Tupua Horo Nuku funding approved as first completed section opens to public

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Published: 15 November 2023

Hutt City Council is thrilled to announce the last piece of the jigsaw has fallen into place with additional government funding of $15 million confirmed for Tupua Horo Nuku, the new seawall and shared pathway covering a 4.4km stretch of Marine Drive between Ngau Matau (Point Howard) and Eastbourne.

This good news comes as the first completed section opens to the public this Sunday at Mā-koromiko between Oruamotoro (Days Bay) and Eastbourne.

Cost increases since the original costing and funding approvals have meant that additional funding is required to deliver the project, which provides crucial resilience to climate change.

Government funding from the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) Fund has been confirmed together with contributions from Waka Kotahi and Hutt City Council, which will ensure this important resilience project is completed.

The total cost estimate for the project is $79.95M, with total funding confirmed as follows:

  • Government funding:  $30,000,000
  • Waka Kotahi:  $25,474,500
  • Hutt City Council:  $24,475,502

(Hutt City Council’s contribution is almost 31% of the total)

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry is elated with the funding decision of Government, and that the project can now be completed in full. 

“Having this commitment of funding from Government is an outstanding result. It will ensure the project, in its entirety, can be completed without an unmanageable financial burden on ratepayers.”

“As the Council works hard to strike the right balance, this project allows us to build resilience and an important asset for the community that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

“Tupua Horo Nuku is about increasing the resilience of this key transport route and protecting coastal communities from the impact of increasing severe weather events.

“Council’s focus on resilience, and unwavering commitment to this project since 2019, has been crucial in receiving such a positive outcome in Government support.  Particularly when competing with other projects up and down the country.”

“We can now continue with the great progress that has been made so far and proceed with certainty and confidence to design and deliver the remaining parts of the project.”  

Tupua Horo Nuku will provide a safe walking and cycling connection along Marine Drive from Eastbourne to Ngau Matau (Point Howard) and provide greater protection for the road which has already been undermined in some sections by the ocean and extreme weather.

As well as protecting this key transport route for our communities in the eastern bays it will help to safeguard important infrastructure under the road, most notably a major wastewater discharge pipe which serves the entire Hutt Valley.

What’s next?
With the Mā-koromiko section of the shared pathway completed, Tupua Horo Nuku is on schedule to complete works in Sunshine Bay in mid-2024.  Construction will begin on York Bay this summer and is expected to be completed in late-2024.

Consultation for proposed works in Whiorau (Lowry) and Sorrento Bays will commence over the next few months and where practical, community feedback will be included in the design to increase community benefits and minimise environmental impacts.

Construction at Whiorau (Lowry) and Sorrento Bays will commence once Sunshine Bay is completed.
Work on Mahina Bay is expected to begin in 2025 and the entire Tupua Horo Nuku project is expected to be completed in mid-2026.


Additional Information
In February 2023 a revised cost estimate was received for the project, increasing to $79.95M from an original pre-Covid estimate of $30M. Hutt City Council has been in discussions with funding partners since then regarding the additional cost.

The Waka Kotahi Board approved additional funding from the National Land Transport Fund in May 2023, while central Government approved funding from the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) Fund in October.
Costs of the project have increased due to changes from the original plans to address much-needed resilience upgrades to Marine Drive to help combat the effects of sea level rise and extreme weather events due to climate change.

Like other major infrastructure projects across the country, the construction of Tupua Horo Nuku has also been impacted by cost pressures, such as higher costs of materials and shipping, as well as workforce shortages.

Tupua Horo Nuku is being delivered in partnership with iwi mana whenua - Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira. The name Tupua Horo Nuku was gifted to the project by Te Ātiawa Taranaki Whānui. It references the tupua (supernatural being) Ngake who, along with Whātaitai, created the landscapes and coastlines of Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington Harbour and Te Awa Kairangi in traditional iwi narrative.