Source: Auckland Council
Eke Panuku Development Auckland has been recognised for its role in the collaborative regenerative design of Northcote’s future greenway, Te Ara Awataha, with the GHD Award for Environmental Leadership as part of the 2021 New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency Taituarā Local Government Excellence Awards.
Te Ara Awataha project is a key part of Eke Panuku’s urban regeneration work in Northcote and is being jointly delivered by Eke Panuku, Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, working alongside Kaipātiki Local Board and mana whenua.
The name Te Ara Awataha means ‘the path of the Awataha’ and reflects the deep significance of the water source and cultural connection to mana whenua.
Once complete, Te Ara Awataha will offer a 1.5km network of existing and new reserves running through the Northcote neighbourhood, connecting the town centre, schools and new homes as well as daylighting the historic Awataha Stream. The project seeks to resolve long-standing stormwater issues in Northcote while creating a valued and resilient environmental asset.
The GHD Award for Environmental Leadership is a new category this year and recognises programmes, projects, or initiatives that provide tangible benefits to the environment, or showcase leading practice in managing environmental impacts in the local community.
“It is a great honour for Eke Panuku to receive this award on behalf of the wider project team and partners without whom this work would not be possible,” says Kate Cumberpatch, Eke Panuku Priority Location Director – North.
“This award represents an ongoing commitment by all of us to bring back life to the Awataha Stream and revitalise the Northcote town centre for this growing community.”
Te Ara Awataha is nested within the Eke Panuku Development Auckland larger Unlock Northcote programme, which is working toward creating a low carbon, transport orientated town centre, with great walking and cycling connections.
“Seeing the stream come to light and the quality of urban design involved in achieving this award-winning project is certainly worthy of acknowledgement. Te Ara Awataha will enhance the Northcote community and provide the open environment we will all enjoy,” says Danielle Grant, deputy chair of Kaipātiki Local Board.
The regenerative design of Te Ara Awataha captured the judge’s attention for its interweaving of Te Ao Māori, urban design and environmental remediation principles.
In their feedback, they noted, “It’s a collaborative piece of placemaking that goes beyond a physical corridor to employment, social procurement, and educational objectives. The project also demonstrates regard for all four dimensions of well-being.”
Eke Panuku is an inaugural winner of this award and, as noted by Taiturarā, it is also the first time since 2012 that a council-controlled organisation has won an Excellence Award.
More information on Te Ara Awataha project can be found here.