Work resumes on Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass sites

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineSeptember 9, 2022

Work will resume on the Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass after it was paused for three weeks while a small group of people were unlawfully occupying a work site.

Contractors on Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass stopped work at two of the project’s construction sites on Monday 15 August after a makeshift camp was set-up beyond security fencing at the summit of Mt Messenger on Sunday 14 August.

Waka Kotahi project sponsor, Sarah Downs said the camp was located within an active worksite, presenting a safety risk.

“Safety is the highest priority for Waka Kotahi and throughout the occupation our focus has been on the safety of our contractors, those unlawfully occupying the site and the traveling public. In order to keep everyone safe, our contractors stopped work in this area.”

Work was also halted at the northern anchor point for the project’s 1.1km future cableway, as the presence of people within the makeshift camp at the summit prevented necessary helicopter operations.

Work was able to continue on other areas of the project, including the cableway’s southern anchor point and the main project compound, as well as the major environmental and pest management programme.

Waka Kotahi said it does not expect the occupation to have had any significant impact on plans to begin main construction in October this year.

“We know the majority of people in Taranaki are as keen as we are to see the bypass constructed as soon as possible and our team is excited to get back to work.”