Waka Kotahi chair Sir Brian Roche apologises for Transmission Gully not opening in 2021, hopes road ready by Easter 2022

Santa and the rest of us will have to rethink our Christmas route in and out of Wellington with Transmission Gully not opening in 2021.

Waka Kotahi has announced it won't be in a position to unwrap Transmission Gully this year after all.

"It's just never going to happen, it's like this fictitious road that will never open," one Wellington local told Newshub, while another said, "It's a bit of a disappointment."

The 2021 opening date has been stolen from Wellington's Christmas wishlist with the billion-dollar Transmission Gully project breaking its promise to be open by December 25.

"Really disappointed and actually apologise to the public that we were unable to deliver something they richly deserve, that is just inexcusable at this time of the year," Waka Kotahi chair Sir Brian Roche tells Newshub.  

Construction on the 27-kilometre road began in 2014 but has been hampered by delays. It was due to be finished in April last year, then September this year, then Christmas.

"Because the quality and assurance tests we needed done and the consenting process has not been completed," Sir Brian says. 

Out of 100 safety and quality assurance tests that need to be met before the road can safely and legally open, 66 are yet to be accepted. There are also 28 consent tasks that need to be completed.

"We have failed in what we committed to do," Sir Brian says.

There are growing calls for the builder to be penalised for not finishing it on time.

"They should because it hasn't opened on time but I'm sure they'll find a way to get out of it," Porirua Mayor Anita Baker tells Newshub.

Whitby Residents Association chair Chris Darnell also believes they should face repercussions.

"I don't think they were ever going to be open by any of the opening dates they proposed in the past so I think it would be reasonable if they face repercussions," Darnell tells Newshub.

Sir Brian says "there are penalties and sanctions which we're working through at the moment."

They're also working through when the opening date will be.

"Easter, one would hope that it can be before Easter," Sir Brian says.

Hope that Wellingtonians won't have to wait until Christmas next year to open this present.

Watch the full story above.