An additional $14 million commitment from the Government to support funding for part of Auckland Council’s Te Whau Pathway will support the extension of a walking and cycling connection to Te Atatu South.
Auckland Council says the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) has confirmed grant funding for the shortfall needed to construct a four-metre-wide designed pathway for walkers and cyclists from State Highway 16 and Bridge Avenue to Roberts Field.
The Government’s IRG fund was set up in 2020 to assess projects from the private and public sector to stimulate the construction industry, its workforce and the economy in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The new funding brings the total Government investment in the project to $49.3 million.
The news has been welcomed by project supporter and Auckland Councillor, Shane Henderson, who has been involved in the partnership project with Te Whau Coastal Walkway Environmental Trust since it began in 2014.
“Te Whau Pathway is a great community project that I’ve given my support to over the past ten years alongside the Trust and our wider group of partners,” says Cr Henderson.
“This funding means that very soon we’ll have an amazing connection for walkers and cyclists between the Northwestern Cycleway and Te Atatu South to Roberts Field.”
Auckland Council’s Director Customer & Community Services, Dr Claudia Wyss, has also welcomed the Government’s funding commitment.
“This is fantastic news for our community and council,” she said.
“It enables a worthy community project to go ahead, and to use the funding and materials already allocated to deliver a long-lasting asset for the community and Te Whau Pathway Trust who have worked so hard for this,” says Dr Wyss.
Te Whau Coastal Walkway Environmental Trust is a volunteer organisation led by chair Tony Miguel.
“The Trust has been promoting and lobbying hard in the background, alongside the council, to see sections of the pathway delivered to the highest possible standard for our community and everyone who will soon be able to use it,” says Mr Miguel.
Te Whau Pathway is a partnership between Auckland Council, Auckland Transport (AT), Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Te Kawerau ā Maki, Whau and Henderson-Massey local boards with Government as a major funder and Te Whau Coastal Walkway Environmental Trust leading the project.
Te Whau Pathway follows a traditional Māori taonga waka (portage). Fully delivered, the pathway would connect Manukau Harbour at Green Bay to the Waitematā Harbour at Te Atatu Peninsula.
This new funding leverages the Crown Infrastructure Partners funding of $35.3 million and Auckland Council funding of $4.8 million already allocated to the project.
A construction start date is now expected within four to six weeks.