installation of traffic signals at the intersection of State Highway 1, Agnes Street, and Lagmhor Road, with an upgraded rail level crossing on Lagmhor Road.
Fulton Hogan was also the contractor for the Walnut Avenue upgrade in Ashburton, the $12.5m project that involved two roundabouts being replaced with traffic signals and an upgraded rail level crossing.
A big difference from the Walnut Ave project, which came under fire from the community for taking 18-months to complete, is that KiwiRail will complete its work early in the piece.
The dates for the crucial block of line closure to upgrade the level crossing is already booked in for October 7-8 for a 33-hour period.

  • By Jonathan Leask