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Project introduction

The Northern Pathway project will provide a seamless dedicated walking and cycling link between Auckland’s City Centre and the North Shore which will connect with existing local paths to extend the region’s walking and cycling network.

October 2021 update

On 2 October 2021 the Government announced that it would not proceed with the standalone bridge component of the Northern Pathway project and instead investigate an alternative way for people to walk and cycle across the Waitematā Harbour. 

Please read the frequently asked questions for more information.

  • Project type

    Walking & cycling
  • Project status

    Investigation & Design

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About the project

The Northern Pathway, from central Auckland to Albany on the North Shore, is split into three connected sections for delivery.

Name Gifted Māori name Status
Westhaven to Akoranga Te Ara Pae Moana (harbour bridge component) Design and consenting
Akoranga to Constellation Drive   Business case phase
Constellation Drive to Albany   Construction phase (as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project)

The three sections of the Northern Pathway project are at different stages of delivery and together will provide a seamless walking and cycling link between central Auckland and the North Shore.


  • Provides choice for people to travel between the city centre and North Shore using active modes of transport
  • Travel using active modes such as on foot or by bike becomes a more appealing travel option, helping to get people out of their cars
  • Reduces the number of short trips completed by private vehicle
  • Provides people with a healthy, environmentally friendly way to commute to and from work and education, access services or connect with friends and family
  • Supports future growth of the walking and cycling network on both sides of the harbour
  • Increases access to transport hubs on the North Shore such as Akoranga, Constellation and Albany Bus Stations.

Partnership with mana whenua

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is committed to working in partnership with mana whenua to deliver the project following the principles of Te Ara Kotahi including recognising and providing for cultural heritage, identity and Mātauranga Māori.

The Northern Pathway component which travels across the Waitematā Harbour has been gifted a Māori name ‘Te Ara Pae Moana’ which translates as the path to the Horizon.

Te Ara Kotahi – Our Maori Strategy factsheet [PDF, 985 KB]

Working with partners, stakeholders and community

Waka Kotahi is dedicated to working closely with partners, stakeholders and community throughout the design and delivery of the Northern Pathway.

It will be an important community facility supporting greater travel choices, health and wellbeing and recreational use of space for those travelling between central Auckland and the North Shore.

Coordination with Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Panuku Development Auckland as well as interest and community groups will ensure that the Northern Pathway recognises cultural history and utilises local knowledge to help the project teams understand the areas we are working in and how best to design for safety and accessibility.

Northern Pathway sections

  • Westhaven to Akoranga

    About the project

    This 5km section of the Northern Pathway starts in Westhaven, travels across the Waitemata Harbour and continues onto Akoranga. This section is the critical link required to connect central Auckland and the North Shore, providing choice for how people travel to work, access services or connect with family and friends.

    This section was previously known as SkyPath/Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path and SeaPath. Both components have now been combined for delivery of the Northern Pathway.

    Detailed Business Case

    This section was originally conceived as two separate projects and Waka Kotahi completed individual Detailed Business Cases (DBC).

    Auckland Harbour Bridge shared path – single stage business case [PDF, 14 MB]
    SeaPath – detailed business case [PDF, 12 MB]

    Preferred option

    The preferred option for the Northern Pathway is now a standalone bridge alongside the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge, protecting the structural and heritage integrity of the existing bridge which is a key part of the strategic transport network, as well as creating a world class link for people to travel across the harbour on foot and on bikes for generations to come.

    This would provide a more enduring solution than the design originally within the New Zealand Upgrade Programme which was a shared path attached to the side of the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge piers. Providing a separated solution that is fit for a growing Auckland with an increasingly decarbonised transport system, will help unlock the significant investment that has already been made to enabling a healthy and sustainable transport system through a number of other walking and cycling connections on either side of the harbour.

    The new design allows for growth in the number of people who will walk and cycle over the harbour in the coming decades. Waka Kotahi will continue to look for short-term solutions to be able to provide walking and cycling access across the harbour. These solutions need to address safety, walking and cycling, motorist demands and operational issues.

    Project benefits

    • Allows for growth in the number of people who will walk and cycle over the harbour in the coming decades.
    • A separate structure would safeguard the integrity of the existing bridge which is a key part of Auckland and New Zealand’s strategic transport network.
    • A safe and enjoyable walk or ride with a wide deck and places for people to stop and enjoy views of the harbour.
    • Enhanced network resilience for all users crossing the Waitematā Harbour.
    • Completes a strategic missing link and unlocks investment already made and planned for in the Auckland walking and cycling network.
    • Increases access to one of the world’s great harbours and provides health and wellbeing benefits.
    • Provides a dedicated 24/7 cross-harbour connection to meet the needs of current and future users.
    • Opportunity to create economic, environmental, social, tourism and cultural benefits for Aotearoa.
    • Overall, this transformational walking and cycling project is expected to provide more than 175 jobs in the infrastructure industry during its construction.
  • Akoranga to Constellation Drive

    About the project

    The Akoranga to Constellation Drive section of the Northern Pathway will connect with the other sections at each end. The project team will also look into how this section connects with the local network of shared paths to help increase access to the walking and cycling network.

    Next steps

    Waka Kotahi awarded the contract at the end of 2019 to develop a preliminary design for this section as part of a business case. During May and June 2020, we sought feedback from partners, key stakeholders and the community to help identify the preferred option for this section.

    Now that the preferred route has been identified, it will need to be endorsed by our Board and funding approved before the detailed design can begin.

    Akoranga to Constellation Drive preferred route [PDF, 2 MB]

    The business case is expected to be submitted to the Board in the first quarter of 2021.

  • Constellation Drive to Albany

    About the project

    This section of the Northern Pathway will deliver 7km of shared walking and cycling path as part of the wider Northern Corridor Improvements project. The shared path will include a wide range of local road and park connections, helping to increase accessibility to the local bus stations and key destinations.

    Construction is currently underway on this section of the Northern Pathway as part of the wider Northern Corridor Improvements project.

    Auckland Northern Corridor Improvements project information

    Next steps

    Construction of the Northern Corridor Improvements project, including the new walking and cycling paths, is expected to be complete in mid-2022.