Funding boost to develop Whangarei’s cycling/walkingnetwork


The NZ Transport Agency has approved funding for the expansion of the Whangarei District Council’s cycling and walking network in the city.

The Transport Agency will contribute $1.37m – 61 percent – of the council’s $2.25m project to develop dedicated cycling/walking routes at Raumanga and Onerahi.

“This is a project that ticks a lot of positive boxes for the Transport Agency,” says the agency’s Regional Director for Northland, Ernst Zöllner.  “Whangarei’s network will provide an alternative to the car that is safe, not just for the city’s recreational and commuter cyclists, but also for people who prefer to walk and those who rely on mobility scooters.”

The Council plans to complete its entire network over the next 5 years. 

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai says Council’s ongoing partnership with the Transport Agency is vital.

“This funding will allow us to build our walking and cycling network more quickly.

“Our Walking and Cycling Strategy was developed to complete and improve our network of off road cycleways through Whangarei City, and this funding is allocated to years one and two of that five year programme,” Mayor Mai says
The project at Raumanga and Onerahi includes upgrading existing facilities, replacing and widening bridges, widening footpaths and crossings, and lane marking.   

The Raumanga route runs from the Kotuku Stream near Kotuku Street to Rust Avenue in the CBD and follows the Raumanga Stream. It  connects with Hora Hora Primary School, NorthTec, Whangarei Hospital, the Raumanga Falls and reserve, the Northland Rugby League grounds, the Council buildings at Forum North and Walton Plaza and the Whangarei Library. It will be an alternative safe access from the western suburbs to the CBD, and will also provide a tourist path to the Raumanga falls from the iSite on State highway 1.

The Onerahi route runs from the Onerahi Yacht Club on Beach Road to Pohe Island, which then links to the CBD. This will provide an alternative safe access from Onerahi to the CBD, the recently opened Hatea Loop at the Town basin and the sports and recreational facilities at William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island. The route also provides connections to Raurimu Primary School, Onerahi Primary School and the Onerahi foreshore.

Between 2008/13, there were 2 fatal and 10 serious injury crashes involving cyclists and walkers at various locations the Raumanga route will follow.  During the same five years, there were 3 serious injury crashes involving walkers and cyclists at various locations the Onerahi route will follow.

”Walking and cycling are important for all communities but critical in cities like Whangarei where more people are choosing to cycle and walk,” Mr Zöllner says.  

One of the Transport Agency’s roles is to provide funds from its National Land Transport Programme to help councils deliver a range of public transport, roading and cycling and walking projects for their communities. 

Transport Agency funds are gathered from excise duties on fuel, road user charges and vehicle registration fees and re-invested in transport-related projects like Whangarei’s cycling and walking network.