Last update: 12 October 2023

General questions about Te Ara Tupua

  •   What is Te Ara Tupua?

    Waka Kotahi is partnering with iwi mana whenua (Taranaki Whānui and Ngāti Toa) and local Councils (Wellington City, Greater Wellington and Hutt City) to provide a safe and efficient 12-kilometre walking and cycling route between the Wellington CBD and Melling. Te Ara Tupua will also connect with other walking and cycling facilities such as the Petone Esplanade and the Hutt River Trail.

    Better connecting Wellington and the Hutt Valley involves three sections:

    Wellington CBD to Ngauranga section – some paths have previously been improved by Wellington City Council. The Let’s Get Wellington Moving Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road project will complete the link.

    Let's Get Wellington Moving: Thorndon Quay and Hutt Road(external link)

    Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section – a Waka Kotahi project. This is a shared off-road path from the Ngauranga interchange to the Petone interchange. This section is predominantly funded by Waka Kotahi, with support from Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

    Pito-One to Melling section – a Waka Kotahi project. This is an off-road cycle path with shared path connections linking the Petone railway station to the Hutt River Trail. This section is jointly funded by the Urban Cycleways Fund, Waka Kotahi and Hutt City Council.

  •   Why is Te Ara Tupua important?

    More people than ever are cycling in and around Wellington. Te Ara Tupua will better connect Wellington and the Hutt Valley and make it much easier and more attractive for people to walk and cycle between the two cities. Te Ara Tupua will also connect to existing and future Hutt City and Wellington City walking and cycling networks.

    Many people already choose to walk or cycle to work. Cyclists use local roads or dedicated cycleways to ride between the Wellington CBD and suburbs such as Khandallah, Karori, Newtown and Miramar. For cyclists travelling between the Hutt Valley and Wellington, the only direct route is State Highway 2. Riding in the road can feel unsafe and unpleasant, which discourages many people from cycling this route.

  •   Who is doing the work?

    We have established Te Ara Tupua Alliance to deliver the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section of Te Ara Tupua. An Alliance is a collaborative form of construction contract where Waka Kotahi works as one team with our design and construction partners.

    Te Ara Tupua Alliance is made up of Waka Kotahi working with Tonkin + Taylor, Downer NZ and HEB Construction.

    The Alliance team is also delivering Tupua Horo Nuku Eastern Bays Shared Path, under a partnership between Waka Kotahi and Hutt City Council. Tupua Horo Nuku is another complex coastal walking and cycling path, making it a good fit for delivery by the same team.

    Hutt City Council Tupua Horo Nuku(external link)

    The Pito-One to Melling section of Te Ara Tupua is being delivered on behalf of Waka Kotahi by contractors Fulton Hogan.

  •   When will it be finished?

    The Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section will be constructed between 2022 and 2026.

    Construction of the Pito-One to Melling section began in 2019 and is expected to be complete in early 2023.

  •   How much will it cost?

    Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section: up to $311.9 million (including contingency). Pito-One to Melling section: up to $63.1 million.

  •   What are the expected benefits and outcomes of Te Ara Tupua?

    The key benefits include:

    • a high quality shared path for people who want to cycle or walk
    • sustainable and affordable transport
    • promotes healthy lifestyles
    • riding a bike becomes a safer and more attractive transport choice shifting people from vehicles to cycling and walking which also reduces traffic congestion and emissions
    • the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike using a path that accommodates less confident as well as experienced cyclists
    • more connections to the wider cycling network
    • better safety standards and capacity improves the network's resilience to events such as storms and earthquakes
    • supports tourism-related cycling and boosts the Wellington regional economy.
  •   What does Te Ara Tupua mean?

    Te Ara Tupua refers to a traditional creation story of Te Whanganui a Tara / Wellington Harbour. The story refers to two tupua (supernatural beings) called Ngake and Whataitai who inhabited a landlocked lake but wished to escape to the ocean. In their struggle to escape the confines of the lake they created many of the landmarks of Te Whanganui a Tara / Wellington Harbour. Ngake went to the east, creating Te Awakairangi (Hutt River), the harbour islands and the harbour mouth. Whataitai went towards the west, creating the landmarks of the western harbour before becoming stranded on land, where he later died.

  •   How are you working with mana whenua?

    As a Crown agency, Waka Kotahi is committed to partnership under Te Tiriti o Waitangi – The Treaty of Waitangi. We have a responsibility to collaborate with mana whenua when designing and delivering major projects.

    We believe that partnership creates mutual benefit. Understanding mana whenua aspirations and concerns will help us to deliver a better project overall.

    We have established a steering group, made up of members from Waka Kotahi, Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira, so that we can work in partnership and lead a number of different initiatives within the project that are important to both mana whenua and Waka Kotahi.

    There are sites of significance to mana whenua along the coastline and at either end of the Ngauranga to Petone project area, including Honiana Te Puni reserve, which is owned by Taranaki Whānui, and historic Pā sites at Ngā Ūranga and Pito-One.


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Ngā Ūranga to Pito-One section

  •   What is the Ngā Ūranga to Pito-One (N2P) section of Te Ara Tupua?

    The new walking and cycling link will be a safe, separated shared path at the harbour’s edge, fixing a missing link for walking and cycling between Wellington and the Hutt Valley. It will provide an efficient and attractive option, encouraging more people to switch from driving to walking or cycling and providing new recreational opportunities.

  •   Why was the harbour-side option selected?

    In 2015 we selected a design that follows the seaward side of the Hutt Valley rail line. This decision was made following extensive public consultation, and where support for a harbour-side option was made very clear. Construction involves coastal reclamation, which presents unique challenges, but will also create a valuable and resilient asset for the Wellington region.

  •   What are the benefits of the proposed harbour-side walking and cycling link, compared to the previously considered options?

    The harbour-side option will create a 5m wide corridor between the harbour and the railway line. This enables the creation of a higher standard path with more space than the discounted road-side options. As it is separated from vehicle traffic it will also be safer and more attractive for new users compared to other options.

    Another benefit of the harbour-side option comes from new coastal edges that will protect the infrastructure on the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One corridor from the risk of erosion and damage from storm surges, and also provide a vital access route for emergency vehicles in an emergency where SH2 is blocked – such as a landslide caused by a major earthquake. The road-side options would not have created this additional benefit.

    The creation of a coastal path is also a key link in a future walking and cycling route around Wellington Harbour. The completion of this publicly accessible coastal path will create recreational, cultural and tourism opportunities.

  •  What are the key elements of the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section?

    Key features include:

      • Shared Path: A 4.5km shared path with a 5m wide sealed surface on the seaward side of the Hutt Valley Railway Line
      • Ūranga (landings): 6 ūranga (landings) located at key sites along the shared path’s length providing areas for planting, landscaping, habitat creation, and gathering, resting and viewing areas for people to use.
      • Shared path bridge at Ngā Ūranga: A new architecturally designed bridge providing access over the railway.
      • Revetments: 2.7km of sloping coastal defences protecting the shared path and ūranga. These are designed with the ability to adapt to sea-level rise and are 16m wide on average.
      • Seawalls: 6 seawall segments protecting the shared path, totalling approximately 600m in length. Seawalls are used where necessary to avoid high-value habitat areas.
      • Offshore habitats: small offshore habitats for coastal bird life, constructed of naturalised rock forms.
  •   Why does the harbour-side option end at the Ngauranga interchange?

    A harbour-side path past the Ngauranga interchange was considered as part of a long list of options. This wasn’t feasible due to:

    • the lack of an obvious route and safety concerns around cyclists and pedestrians passing the ferry terminal
    • linking the route to residential and employment areas is difficult when compared to the Hutt Road
    • prohibitive costs.
  •   How will you manage the environmental effects of coastal reclamation?

    Much of the marine environment along the foreshore from Ngauranga to Petone is already highly modified as a result of previous reclamation, with the shoreline mostly constructed of concrete walls and imported rock armouring.

    Identifying and assessing mitigation measures is a key part of preparing consent applications. We worked closely with iwi, ecologists, coastal experts, NIWA, urban designers, civil engineers and the planning team to develop an inspiring coastal pathway design and user experience. This work involves looking at how to incorporate new native planting while restoring the coastal habitat for seabirds. We have designed coastal edges that will be resilient to major storm events and adaptable to future sea level rise.

  •   How have you considered different users on the path?

    We believe the new path will be wide enough for cyclists and pedestrians to safely share the facility. Markings and cues will guide users – directing people on foot towards the harbour, and faster riders towards the rail line.

    The 5m width was chosen to balance the needs of path users with the need to minimise the impacts on the coastal marine environment which would be greater with the wider reclamation that would be needed for separate facilities.


Pito-One to Melling section

  •   What is the Pito-One to Melling (P2M) section of Te Ara Tupua?

    The Pito-One to Melling section of Te Ara Tupua is a dedicated cycleway, with shared pathway connections at each end. It provides creates a safe alternative to cycling on one part of State Highway 2. It is the northernmost part of Te Ara Tupua and will eventually connect with the future Ngā Ūranga to Pito-One section (once completed in 2026) and walking and cycling infrastructure set to be built as part of Te Wai Takamori o Te Awa Kairangi (formerly known as RiverLink).

    Te Ara Tupua is part of our investment into creating a walking and cycling link between Wellington and Lower Hutt.

  •   Can I walk from Pito-One to Melling using the cycleway?

    No. While most of Te Ara Tupua will be for walking and cycling, the bulk of the Pito-One to Melling section is a cycleway (three kilometres of it in fact). This is due to the narrow corridor between the railway and SH2 not having sufficient width for a shared path. If you wish to walk from Pito-One to Melling, please use the path along the Hutt Road.

  •   #Where does the cycleway and shared path connections start?

    The cycleway begins at the end of Petone train station and ends at the northern underpass near Bridge/Parliament streets.

    The Pito-One shared pathway connection starts on the Hutt Road side of the southern underpass. It then goes alongside McKenzie Avenue and on to the train station. The Melling shared pathway connection starts as you exit the northern underpass, and continues along Parliament Street, down beside the Normandale Road Bridge, across Pharazyn Street, and cuts through The Greenaway towards Bridge Street.

    How to get around using Pito-One to Melling

  •   How do I get on to the Pito-One to Melling cycleway from State Highway 2?

    Cyclists coming heading south can exit the state highway at and travel along Block Road and Pharazyn Street, joining the shared path connection where it crosses at The Greenaway.

    Southbound cyclists from Dowse Drive or Hutt Road can join the cycleway using the southern entry from the Dowse Interchange bypass at the end of the State Highway 2 onramp. Cyclists heading south on State Highway 2 can join at the northern entry point.

    Note: Those heading north will be encouraged to exit at Petone and travel along Hutt Road to Dowse Drive. It is possible for northbound cyclists to use the cycle bypass however, you will need to safely double back using the northern entry point and head up the State Highway 2 offramp and on to Dowse Drive.

  •   Why was Pito-One to Melling delayed?

    The construction of Pito-One to Melling has taken longer than originally expected, with COVID-19, construction issues with underground utilities and obstructions within the rail corridor, contaminated land, and weather more recently causing a number of setbacks for the project.

  •   What is the recommended speed along the shared pathway connections?

    The recommended speed along the shared pathway connections is 15 km/h. Pavement markings will visible to provide guidance for those approaching the area and are similar to what you would normally see on the road. It’s also acts as a reminder to maintain safe speeds that don’t put other users at risk, as this section is shared and will be used by both pedestrians and cycleway users at times. These are speed advisories, not limits.

  •   What does the artwork mean?

    The designs were created by a local iwi artist and are representations of the cultural narrative of the area. Signboards will be erected explaining the meaning behind the designs.


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