Great Harbour Way welcomes NZTA consultation but says lives are at risk

The Petone-Ngauranga foreshore route is blocked now, but this is set to change

Great Harbour Way Trust Chair Graeme Hall says “The Ngauranga to Petone path will form a vital section of Wellington’s Great Harbour Way / Te Aranui o Pōneke – a continuous 72-kilometre route for walkers and cyclists around the perimeter of Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington harbour), from Ōrua- pouanui /Baring Head in the east, to Te Rimurapa / Sinclair Head in the west. It will be a spectacular way to experience the beauty of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, the region’s vibrant communities, and its stunning coastline and wildlife including lizards, seals, dolphins, penguins
and seabirds.”

Trustee Celia Wade-Brown, former Wellington Mayor and Living Streets Aotearoa Secretary, says “The NZTA designs show plenty of space for resting and enjoying the landscape as well as running, walking or cycling. Kayakers can come up to landing spots like the waka used to come up to ngā uranga or landing places. This project offers signifcant opportunities for improving penguin habitat, predator control and native planting. Obvious benefits include greater resilience to climate change sea level rise and increased storms for the Hutt Valley railway and SH2.”

However with the length of time for consultation, consents and construction, the Trust urges NZTA to improve the existing pathway and protect walkers, runners and cyclists from passing traffic. “If it will be three or four years before it’s finished, lives will be at risk unless the current 1.4 kilometres of unprotected shoulder south of Petone is improved from its current dreadful state.” Says Ron Beernink, a commuter cyclist and trustee of the Great Harbour Way Trust.

The completed Great Harbour Way will offer a unique opportunity to walk, run or cycle the entire coastline of a major city harbour, accessing communities, beaches, forest, parks, marae, marinas, cafes, theatres and shopping along the way. This flat, safe and continuous route along the water’s edge will be possible to walk in 3-5 days, and to cycle in 1-2. The route is also connected by ferries, buses, trains so sections can easily be accessed.

Check out the NZTA project page, including images and video. There’s a very cool SocialPoint site where you can make comments on the route. Everybody can have their say on the proposed design, by 21 June 2019.

NZTA concept for path at Horokiwi

Improved cycle/walk path between Point Howard and Days Bay

Pedestrians and cyclists on a climate change event, Mahina Bay

Currently walking and cycling the GHW between Point Howard and Days Bay on the eastern side of the harbour is not a pleasant experience. Only a very narrow strip has been allocated to cyclists and pedestrians with little separation from traffic.

However, Hutt City Council has applied for resource consent to construct a 4.4km shared path along Marine Drive between Point Howard and Days Bay, and on to Eastbourne. When completed, this will be a significant upgrade to the Great Harbour Way/ Te Aranui o Pōneke. It will be important to ensure that the path has appropriate width, speed management and signage to ensure safe and enjoyable sharing for people on foot, bike, and scooters.