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General questions about Te Ara Tupua

  •   What is Te Ara Tupua?

    Waka Kotahi is partnering with iwi mana whenua (Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa) and local Councils (Wellington City, Greater Wellington and Hutt City) 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.

    Better connecting Wellington and the Hutt Valley involves three sections:

    Wellington CBD to Ngauranga section – some paths have previously been improved by Wellington City Council. The Let’s Get Wellington Moving Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road project will complete the link.

    Let's Get Wellington Moving: Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road(external link)

    Ngā Ūranga ki 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 predominantly funded by Waka Kotahi, with support from Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

    Pito-One 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.

  •   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 much easier and more attractive for people to walk and cycle between the two cities. Te Ara Tupua will also connect to existing and future 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. Riding in the road can feel unsafe and unpleasant, which discourages many people from cycling this route.

  •   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.
  •   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.

  •   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, Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira, 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 Waka Kotahi.

    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 historic 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.

  •   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 involves coastal reclamation, which presents unique challenges, but will also create a valuable and resilient asset for the Wellington region.

  •   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 path with more space than the discounted 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 comes from new coastal edges that will protect the infrastructure on the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One corridor 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 a future walking and cycling route around Wellington Harbour. The completion of this publicly accessible coastal path will create recreational, cultural and tourism opportunities.

  •  What are the key elements of the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section?

    Key features include:

      • Shared Path: A 4.5km shared path with a 5m wide sealed surface on the seaward side of the Hutt Valley Railway Line
      • Ūranga (landings): 6 ūranga (landings) located at key sites along the shared path’s length providing areas for planting, landscaping, habitat creation, and gathering, resting and viewing areas for people to use.
      • Shared path bridge at Ngā Ūranga: A new architecturally designed bridge providing access over the railway.
      • Revetments: 2.7km of sloping coastal defences protecting the shared path and ūranga. These are designed with the ability to adapt to sea-level rise and are 16m wide on average.
      • Seawalls: 6 seawall segments protecting the shared path, totalling approximately 600m in length. Seawalls are used where necessary to avoid high-value habitat areas.
      • Offshore habitats: small offshore habitats for coastal bird life, constructed of naturalised rock forms.
  •   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.
  •   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 worked 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 have designed coastal edges that will be resilient to major storm events and adaptable to future sea level rise.

  •   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. Markings and cues will guide users – directing people on foot towards the harbour, and faster riders towards the rail line.

    The 5m width was chosen to balance 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.

  •  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.


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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