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HomeNew ZealandMt Messenger bypass: Act supports petition against project it backs

Mt Messenger bypass: Act supports petition against project it backs

About 20 protesters broke through security fencing at Mt Messenger five days ago and have set up camp at the summit, erecting tents and a kitchen.

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Protesters have gathered at the Mt Messenger bypass project.
Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Opponents of the $280 million Mt Messenger bypass in North Taranaki are getting support from an unusual corner – the Act Party, which backs the project.

Act list MP Nicole McKee will present a petition with more than 18,000 signatures to Parliament next week, which calls for the proposed bypass route on State Highway 3 to be scrapped.

“The Act party really believes that everybody should have the opportunity to bring petitions to the House and to be heard.”

Last week police attempted to remove a group of protesters from Mt Messenger after they set up an impromptu camp.

McKee said the petition needs to progress to either the Transport or Environment select committees.

ACT MP Nicole McKee sits on the Justice Committee in an estimates hearing for the Minister for Courts Aupito William Sio

Nicole McKee.
Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

She said local hapū are worried about native forest being lost and wetlands being disturbed.

“I think this is actually quite a big issue that needs to be looked at and dealt with, I would hope by a specialist select committee.”

The Environmental Law Initiative group is threatening legal action if the Department of Conservation doesn’t cancel a permit authorising Waka Kotahi to kill kiwi – and 45 other species – during the building of the bypass.

Story Credit: rnz.co.nz

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