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Published: 2007-10-16 00:00:00

Taupo District Council has been given approval by an Environment Waikato hearings committee for various works associated with development of the major new East Taupo Arterial (ETA) roading project.

The ETA will be a 15 km diversion, starting around the junction of state highways 1 and 5 near Wairakei, and then hooking up with the existing state highway 1 around Taupo airport.

Activities approved include extensive earthworks, construction of a number of bridges and clearance of nearly 10 hectares of vegetation.

The committee’s approval followed extensive pre-hearing negotiations and subsequent agreement between various parties over issues such as protecting power transmission lines from dust.

The development is subject to a range of conditions, including dust mitigation measures, control of sediment getting into waterways and fencing off of rare vegetation growing in geothermal areas.

“We compliment the parties… for their willingness to reach what in some circumstances must have been compromise solutions,” said commissioners Jim Howland and Evan Penny.