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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi, Hutt City Council and iwi mana whenua are marking more progress for two significant walking and cycling path projects in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

A Project Alliance Agreement for the Te Ara Tupua Alliance was celebrated in Lower Hutt today. The Minister of Transport, Hon. Michael Wood, regional and iwi leaders, and the project team were all at the event.

With the agreement signed, construction of the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section of Te Ara Tupua can begin, as can Tupua Horo Nuku – the Eastern Bays shared path project.

Both projects will make walking and cycling a safe and attractive option for more people and improve the resilience of crucial Wellington transport connections.

Chair of the Mana Whenua Steering Group, Kim Skelton, said the two projects are important to iwi mana whenua – Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.

“These projects have been developed in partnership with iwi mana whenua, working alongside Waka Kotahi and Council to create harbour-side shared paths which the whole community will benefit from”.

Ms Skelton says the projects’ names – Te Ara Tupua and Tupua Horo Nuku, and their designs reflect and honour the story of the two Tupua, Ngake and Whātaitai, who, based on traditional narrative, created Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

“Confirming delivery means we can promote this narrative and our history with the community and users”.

Kesh Keshaboina, Waka Kotahi Regional Manager System Design, says it is a significant moment for all involved.

“We are pleased to confirm Tonkin and Taylor, Downer NZ, and HEB Construction will deliver the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section of Te Ara Tupua. This team has worked hard to further develop the design and plan construction details, culminating in today’s signing. “Now, we can look ahead to the construction and completion of this transformational project. It will strengthen existing transport links, improve their future resilience, and make walking and cycling a real choice for more people”. 

Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller is celebrating the signing as a milestone for two important infrastructure projects which will encourage active transport and lower carbon emissions in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt.

“These two projects will provide better, safer connections between communities around the harbour from Eastbourne to the Hutt Valley and onwards to Wellington City. They also bring important upgrades to improve the resilience of our roads, such as the new seawalls to be installed along Marine Drive, helping to protect against sea level rise and significant storm events that are predicted to occur as a result of climate change”.

“It made sense to us to enlist the help of Te Ara Tupua Alliance for Tupua Horo Nuku, gaining access to skills and capability already assembled for the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section. Now that the contract has been signed, we’re looking forward to having these major projects underway in the city”, Jo Miller says.

Construction of both projects is set to begin this year.