The second phase of public engagement on the Marlborough Sounds Future Access Study wrapped up at 5pm yesterday, with around 1,700 responses received.
The public were asked for their views on the ‘emerging preferred option’ and ‘hazard adaptation pathway’ and their estimated costs for each of the five storm-damaged areas of the Sounds, via a survey.
Throughout the engagement period, 500 people attended seven public drop-in sessions and an online webinar. The survey received at around 1,700 responses – with the final number to be confirmed early next week.
The data received from the community will now be analysed by Stantec as part of the business case development to be presented to Marlborough District Council later this year.
Acting Mayor, David Croad said it was encouraging to see the level of interest in the study.
“It was clear from the engagement drop-in sessions and the number of surveys completed that people are passionate and concerned about the future transport network in the Sounds,” said Cr Croad.
“This is the first time Marlborough has worked through such a complex Waka Kotahi business case process. The transport challenge facing the Sounds is significant and we appreciate everyone’s willingness to embrace the engagement process.
“Getting constructive feedback about the different options and pathways strengthens our proposal for funding, and ensures we make the best decision possible for the Sounds, and the whole region.”
Cr Croad said the project team will now analyse feedback from Marlborough residents and ratepayers gathered through the online survey. This feedback will inform the business case, which is scheduled to be finalised by the end of August 2023, he said.
Council will then review and consider adoption of the final business case before providing it to Waka Kotahi for endorsement before the end of this year.
It is likely to be 2024 before Council will consult with all of Marlborough on the proposed options and costs through a special consultative process, before making a final decision. Waka Kotahi will then make a decision about its funding contribution, Council said in a statement.
It’s hoped that a staged rebuild could begin at the end of 2024 in some areas, it said.