Letter of support for resource consent application for the Te Ara Tupua path

The trustees of the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke Trust (GHW) 100 percent support the NZTA submission for resource consent for Te Ara Tupua shared pathway.

The GHW vision is a continuous harbourside walking and cycling route around the entire 72km perimeter of Te Whanganui-a-tara, Wellington Harbour. This route will be a scenic and history enriching recreational attraction for locals and tourists, and an active commuter path,
linking the sea with the land, the past with today, and the natural environment with human- made infrastructure.

Few, if any, major harbour cities in the world can match Wellington’s opportunity to allow residents and visitors to safely walk or cycle a large and continuous Harbour coastline. No private land needs to be acquired to achieve this vision. Already, this unique perimeter shared pathway is being enjoyed by a wide range of users –walkers, runners, skaters, scooters,
bikers; children, young people and adults; local national and international; able and disabled; commuters, recreationalists, exercisers, environmentalists, sportspeople, fishers, socialisers, fresh air lovers.

Since the inception of the Great Harbour Way project in 2003, the trust’s vision has moved progressively closer to realisation. Crucial sections of the Great Harbour Way, such as the Cobham Drive path, will soon be complete. Consent for the Eastern Bays Shared Path to Eastbourne has been lodged. Building Te Ara Tupua, the Petone to Ngaūranga link, will be an essential step towards realising that vision. Te Ara Tupua will create a linear park that will double as a safe commuter route between the Hutt Valley and Wellington while also becoming part of one of Aotearoa’s great urban walks and rides.

Closing the gap between Ngaūranga and Petone has been the biggest challenge and the focus of the GHW Trust’s efforts for over a decade. We are delighted that this project will now be fast-tracked. Since the high-level intention to invest was announced, the project team has worked through the stages of needs analysis, benefit investigation and assessment,
community and stakeholder consultation, innovation and design, and subsequent consultation. GHW trustees have been consulted and involved throughout.

We have had numerous positive interaction with the project team, and provided opportunities to input our thoughts and ideas, including on the linkages to other trails such as Hutt River Cycle Trail and the Remutaka Rail Trail, as well as the section of Te Ara Tupua from Petone to Melling. We are particularly pleased the concept for Te Ara Tupua is for a linear park along the lines of the Lambton Harbour section – wide enough for multiple activities, not just a single function commuter thoroughfare.

The quality design, with its ground-breaking incorporation of Māori art and values, its close attention to safety, and its determination to provide exciting community experiences, has our full approval and admiration. We also see many tourism opportunities arising from this project, such as cruise ship passengers ferrying to Days Bay and biking or walking back to the boat, and small companies setting up services to assist people experiencing the full
harbourside route. These opportunities and experiences can only enhance the strong Wellington brand.

We consider the investment in Te Ara Tupua will lead to substantial behaviour change and modal shift; for the first time there will be an alternative link between Wellington and the Hutt, to the current vehicle and rail modes. This is likely to benefit the whole region socially, recreationally, economically and in terms of health, well-being and social cohesion. Te Ara
Tupua will truly be a linear park for the people.

We continue to fully support the project team and look forward to the opening of Te Ara Tupua this in 2024.

For more information, contact GHW Trustees Chair Graeme Hall
(graeme@rutherfordsloan.co.nz +64 21606 101)

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