The Queenstown community reached a significant milestone today with the official naming of the Whakatipu Transport Project Alliance and the sod turning for stage 1 of the much-anticipated town centre arterial road.
Rino Tirikatene, MP for Te Tai Tonga, representing the New Zealand Government, was joined by Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency National Manager System Design Robyn Elston and mana whenua of the takiwā.
Matapura Ellison, chair of Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki and Deputy Kaiwhakahaere at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, formally announced the name on behalf of Iwi: Kā Huanui a Tāhuna.
Kā Huanui a Tāhuna translates to the paths and roads of Queenstown and Tāhuna in te reo is the name for Queenstown and means ‘Shallow Bay’. Robyn Elston described it as an “exciting day”.
“I want to acknowledge the significant milestone we are celebrating today. Not solely the gifting of this special name or the sod turning, but because this highlights how far we have come in our partnership and emphasises the importance of collaboration.
“As Waka Kotahi we are proud to be involved in projects that will help shape the direction of the future transport needs of the Wakatipu basin. We recognise this is much needed investment in infrastructure locally. We know it will be a boost to residents and visitors to the resort at a time when they need it.”
She referenced upcoming projects including the New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Government last year, which will be delivered in Queenstown by Kā Huanui a Tāhuna.
Mayor Jim Boult also reflected on the importance of the projects Kā Huanui a Tāhuna would deliver.
“This is enormously important to us. Some of the projects have been on the cards for many years so seeing the rubber hit the road at a time where economic stimulus is just so crucial feels like a huge accomplishment for Queenstown, our district and the wider South Island. It reinforces our commitment to providing a boost to our local economy and ensuring our infrastructure can meet the needs of our current and future residents and visitor.”
He was joined by Rino Tirikatene, MP for Te Tai Tonga, for the sod turning formalities.
“The first stage of the Town Centre Arterial road will link Melbourne and Henry Streets, removing general traffic from Stanley Street. This unlocks a range of other investments which will be a game changer for the way locals and visitors experience our town centre in the future.”
Mayor Boult described it as the next step in improving the local transport network and ensuring people have genuine choice for the way they travel around the district.
“The way we move needs to change, particularly as our community grows and changes. These projects will improve roading infrastructure and put a greater emphasis on public transport. They also create appealing links for walking and cycling to move us towards a more sustainable and accessible transport network for everyone,” he added.
New Zealand Upgrade Programme provides the infrastructure that will enable growth in public transport. Works include on SH6/6A - the addition of bus lanes and bus priority measures. It will support the public transport system in getting people in, out and around the Wakatipu basin. It will be in addition to changes at the BP roundabout and on Ladies Mile. >
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi) entered into an alliance last year to deliver several cornerstone projects in Wakatipu. (See media release: New alliance announced to deliver key projects in Wakatipu, 23 September 2020)