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The Mt Messenger Cableway

A first for New Zealand roading, the 1.1km Mt Messenger Cableway will allow Waka Kotahi and its partners to start construction of Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass in spring 2022.

Planting on Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass

We’re looking forward to starting physical works on Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass following the High Court decision confirming consents for the project. Te Ara o Te Ata will increase safety for everyone traveling into and out of North Taranaki, delivering resilience and a better journey—and it'll also bring many environmental benefits.

An extensive and enduring environmental programme is part of our plan, including pest management across 3650ha of forest on either side of the bypass, restoration planting comprising 120,000 native seedlings across 32 hectares, and a further 100,000 native plants along roadsides and embankments.

This component of the project will help us achieve our goal of leaving a lasting legacy in Taranaki, ensuring the project area is left in a better condition than before construction.

Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass

Te Ara o Te Ata has been described by our iwi partners as an environmental project as much, perhaps more than, a roading project. We’re excited about the major environmental benefits this project will deliver. And we’re grateful for this opportunity to breathe new life into the Mt Messenger bush.

Conceptual flyover of Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass

The bypass is a new 6km route from Uruti to Ahititi that avoids the existing steep, narrow and winding route over Mt Messenger on State Highway 3 in Taranaki. It includes two bridges of approximately 125m and 30m in length, and a 235m tunnel. The route will be lower and less steep than the existing road. A substantial environmental restoration programme is also a key feature of the project.

Mt Messenger Bypass - an introduction

Finding long-tailed bats in North Taranaki

Over the summer of 2018/19 our ecology team searched for long-tailed bats, a critically endangered species, in the Mt Messenger area to locate their maternity roosts (places where mother bats and their young stay). With the help of bat experts, they successfully found over 14 maternity roosts.

Monitoring long-tailed bats is being done to confirm the project’s 3,650ha Pest Management Area (PMA) and its suitability for the habitat of long-tailed bats. The PMA is part of a broader ecological restoration package to mitigate and offset environmental impacts of the project.

Restoring natural diversity – an enduring legacy for Mt Messenger

An extensive and enduring environmental programme is part of the plan to build a bypass of Mt Messenger in North Taranaki. Central to the programme is managing pests over 3,650 hectares of Ngāti Tama rohe.