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26/01/2018: Submissions called for Mt Messenger Bypass project

Public submissions are being called for on the proposed Mt Messenger Bypass in Taranaki.

The new $200 million bypass with a bridge and a tunnel will provide a faster route with a lower and less steep gradient through the Mt Messenger section of State Highway 3 north of New Plymouth.

The New Zealand Transport Agency says it will improve safety, resilience and route reliability, avoid geologically unstable areas, and contribute to economic growth of the Taranaki region.

NZTA’s Director Regional Relationships, Central North Island, Parekawhia McLean, says the public and community leaders have been supportive of the bypass plan.

“Thorough environmental and geotechnical investigations together with ongoing engagement with iwi and the community have informed our consent applications,” says Ms McLean.

The 20 working days notification period is open for public submissions from January 27. NZTA and Mt Messenger Alliance partners will be available to discuss the consent proposals. Dates for this will be posted on NZTA and New Plymouth District Council websites.

Information about the applications, supporting documents and where to make a submission, will be available on the New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki Regional Council websites from January 27th.

Nationwide

26/01/2018: Tight controls in place to prevent spread of cattle disease

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has issued guidelines for transport operators regarding Mycoplasma bovis.

So far the disease has been discovered on a small number of farms in Southland, North Otago, North and South Canterbury, and Hawke’s Bay.

The key message is to plan ahead. Don’t arrive unannounced; let the farmer know you plan to visit their farm. You must comply with any farm biosecurity requirements, including cleaning and disinfecting footwear, and wearing protective clothing and equipment before coming onto the farm.

All properties under a Restricted Place Notice (RPN) require permits to move animals. The permit requires that the truck is cleaned and disinfected at the end of each movement.

MPI says it is absolutely safe for tradespeople and truck drivers to go from infected farms to other properties, as all infected farms are under strict legal controls under the Biosecurity Act.

Vehicles carrying animals – for example, transporters going to meat processing premises – are disinfected on exit and go directly to the meat processor (not to other farms). They are then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the plant on completing the job.

Vehicles coming on and off an infected farm should be confined to the tanker track or main access track.

More information: MPI website Mycoplasma bovis