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Auckland Transport

Te Whau Pathway Te Whau Pathway

Te Whau Pathway will be a 12km shared path along the western edge of the Whau River between Te Atatū Peninsula and Green Bay Beach.

Consultation status: closed 16 April 2017. Read the feedback report.

Project status: Design/construction
Project zone: West

Project overview

Te Whau pathway mock-up crop

Te Whau Pathway, a shared path for pedestrians and people on bikes, will be a significant link in Auckland's network of cycling and walking routes. Find out more about Auckland Transport's cycling and walking programme.

The pathway will provide a connection between the Waitematā and Manukau Harbours using concrete paths through reserve land and a boardwalk through the coastal area. The route will connect 33 reserves, esplanade strips, sports parks, and roads.

Te Whau Pathway project is a collaborative partnership between the Whau Coastal Walkway Environmental Trust, the Whau and Henderson-Massey Local Boards, Te Kawerau a Maki, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Auckland Transport (AT), and Auckland Council.

The pathway is being built in stages. Completion of the entire pathway is expected to take 5-8 years, dependent on funding.


  • Provide safer, more convenient connections to the city centre and within neighbouring suburbs.
  • Offer better connections to 13 schools, and access to the Northwestern Cycleway and the future New Lynn to Avondale Shared Path.
  • Maximise opportunities to experience the Whau River, and improve access to the river for small boats and kayaks.
  • Offer new spaces for recreation (such as fishing and bird watching) and education.
  • Improve the natural environment through a clean-up of the water’s edge, restoration, and weed removal following construction.
  • Attract tourists and visitors from other neighbourhoods.


  • 2015 - construction began.
  • 2015 to 2016 - pathways completed at Archibald, Ken Maunder, Olympic and McLeod parks.
  • March/April 2017 - public feedback on the scheme plan and preliminary design.
  • June 2017 - scheme plan and preliminary design complete; pathway sections to be developed next finalised.
  • 2017/2018 - planned construction of paths in Roberts Field, Tiroroa Reserve, Queen Mary Reserve and Rizal Reserve.
  • 2018 - resource consent process for the coastal marine area boardwalk.

Route map

The map shows sections of the pathway to be completed over the duration of the project and connections to other pathways.

Te Whau Pathway consultion map

Key design features

  • 3m (minimum) wide.
  • Easy gradient and accessibility in most places.
  • Include a Kaiarataki (Māori designer), procured in partnership with mana whenua, to apply Te Aranga Māori design principles.

Design images

Artist's impression of the coastal boardwalk

Te Whau Pathway artist sketch

Artist's impression of the boardwalk between Rata Street and Rizal Reserve

Te Whau Pathway Bridge Sketch

Scheme plans

The draft scheme plans show the proposed route of Te Whau pathway and the path design. Find out what is changing following public feedback.

Download the overview plan and find the code for the area of the pathway you want to see in detail.

Overall draft scheme plan

View the overall draft scheme plan (PDF 1.1MB)

Individual scheme plans

All scheme plans from G301 to G336

Download all the draft scheme plans from G301 to G336 (PDF 9.6MB)

Design details and impacts

Boardwalk height

The pathway has been designed to last for 50 years. Because of predicted sea-level rise, the boardwalk has to be built for the predicted sea level in 50 years, in a major storm event. A coastal processes assessment has estimated the sea level in year 2070 during a severe storm to be 3.46m (AVD-46 Datum) or 5.20m (Chart Datum). As a comparison, the current high tide generally spans between 1.2m to 1.8m (AVD-46 Datum).

The bottom of the boardwalk will be built at 3.5m. Any level lower than this will be a case-by-case scenario to be confirmed in detailed design. The height of boardwalk is yet to be confirmed and options to minimise the structure’s thickness are being explored.

Safety measures

The pathway has been designed to allow for maximum passive surveillance and sight lines along the route. As many access and exit points to the boardwalk sections as practical have been made. The pathway will be lit so it is useable throughout the day and night and for all seasons. In a couple of areas with low passive surveillance, an alternative route has been provided.

Visual impacts

The visual assessment showed that the majority of the pathway will have low to very low visual impact because of the path’s proposed alignment. Some areas of boardwalk have been identified as having more than moderate visual impacts, these are:

  • Between Queen Mary Reserve and Lynwood Road.
  • At the end of Roberts Road, near Tiroroa Esplanade.
  • Near Cobham Reserve.

Consultation with affected residents will be undertaken to understand any impacts and work out ways to address individual needs and concerns.

Impact on trees

The alignment of the pathway has been designed, wherever possible, to minimise the loss of vegetation. Where removals are anticipated, these are mainly trees that are in decline, have poor form, low amenity value, or are classified as a pest species.

Areas of native vegetation that have been identified for removal are young plants and can be replaced by new planting. The pathway project includes significant areas of native re-vegetation following construction of the path and will improve the diversity and the quality of the vegetation along the route. For example, 7,000 plants were planted in Archibald Park last year and 8,000 will be planted this year in Ken Maunder, McLeod, and Archibald Parks.

Impact on birds

An assessment of the habitat along the route found 6 areas of potential high quality banded rail nesting sites. These areas have been surveyed and banded rail footprints were seen, so the pathway alignment was moved 20 metres to avoid potential nesting sites.

Impact on marine life

Marine fish diversity at the entrance to the Whau estuary is relatively high compared to other Waitematā sites, but given that fish are mobile and the route is inter-tidal, it is expected any effects on fish to be minor.

The assessment on marine life found that any impacts on marine ecology will be mostly due to construction activities. Details of how the boardwalks will be constructed is still being refined and recommendations provided from the marine ecology assessment will be used to decide the most appropriate construction method with the least impact.
Improving the stream’s potential as an inanga spawning habitat will be undertaken as part of the restoration work.

Impact on archaeological sites

Māori lived along the river for many years and there are lots of midden sites as well as the remains of brick works from early European industry. 40 archaeological sites in the vicinity of the pathway have been identified. In most cases, the pathway route will go around these archaeological sites. Further work is required in 9 cases to accurately pinpoint archaeological remains and work out what actual impact the pathway would have on these sites. Once this is done, the final positioning of the pathway will be confirmed during the consenting stage.

Landscape and urban design framework

The urban and landscape design framework defines the design principles and concepts of Te Whau Pathway to support the consent process and to guide subsequent design development.

The framework includes the design objectives and concepts for paths, bridges and boardwalks, landscape design, accessibility, wayfinding, and legibility of the whole route.

Construction stages

Stage 1 - completed September 2015

The first stage involved constructing 3 concrete sections of the walkway (total 1.6km) on reserve land at Olympic Park, Ken Maunder Park and Archibald Park.

Stage 1A - completed November 2016

This stage involved constructing the main pathway at McLeod Park and new path linkages creating connections to the main pathway at Archibald Park, Ken Maunder and Olympic Park.

Ecological restoration has begun at Archibald Park, and will continue in winter 2017, along with restoration at Ken Maunder Park and McLeod Park.

Stage 1B

One of the aims of Te Whau Pathway is to improve access to and appreciation of the Whau River.

We’ve secured funding from The Trusts Community Foundation and have consent to build a pontoon at Archibald Park in Kelston. The new pontoon will be connected to the existing boat ramp, and will provide better access to the Whau River for kayakers and waka ama groups.

Construction of the pontoon is planned to begin in Autumn 2018, and will include improvements to the boat ramp.

More on-land sections of Te Whau Pathway will get underway in 2018. Resource consents have been granted for paths in Rizal Reserve, Queen Mary Reserve, Roberts Field, and Tiroroa Esplanade.

Consent for the pathway route

In addition to Stage 1B works, we are planning for a resource consent to cover the entire Te Whau Pathway route. The consent will be publicly notified and we welcome your submissions.

We’ll share further updates once a timeline is available.

Public engagement

Feedback on Te Whau Pathway was open from 13 March to 16 April 2017. We asked for feedback on the pathway's route and design, local knowledge about how people will use it, and any potential issues.

In total, AT received 383 submissions. From these:

  • 317 people indicated they like an aspect of the pathway route.
  • 248 people indicated the like an aspect of the pathway design.
  • 25 people indicated they don’t like the proposed pathway.
  • 86% of submitters indicated they would use the pathway.

Feedback report

We have arranged comments and suggestions into themes and responded in the consultation report.

Download the Te Whau Pathway feedback report (PDF 792KB, 42 pages)

Changes based on feedback

Based on the feedback received on the proposal, we will:

  • Work on improving access to the river.
  • Incorporate many of the design features suggested, including bike racks and water fountains (for further details, see the landscape and urban design framework).
  • Monitor parking in roads around the pathway to ensure parking and access does not become an issue for residents.
  • Install signage and run an education campaign encouraging path users to consider each other and share the path with care.
  • Make the following changes to the pathway route:
    • Move the pathway in Rizal Reserve closer to the river, and away from the middle of the reserve.
    • Move the pathway near Koromiko Street further out towards the river channel, and away from the river bank.
    • Move the pathway away from potential banded rail saltmarsh habitat.

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