Mt Messenger Bypass

Proposed State Highway 3 roading project between Uruti and Ahititi in North Taranaki

Status: Closed
Submissions closed: Tuesday 27 February 2018

The NZ Transport Agency has served a notice of requirement to alter the existing State Highway 3 designation in the New Plymouth District Plan.

Taranaki Regional Council and New Plymouth District Council also received resource consent applications for this project. The two consent authorities jointly heard the applications.

The notice of requirement and resource consents were public notified under the Resource Management Act 1991 on 27 January 2018.

Submissions closed on Tuesday 27 February 2018. Thank you to everyone who gave us their feedback. 
Here is a breakdown of the submissions received:

  • Total submissions received (not including late ones): 1177
  • Supporting submissions: 1154
  • Opposing submissions: 20
  • Neutral submissions: 3
  • Late submissions: 17
A hearing was held over nine days, commencing on 1 August and formally closing on 6 November 2018. A number of submitters spoke in support of their written submissions and many technical experts provided evidence. Documents associated with the hearing process are available below.

On 7 December 2018 Hearings Commissioner Stephen Daysh provided:

·         Decisions on resource consents (one from NPDC under the National Environmental Standard for soil contamination, and 58 consents from TRC). The applicant and all submitters of these decisions have been notified and a 15 working day timeframe applies for appeals on the resource consents, to the Environment Court.

·         A recommendation to NZTA on behalf of NPDC on the notice of requirement.

On 21 December 2018 NZTA provided their decision on the notice of requirement. Notice of this decision has been served on all submitters and affected landowners.


The decisions were appealed to the Environment Court and a Hearing is scheduled to begin on 15 July 2019.

Summary of planning applications

New Plymouth District Council:

  • DSN17/44711 – alteration to Designation N36 to designate land for the construction and operation of the Mt Messenger Bypass – a new section of State Highway 3, located east of the existing highway corridor, between Uruti and Ahititi, in North Taranaki.
  • LUC18/47193 – land use consent to disturb soil under the National Environmental Standard for Assessing and Managing Contaminants in Soil to Protect Human Health Regulations 2011, associated with constructing the Mt Messenger Bypass.

 Taranaki Regional Council:

  • Application 17-10429-1.0(A) - To dam, take and use surface water from the Mangapepeke Stream and Mimi River, and to erect and use temporary weirs on the bed of the Mangapepeke Stream and Mimi River associated with constructing the Mt Messenger Bypass, and to divert, take and use groundwater as a consequence of excavations and tunneling associated with constructing and operating the Mt Messenger Bypass
  • Application 17-10429-1.0(B) - To divert, disturb, realign and modify sections of the Mangapepeke Stream, Mimi River and their tributaries associated with constructing and operating the Mt Messenger Bypass
  • Application 17-10429-1.0(C) - To install, use and remove temporary culverts in the Mangapepeke Stream, Mimi River and their tributaries for the purpose of constructing the Mt Messenger Bypass
  • Application 17-10429-1.0(D) - To install and use culverts in the Mangapepeke Stream, Mimi River and their tributaries and to install a bridge over a tributary of the Mimi River associated with constructing and operating the Mt Messenger Bypass
  • Application 17-10429-1.0(E) - To discharge to land, water and to air from soil disturbance and earthworks, to undertake vegetation clearance, and to undertake riverbed planting associated with constructing and operating the Mt Messenger Bypass


Project documentation

The application documentation includes an assessment of environmental effects, supported by a number of technical reports. This information is provided in a PDF format, containing the following documents, and is available by clicking this link:

Volume 1


Assessment of Effects on the Environment

Appendix A - E

Application forms; objectives and policies assessment; schedule of properties; planning maps; draft conditions

Volume 2

Drawing Set

Volume 3

Technical Reports

Technical Report 1

Strategic Transport Assessment

Technical Report 2

Traffic and Transport Assessment

Technical Report 3

Resilience Assessment

Technical Report 4

Economics Assessment

Technical Report 5

Social Impact Assessment

Technical Report 6

Recreation Assessment

Technical Report 7

Assessments of Ecological Effects

Technical Report 7a


Technical Report 7b

Freshwater Ecology

Technical Report 7c


Technical Report 7d


Technical Report 7e


Technical Report 7f


Technical Report 7g

Marine Ecology

Technical Report 7h

Ecological Mitigation and Offset

Technical Report 8a

Landscape, Natural Character and Visual Assessment

Technical Report 8b

Landscape and Environment Design Framework

Technical Report 9

Historic Heritage Assessment

Technical Report 10

Environmental Noise and Vibration Assessment

Technical Report 11

Air Quality Assessment

Technical Report 12

Contaminated Land Assessment

Technical Report 13

Construction Water Assessment Report

Technical Report 14

Geotechnical Appraisal



Maori Values Assessment

Volume 4

Consideration of alternatives – Options assessment reports

Volume 5

Draft Management Plans


Additional information received following notification

Updated information received 10 May 2018

Section 92 Request and Response

Notice of Hearing

    Commisioner's Minute #1 (16 May 2018)


    Planning Officers Reports

      Applicant's Evidence (25 May 2018)


      Memorandum of Counsel - Director-General of Conservation (25 May 2018)


      Request for deferment of hearing (31 May 2018)


      Applicant's Supplementary Evidence (17 July 2018)

      Submitter's Supplementary Evidence (24 July 2018)

      Department of Conservation

      Te Runanga o Ngati Tama

      Te Korowai Tiako o te Hauāuru


      Applicant's Rebuttal Evidence (30 July 2018)

      Planners Supplementary Report (30 July 2018)


      Applicant's Legal Counsel Opening Submission (1 August 2018)

      Applicant's Updated Information (3 August 2018)

      Applicant's Evidence - Highlight Packages (1-3 August 2018)

      Applicant's Updated Conditions and ELMP (6 August 2018)


      Submitter's Legal Submission (8 - 9 August 2018)

      Submitter's Additional Information (8,9 & 16 August 2018)

      Commissioner's Minute #4 (17 August 2018)

      Notice of Rescheduled hearing (17 September 2018)

      Applicant's Supplementary Evidence (28 September 2018)

       Second supplementary Evidence

      Submitters Supplementary Evidence (5 October 2018)

      • Department of Conservation

      Commissioner's Minute #5 (7 October 2018)

      Material Received 8 October 2018

              Te Runanga o Ngati Tama

      Material Presented 9 October 2018


      Commissioner's Minute #6 (Updated 15 October 2018)


      Responses to Commissioner's Minute #6 (Updated 19 October 2018)

      Responses to Commissioner's Minute #6 (Updated 23 October 2018)


      Updated with page numbers (4 December 2018)


      Material uploaded 29 October 2018


      Applicant's Closing Submissions


      Commissioner's Minute #7 (Close of Hearing - 6 November 2018)


      Commissioner's Decision and Recommendation (10 December 2018)


      Requiring Authority (NZTA) Decision on Designation (10 January 2019)

      Minor corrections of resource consents (s133A - RMA) (21 January 2019)

      Following identification of minor mistakes in the consents granted by the Taranaki Regional Council, amendments have been made.  The amendments are highlighted in Commissioner's Minute #8.  A link to that minute can be found below.  The consents attached to the Commissioner's Decision have been updated.  An updated copy is available on the link below.

      If you have any questions about the application, please contact New Plymouth District Council.



      Taranaki Regional Council Logo

      Alliance Logo



      Commissioners Minute #2 (31 May 2018)


      Commissioners Minute #3 (27 June 2018)