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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Representatives of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Downer NZ, HEB Construction, Tonkin + Taylor and iwi mana whenua have marked a key milestone, forming Te Ara Tupua Alliance, as the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section of Te Ara Tupua moves towards construction.

Hosted by Te Atiawa Taranaki Whānui at Te Tatau o Te Pō Marae in Lower Hutt on Friday 2 July, representatives of Waka Kotahi and of the project’s design and construction partners signed the first of two major agreements for Te Ara Tupua Alliance. The agreement enables the next stage of design and planning work for the project to begin.  

Waka Kotahi National Manager System Design Robyn Elston says that the agreement is an important milestone for walking and cycling in the Wellington Region. 

“This project is going to become an iconic part of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, the Wellington Harbour, and will unlock enormous potential for walking and biking between the Hutt and Wellington City,” says Robyn Elston.  

“After a successful fast-tracked consenting process, we are excited to join with Downer, HEB, and Tonkin + Taylor in this alliance. In the coming months our teams will collaborate to develop the design and plan the details of construction of the new walking and cycling path.” 

Project Alliance Board Chairperson Peter Millar agrees the signing marks a key moment as Downer NZ, HEB Construction and Tonkin + Taylor officially join the project.  

“We are proud to be forming Te Ara Tupua Alliance with Waka Kotahi, and to work alongside iwi mana whenua on the delivery of the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section of Te Ara Tupua – constructing something truly iconic for this region,” says Peter Millar.  

Te Ara Tupua Mana Whenua Steering Group Chairperson Kim Skelton said hosting the signing at Te Tatau o Te Pō Marae demonstrates the ongoing partnership between Waka Kotahi and iwi mana whenua (Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa) and elevated the significance and mana of the occasion.  

“During the previous phase of the project, we partnered with Waka Kotahi in the lead up to seeking resource consents. We welcome the new members of Te Ara Tupua Alliance to the project whanau, in the continuing spirit of partnership,” says Kim Skelton.

“As part of the delivery stage, we’re looking forward to progressing opportunities for skills, training, and employment for the uri of our iwi – as well as continuing to tell the story of Te Ara Tupua and embed its narrative in the design and construction.”

During the next phase of the project, the design will be further developed to the level of detail required for construction and to confirm an estimated cost to deliver it. Main work on site is expected to begin over summer 2021-2022.  

An alliance is a different way of working together, compared to traditional construction contracts. It is a collaborative team made up of design and construction companies, working together with Waka Kotahi and partners including iwi mana whenua to deliver the project and achieve the best outcomes for the community.  

The agreement signed on Friday is known as the Interim Project Alliance Agreement. Once the design and target cost are agreed, a Project Alliance Agreement will be signed enabling construction work to begin. 

L-R – Peter Millar (Tonkin + Taylor), Robyn Elston (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency), Jetesh Bhula (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency), Kim Skelton (Taranaki Whānui – chair of Te Ara Tupua Mana Whenua Steering Group), John Burden (Downer NZ), Mark Evans (HEB Construction), Kesh Keshaboina (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency).

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