Published: 25 August 2022
The Minister of Transport Hon. Michael Wood, Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry and local leaders joined representatives of Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa to mark the start of works on Tupua Horo Nuku, the Eastern Bays Shared Path project.
The ceremony, marking the turning of the earth, was held on Bishop Park in Eastbourne. Bishop Park is at the southern end of the shared path and will be enhanced to provide improved protection for kororā (little penguins) as part of the wider project.
Lower Hutt Mayor, Campbell Barry said the milestone was significant for the project which has been keenly anticipated by Eastbourne and the Bays.
“This event marks the start of the construction of the shared path and it’s exciting to finally have shovels in the ground.
“The resilience aspect of this project will be extremely important for the Eastern Bays, which is particularly front of mind for the community at the moment,” says Campbell Barry.
“Investing in this stretch of road provides a significant asset for the community. The shared pathway will provide walking and cycling connections within Eastern Bays and to the city, encourage more active travel, help to reduce congestion and emissions, while offering a recreational attraction for people across the city and region to enjoy,” said Jo Miller Hutt City Council Chief Executive.
“The construction of new seawalls will help limit the impact of climate related events, and inconvenience caused to the community. Resilience is also a key feature of the design allowing future adjustments as we continue to respond to climate change.
“This important infrastructure project is being co-funded by the Government, along with Council and Waka Kotahi and recognises the importance of resilience projects like Tupua Horo Nuku”, said Jo Miller.
Mana Whenua Steering Group Chairperson Kim Skelton said it was fitting to mark the occasion together as partners.
“Tupua Horo Nuku shares the narrative of Te Ara Tupua which retells the creation of Te Whanganui-a-Tara by the two Tupua, Ngake and Whataitai.”
“Ensuring that key milestones are marked in line with our tikanga is an important part of bringing a partnership approach to the project, along with integration of narrative in design, and ensuring skills, procurement and training opportunities are created for our people.”
In the coming weeks work will start to establish the new Bird Protection Areas providing habitat for kororā and other species, and in October shared path construction in the Mā-koromiko (Windy Point) section will be underway.
The project has received funding from the Government’s Covid infrastructure recovery fund, in combination with matched funding from Waka Kotahi and Hutt City Council.
Tupua Horo Nuku Eastern Bays Shared Path is being designed and built on behalf of Hutt City Council by Te Ara Tupua Alliance, a team made up of Waka Kotahi, Downer NZ, HEB Construction and Tonkin + Taylor.
The names Tupua Horo Nuku and Te Ara Tupua were gifted to the project by iwi mana whenua, Te Āti Awa Taranaki Whānui.