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Last updated: Friday, 12 June 2020


General questions about Te Ara Tupua

  •   What is Te Ara Tupua?

    The NZ Transport Agency 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:

    1. 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.
    2. Ngauranga to Petone section – an NZ Transport Agency project. This is a shared off-road path from the Ngauranga interchange to the Petone interchange. This section is jointly funded by the NZ Transport Agency, the Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
    3. Petone to Melling section – an NZ Transport Agency 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, The NZ Transport Agency and the 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 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.

  •   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.

  •   Why is partnering with mana whenua important for this project?

    As a Crown agency, the Transport Agency 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. 

    Te Ara Tupua involves construction on the coastline of our harbour. It is a sensitive environment and an area of historical and cultural significance, making it especially important to collaborate with mana whenua. 

  •   How are you working with mana whenua?

    We have established a steering group, made up of members from the Transport Agency and Taranaki Whānui, 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 Ngauranga and Petone


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Ngauranga to Petone section

  •   What is the Ngauranga to Petone (N2P) section of Te Ara Tupua?

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

  •   Why is the N2P section needed?

    The Ngauranga to Petone section of the Te Ara Tupua project will fix a ‘missing link’ in the Wellington region’s walking and cycling network. Right now, cyclists travelling between Lower Hutt and Wellington must use a narrow existing cycle path and the shoulder of SH2. Only the most confident cyclists feel safe riding this route and there is no safe walking route.

  •   Why was this 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 sea side option was made very clear. Construction will require coastal reclamation, which presents unique challenges including a complex resource consent process, but which will also create a valuable and resilient asset for the Wellington region.

  •   What stage is the N2P section at?

    We are currently preparing to apply for resource consents, having developed the design to a level that enables us to seek public feedback on proposed features, and to have technical specialists assess it. Where needed, we will make changes to the design to improve the project and reduce impact on the environment. We will be applying for resource consents in mid-2020. Following that decision, we will be able to develop a detailed design and move towards construction.


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

    The sea-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 sea-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.

  •  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.
  •   Why does the seaward side option end at the Ngauranga interchange?

    A seaward 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 problematic 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’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.

  •   Why didn’t you propose separate facilities for cyclists and pedestrians?

    The numbers of cyclists and pedestrians we expect to use the facility doesn’t indicate a need for separate paths. We believe the new path will be wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to safely share the facility.

    Selecting a shared path also 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.

  •   How will the path be separated from the rail corridor?

    A dedicated and fully segregated shared path will be provided away from motorised vehicle traffic along State Highway 2 between the Ngauranga and Petone interchanges. We propose a diamond mesh fence between the rail corridor and the shared path, similar to the type of fence used in the 2016 upgrade of the path near the Ngauranga underpass.  There will be enough clearance between the shared path and fence to prevent safety issues with bike handle bars.

  •  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.

    The project will require an estimated 180,000m3 of fill material. Of this, approximately 100,000m3 is rock, which is needed to create 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 80,000m3 is general fill. There are a number of potential sources for this material.

  •  How will the construction of the Ngauranga to Petone section be funded?

    The Ngauranga to Petone section is currently estimated to cost $76 million, with an upper (95th percentile) estimate of $94 million. These estimates will be reviewed as the project moves forward.

    Wellington City Council has committed $5 million to this section, and Greater Wellington Regional Council has committed $2 million. The remainder is expected to be funded from the National Land Transport Fund, from the walking and cycling improvements activity class. Funding for construction will be considered once resource consents for the project are approved. 


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.

  •   Why did you choose this route?

    During community engagement in 2017(external link), we asked people which of two options they preferred to connect the Petone to Melling cycleway with the Hutt River Trail. Option A was underneath the Normandale Road overbridge, while Option B was along Bridge Street. Option A was preferred by 70% of people who chose an option. People told us they preferred this option because it is safer and more scenic, and avoids cars, driveways and pedestrians on Bridge Street.

  •   How will you be working with KiwiRail?

    Working with KiwiRail is of paramount importance in this project. The path is close to and crosses the rail corridor, and the Hutt Valley/Wairarapa line is a very important (and busy) part of the rail network carrying tens of thousands of commuters on Metlink trains, as well as freight. We will work with KiwiRail as we develop the design and seek resource consents, as well as when we plan for construction in the area.


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