Construction and destruction underway

As part of the changes required for the AMETI Eastern Busway, Auckland Transport has begun removing 61 houses along Pakuranga Road.

Like many, I was concerned about the loss of housing especially considering the current housing market. Investing in transport is an absolute must for East Auckland and we need to get this busway built so we can move onto other transport projects, but it's important we make good decisions.

In NZ, you can request information from government at either central (Official Information Act or OIA) or local level (Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act or LGOIMA). So I contacted Auckland Transport using the website which helps track the requests and makes it available for others to see (reducing duplicate requests).

I'm pleased to say I got a pretty quick. Here are the key points:
- houses where offered to "mana whenua and to Housing New Zealand however both parties declined ... due to logistical reasons and the cost of removal vs the property condition";
- contractor is aiming to relocate properties where possible;
- "vast majority of buildings" are unable to be re-located due to "condition and structural stability";
- waste minimisation conditions in place with the contractor;
- up to 90% of non-asbestos contaminated materials will be recycled (mostly metals or concrete and bricks);
- remainder will be sent to a plant that uses the waste to generate electricity.

It's good to see that relocation and reuse of these houses was considered and the materials are being recycled where possible.

The Eastern Busway is a $1.4B project which won't be finished until 2026 so there's a lot more to happen. Minimising the impact on locals during a construction project of this scale will be a challenge. I'll be keeping an eye on progress and will provide updates as I get them.