A Board of Inquiry has approved consents for the Waterview Connection, a major motorway project in Auckland that includes a controversial tunnel.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce said the approval was good news for Auckland and New Zealand.
“We are today a big step closer to unlocking the benefits that the completed Western Ring Route will bring to Auckland and the whole country,” Mr Joyce said.
The Waterview Connection is part of the Western Ring Route Road of National Significance and is the first roading project to use the government's new national consenting process.
“This is a project that's been debated for decades. The government came in with a plan that was much less costly than the previous government's, while balancing the needs of communities along the route,” Mr Joyce said.
“Since the project was referred to the Board of Inquiry through the new national consenting process it has taken just 10 months for a final decision.
“The Board of Inquiry has effectively endorsed our approach. That's good news for the community and good news for taxpayers.”
He said the completion of the route was essential to the continued growth and economic development of the Auckland region.
“It will also contribute to better business and freight links between key industrial hubs in Manukau, Auckland, Waitakere and North Shore.
“I'm pleased that everyone involved will soon have certainty about exactly what's happening, when and how,” Mr Joyce said.
A project summary statement is available on the NZ Transport Agency website.