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Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency

Whangarei to Te Hana Road Improvements

Providing deeper insights to project decision making and the RMA process.

With significant changes planned on a 75km section of Northland’s highway, early and effective engagement with the community was essential – not only to identify and manage the vast social impacts, but also to help decide the short-list options, inform the design aspects and support the RMA decision making process.  


Just Add Lime worked with the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to develop an Integrated Engagement Strategy, which included local community information ‘drop-in’ sessions and focus groups, where Just Add Lime provided specialist Social Impact Assessment expertise.  


During the drop-in sessions and focus groups we collected data and discussed findings with members of the community to gain an understanding of how people in the area live, work and play, and how various project options may affect this. 


We used the results of the drop-in sessions and focus groups to develop a contemporary description of the social environment, identify the social impacts (positive, negative and cumulative) for each options and how these may be managed during planning, construction and operation. 


With multiple project options, numerous small communities and rural townships, and population and traffic growth expected from increasing tourism and port activity, the Integrated Engagement Strategy, of which Just Add Lime provided specialist social impact and engagement expertise, provided local people the chance to contribute to the decision making process. 


The feedback was that people wanted to speak with the Transport Agency about the project options, but they also wanted to speak to Just Add Lime, knowing that we were providing an objective assessment of the impacts of the project.  


Information gained from the engagement enabled the Transport Agency to make informed decisions based on a depth of information and the work also contributed to achieving both programme and project objectives along with broader Transport Agency environmental and social responsibility objectives. 


What’s more, they were able implement management strategies for social impacts during the planning stage – something not usually undertaken.

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