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General questions about Te Ara Tupua

  •   What is Te Ara Tupua?

    Waka Kotahi is partnering with Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Hutt City Council to provide a safe and efficient 12-kilometre walking and cycling route between the Wellington CBD and Melling. Te Ara Tupua will also connect with other walking and cycling facilities such as the Petone Esplanade and the Hutt River Trail.

    The project involves three sections:

    Wellington CBD to Ngauranga section – a Wellington City Council project. This cycling facility will run from Bunny Street along Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road to the Ngauranga interchange. This section is jointly funded by the Urban Cycleways Fund, the National Land Transport Fund and the Wellington City Council.

    Ngā Ūranga to Pito-one section – a Waka Kotahi project. This is a shared off-road path from the Ngauranga interchange to the Petone interchange. This section is jointly funded by Waka Kotahi, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

    Petone to Melling section – a Waka Kotahi project. This is an off-road cycle path with shared path connections linking the Petone railway station to the Hutt River Trail. This section is jointly funded by the Urban Cycleways Fund, Waka Kotahi and Hutt City Council.

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  •   Why is Te Ara Tupua important?

    More people than ever are cycling in and around Wellington. Te Ara Tupua will better connect Wellington and the Hutt Valley and make it easier and more attractive for people to walk and cycle between the two in a healthy, enjoyable and safe way. Te Ara Tupua will provide better service compared to the existing northbound cycle facility on State Highway 2, and will provide a walking facility where there currently isn’t one. Te Ara Tupua will also connect to existing Hutt City and Wellington City walking and cycling networks.

    Many people already choose to walk or cycle to work. Cyclists use local roads or dedicated cycleways to ride between the Wellington CBD and suburbs such as Khandallah, Karori, Newtown and Miramar. For cyclists travelling between the Hutt Valley and Wellington, the only direct route is State Highway 2, either on the existing southbound cycleway between Horokiwi and Ngauranga or on the northbound shoulder heading to Petone. Safety concerns and poor service discourages many cyclists from using this route.

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  •   What are the expected benefits and outcomes of Te Ara Tupua?

    The key benefits include:

    • a high quality shared path for people who want to cycle or walk
    • sustainable and affordable transport
    • promotes healthy lifestyles
    • riding a bike becomes a safer and more attractive transport choice shifting people from vehicles to cycling and walking which also reduces traffic congestion and emissions
    • the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike using a path that accommodates less confident as well as experienced cyclists
    • more connections to the wider cycling network
    • better safety standards and capacity improves the network's resilience to events such as storms and earthquakes
    • supports tourism-related cycling and boosts the Wellington regional economy.
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  •   What does Te Ara Tupua mean?

    Te Ara Tupua refers to a traditional creation story of Te Whanganui a Tara / Wellington Harbour. The story refers to two tupua (supernatural beings) called Ngake and Whataitai who inhabited a landlocked lake but wished to escape to the ocean. In their struggle to escape the confines of the lake they created many of the landmarks of Te Whanganui a Tara / Wellington Harbour. Ngake went to the east, creating Te Awakairangi (Hutt River), the harbour islands and the harbour mouth. Whataitai went towards the west, creating the landmarks of the western harbour before becoming stranded on land, where he later died.

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  •   How are you working with mana whenua?

    As a Crown agency, Waka Kotahi is committed to partnership under Te Tiriti o Waitangi – The Treaty of Waitangi. We have a responsibility to collaborate with mana whenua when designing and delivering major projects.

    We believe that partnership creates mutual benefit. Understanding mana whenua aspirations and concerns will help us to deliver a better project overall. 

    We have established a steering group, made up of members from Waka Kotahi and Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika, so that we can work in partnership and lead a number of different initiatives within the project that are important to both mana whenua and the Transport Agency.

    There are sites of significance to mana whenua along the coastline and at either end of the Ngauranga to Petone project area, including Honiana Te Puni reserve, which is owned by Taranaki Whānui, and Pā sites at Ngā Ūranga and Pito-one.

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Ngā Ūranga to Pito-One section

  •   What is the Ngā Ūranga to Pito-one (N2P) section of Te Ara Tupua?

    The new walking and cycling link will be a safe, separated shared path at the harbour’s edge, fixing a missing link for walking and cycling between Wellington and the Hutt Valley. It will provide an efficient and attractive option, encouraging more people to switch from driving to walking or cycling and providing new recreational opportunities.

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  •   Why was the harbour-side option selected?

    In 2015 we selected a design that follows the seaward side of the Hutt Valley rail line. This decision was made following extensive public consultation, and where support for a harbour-side option was made very clear. Construction will require coastal reclamation, which presents unique challenges, but will also create a valuable and resilient asset for the Wellington region.

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  •   What are the benefits of the proposed harbour-side walking and cycling link, compared to the previously considered options?

    The harbour-side option will create a 5m wide corridor between the harbour and the railway line. This enables the creation of a higher standard facility than the possible road-side options. As it is separated from vehicle traffic it will also be safer and more attractive for new users compared to other options.

    Another benefit of the harbour-side option is a new rock seawall that will protect the rail line from the risk of erosion and damage from storm surges, and also provide a vital access route for emergency vehicles in an emergency where SH2 is blocked – such as a landslide caused by a major earthquake. The road-side options would not have created this additional benefit.

    The creation of a coastal path is also a key link in The Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke, a walking and cycling route around Wellington Harbour, from Fitzroy Bay in the east to Sinclair Head in the west. The completion of this publicly accessible coastal path will create recreational, cultural and tourism opportunities.

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  •  What are the key elements of the preferred option for the Ngauranga to Petone section?

    Key features include:

      • a new walking and cycling bridge just north of the Ngauranga interchange that links the existing shared path on State Highway 2 to the new seaward side shared path between Ngauranga and Petone
      • a wide shared path on the seaward side of the railway line from Ngauranga to Petone that has additional build-outs to provide rest areas at regular intervals
      • the overall width of the platform and seawall will vary based on the nature of the coastline along the route
      • potential further widening at three locations to facilitate straightening the railway tracks which will enable faster train journeys
      • links to the existing path just south of the Petone interchange, which will be rebuilt as part of the Petone to Grenada link road
      • connection to Petone train station via a new underpass from the Hutt Road at Petone, just south of the train station.
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  •   Why does the harbour-side option end at the Ngauranga interchange?

    A harbour-side path past the Ngauranga interchange was considered as part of a long list of options. This wasn’t feasible due to:

    • the lack of an obvious route and safety concerns around cyclists and pedestrians passing the ferry terminal
    • linking the route to residential and employment areas is difficult when compared to the Hutt Road
    • prohibitive costs.
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  •   How will you manage the environmental effects of coastal reclamation?

    Much of the marine environment along the foreshore from Ngauranga to Petone is already highly modified as a result of previous reclamation, with the shoreline mostly constructed of concrete walls and imported rock armouring.

    Identifying and assessing mitigation measures is a key part of preparing consent applications. We’re working closely with iwi, ecologists, coastal experts, NIWA, urban designers, civil engineers and the planning team to develop an inspiring coastal pathway design and user experience. This work involves looking at how to incorporate new native planting while restoring the coastal habitat for seabirds. We’re also looking at how to design a seawall constructed of natural rock that will be resilient to major storm events and adaptable to future sea level rise.

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  •   How have you considered different users on the path?

    We believe the new path will be wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to safely share the facility. A system of carefully considered markings and cues will guide users – directing people on foot towards the harbour, and faster riders towards the rail line.

    This approach balances the needs of path users with the need to minimise the impacts on the coastal marine environment which would be greater with the wider reclamation that would be needed for separate facilities.

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  •  Where will the material come from to construct the Ngauranga to Petone coastal reclamation and rock seawall?

    It is too soon to say exactly where the material will be sourced.

    There are two main types of material required. Some is rock, used for the revetment (the sloping rock seawall) which will protect the reclamation and the path from the sea. This rock will likely be brought in from outside Wellington, because our region’s quarries don’t have the size and quality of rock needed to create a resilient coastal edge.

    The remaining material is general fill. There are a number of potential sources for this material.

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Petone to Melling section

  •   What is the Petone to Melling (P2M) section of Te Ara Tupua?

    Te Ara Tupua will be a safe, separated shared path that runs alongside the railway line. It will provide an efficient and attractive option for active transport between Petone and Melling and will be one of three sections comprising Te Ara Tupua. It will encourage more people to switch from driving to walking or cycling and provide new recreational opportunities.

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COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act

  •   What is the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act?

    The Act establishes new fast-track resource consenting and designation processes for eligible infrastructure and development projects, aimed at promoting economic recovery. These processes adopt and modify existing Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) processes and will expedite certain eligible projects, while still applying appropriate environmental safeguards.

    Projects are either listed in the Act (listed projects), or confirmed through an Order in Council (referred projects). Te Ara Tupua, Ngā Ūranga to Pito-One is listed in the Act. Under the Act, Expert Consenting Panels consider and determine resource consents (including imposing conditions) and designations for listed and referred projects, replacing the role that local authorities usually play under the RMA.

    The Act only relates to resource consents and notices of requirement for designations. Other RMA processes, such as plan changes, are not included.

    Find out more about the Fast Track Act(external link)

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  •   How much faster will the Fast Track Act mean you can deliver this project?

    The new process enabled by the Act will provide another valuable consenting tool for driving more efficient project delivery.

    For the Te Ara Tupua, it provides certainty and an accelerated process for obtaining final consents and designations.

    However, the consenting process is only one part of the delivery process. The ability to accelerate projects will also depend on other considerations such as property purchase, resolving design issues and other environmental approvals.

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  •   Will you continue to work with Mana Whenua on this project?

    Waka Kotahi remains committed to working in partnership with iwi to deliver great environmental, social and transport outcomes on all projects, including those that follow this consenting process. Input from our partners is an important part of how we deliver high quality projects.

    Mana whenua have been involved as partners on this project, and this will continue.

    The Act also requires Panels to seek comments from certain persons when considering applications, including any relevant iwi authorities. This provides an opportunity to raise issues with a project, as the Panel has the responsibility to make consenting decisions and impose conditions.

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  •   Will you still consider the views of stakeholders and the community?

    Waka Kotahi remains committed to working in partnership with iwi, stakeholders and communities to deliver great environmental, social and transport outcomes on all projects, including those that follow this consenting process. Input from our stakeholders and communities is an important part of how we deliver high quality projects.

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