Tupua narrative shared with Eastern Bays Shared Path

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Published: 24 February 2022

Minister of Transport Hon. Michael Wood, Mayor of Lower Hutt Campbell Barry, and mana whenua representatives from Taranaki Whānui, and Ngāti Toa have celebrated the gifting of a name and cultural narrative to the Eastern Bays Shared Path project.

The project will connect communities in the Eastern Bays with a new walking and cycling route, and provide more resilient seawalls on Marine Drive, the area’s only road access. The project has received funding of $15 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group COVID-19 Recovery Fund, in combination with matched funding from Waka Kotahi and Hutt City Council.

Linking with the Tupua narrative being infused in other projects underway around the Harbour and Valley, the project is to be known as Tupua Horo Nuku – telling the story of Ngake, one of the two tupua who created Te Whanganui-a-Tara and Te Awa Kairangi in traditional narrative. The name was gifted to the project by Kura Moeahu of Te Atiawa Taranaki Whānui.

“The name gives resonance to our whakapapa relationship with te whenua me te wai and invigorates our kaitiaki obligations,” says Mana Whenua Steering Group Chairperson Kim Skelton.

“The Tupua Horo Nuku cultural narrative speaks of Tupua Ngake who unleashed seismic power to breach the freshwater lake creating in the process the river Te Awa Kairangi, the harbour islands, and the harbour entrance.” Kim Skelton says.

“As mana whenua we support the Tupua Horo Nuku project as an integrated segment of aligned Te Ara Tupua pathways that will ultimately encompass our harbour, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and join with riverside pathways along Te Awa Kairangi,” Kim Skelton says.

Mayor Campbell Barry says that working in partnership with iwi mana whenua is important to Council as a programme of major infrastructure investment in the city ramps up.

“When it comes to delivering projects in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt, we want to see our partnership with mana whenua reflected in what we deliver as well as how we deliver it. Placing traditional names and narratives at the heart of project design is an effective and meaningful way to do this,” Campbell Barry says.

“The Eastern Bays community has waited a long time for this project to get underway, so I’m excited to not only accept the gift of Tupua Horo Nuku, but also see construction start in mid-2022,” Campbell Barry says.

Community Board Chair Ginny Horrocks says this is a wonderful milestone for the community.

“This is a wonderful moment for Eastbourne and the Bays, particularly those who have worked for this over so many years. The story of Ngake brings the shared path to life as we walk or ride by the sea around the bays," Ginny Horrocks says.

In 2020, the Government announced $15 million of COVID-19 recovery funding to support the project, and in June 2021 the project’s resource consent was confirmed when an appeal was successfully resolved. Early works also commenced in June 2021 ahead of the main construction works.

In December, Council approved delivery by Te Ara Tupua Alliance of the project’s two southernmost bays – Sunshine Bay and Windy Point. Construction of these bays is expected to begin in mid-2022 following the signing of the Alliance agreement. Ahead of construction starting, design and planning work, including the first bay-specific design plans, are underway.

For more information on the project visit our website.

Pictured above celebrating the naming in Days Bay are (left to right):

  • Ginny Horrocks, Chair of the  Eastbourne Community Board
  • Kesh Keshaboina, Regional Manager System Design, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
  • Kim Skelton, Chair of the project Mana Whenua Steering Group
  • Kura Moeahu, Chairman Te Runanganui o Te Āti Awa
  • Campbell Barry, Mayor of Lower Hutt
  • Ginny Anderson, MP for Hutt South
  • Hon. Michael Wood, Minister of Transport
  • Hon. Meka Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti

Te Ara Tupua Alliance is made up of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and its design and construction partners Downer NZ, HEB Construction and Tonkin + Taylor. It was initially formed to deliver the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One (Ngauranga to Petone) section of Te Ara Tupua. An Alliance is a collaborative form of construction contracting where risk and reward are shared.