• 03 Te Rimu sculpture
  • 02 Great North Road Grey Lynn Mural
  • 01 Our Hood

Great North Road Improvement Plan: Read our Open Letter to AT Board 🤯

The Great North Road improvement plan was approved in 2021, then AT put it on hold. Here’s our last ditch effort to get it back on track…

Great North Road improvement plan - street design
Great North Road improvement plan – street design

To: Dean Kimpton, CEO and Wayne Donnelly, Chair
Subject: Open Letter to AT re Great North Road Improvement Plan

Dear Dean and Wayne,

This email is sent on behalf of the Grey Lynn Residents Association, the Grey Lynn Business Association, Newton Central School, Bike Auckland and the Community-Led Vision for Great North Road.

We are grateful to Dan Lambert, Matthew Rednall and Steve Willis for arranging to meet us at short notice on Friday.

Each of our organisations has written to you recording our serious concerns about AT’s last minute proposal to deliver a descoped, interim upgrade to Great North Road.

We are now writing to you as a group to set out our common position in relation to the Great North Road improvements plan:

  • We urge AT to deliver the full project on which it has consulted without further delay. We have waited many years for this upgrade. We have engaged constructively in successive rounds of consultation to help AT achieve the best outcome for our growing community. We are alarmed that AT is proposing to shift the goal posts at the last minute.
  • Development along the ridge is turning this area into a significant residential and business community. It is essential that Great North Road becomes a “Place” in its own right and not just a transport route. AT must deliver a fit-for-purpose result. New street trees and place-making amenities such as street furniture are an essential part of the upgrade.
  • Safety must also be at the heart of the project. The growing number of residents including families and children must be considered in the design. Removing side street treatments would not be consistent with AT’s Transport Design Manual and its Vision Zero policy. We oppose AT doing so.
  • We do not support an interim approach that will see residents and businesses subjected to two rounds of construction disruption. The lesson learned from the West Lynn village works is that businesses and residents are not prepared to go through the pain of works only to get a mediocre outcome that sets them up for future works.
  • The Great North Road improvement plan is more than half funded by Waka Kotahi and on AT’s own analysis it has a high BCR of 2.4. Seeking to “value-engineer” the project by removing essential “Place” improvements is a false economy. Please do not allow further delays or a pared-back option to cause funding to be lost. An interim scheme will be more expensive in the long run.
  • Finally, we note the strong public and political support the project has received since AT put it on hold last year. There is real reputational risk for AT in delivering a substandard result. AT risks losing the trust of the community and the social licence to deliver important street upgrades such as this. We urge you to listen to the feedback you are getting from the community.

We seek your urgent assurance that AT and the Board will not seek to downgrade the project and that construction of the full project will proceed as planned as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Grey Lynn Residents Association: Brandon Wilcox, David Batten, Dan Salmon, Joanna Hurst, Nicola Legat, John Diamond, Peter Bell and Tania Mace (committee members)

Grey Lynn Business Association: Paul Stephenson (chair)

Newton Central School: Margie Tukerangi and Hannah Wells (co-chairs) and Bryan Rehutai (principal)

Bike Auckland: Karen Hormann (chair)

Community-led Vision for Great North Road: Brandon Wilcox and David Batten (coordinators)

For more information on our Community-led Vision for Great North Road, check out this info and downloadable document:


  1. Roger Hawkins says

    A disaster waiting to happen. Local residents with no thought as to consequences for anyone other than themselves are determined to ruin car access to all users of GNR.
    The alleged “safety issues “ are negated by the total lack of valid statistical evidence & the hideous waste of $28,000,000 (to start the project) is bizarre when AT immediately admitted that they are in a FOUR HUNDRED MILLION dollar hole.
    & that’s before the “standard” cost escalations that will inevitably follow!
    Would ANYONE spend their own money on this totally unnecessary project?
    So why waste everyone else’s money when no VALID rationale has been established.
    One last question. Could you please publicly notify the community how the $10,000 “GRANT” from Auckland Transport was spent – & who was paid what sums of money…. Or is it still “in the bank”!?
    GNR – never in the field of mindless greed has so much been asked for, by so few, to such negative impact on so many! Grey Lynn residents should be ashamed of this “so called” lobby group. They are just AT & Bike Auckland (fully funded by AT) in disguise.
    Shameful, unjustified & hideously expensive and a waste of our money & time. All to zero benefit – to anyone except Fulton Hogan & the AT (make work) staff!