The NZ Transport Agency won the Excellence in Crown-Maori Relationships Award at this year’s Deloitte IPANZ Public Sector Excellence Awards.
The Transport Agency worked in close partnership with Waikato-Tainui in the planning, design and delivery of the four-lane, 4.8km Rangiriri section of the Waikato Expressway which takes traffic past a culturally sensitive area.
The roading project was aimed at improving safety, efficiency and local community connections but also provided an opportunity to address a longstanding grievance, relating to the re-routing of SH1 through the Rangiriri paa site in 1965. This was the site of the 1863 Battle of Rangiriri and starting point of the Waikato Wars and subsequent land confiscation.
The expressway project allowed the Transport Agency to remove SH1 from the original paa site and re-contour the land as it was in 1863. Working with Waikato-Tainui, a symbolic reinterpretation of the fortified paa was created, including pou marking the battle trench down to the river. The site is easily accessed from SH1 and provides a space for continuing education and contemplation about the battle and its consequences.
In this seminar we heard more about the Transport Agency’s collaborative approach to this project, taking into account cultural heritage and environmental outcomes, which are now reflected in other highway projects across the country.
The speakers were:
Sam Bourne – Principal Urban Design and Landscape, NZTA
Peter Murphy – Project Manager for Rangiriri, NZTA