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
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.
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 and Auckland Council.
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.
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 proposed 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.
The map shows sections of the pathway to be completed over the duration of the project and connections to other pathways.
- 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.
Artist's impression of the coastal boardwalk
Artist's impression of the boardwalk between Rata Street and Rizal Reserve
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
- G301 - draft scheme plan (PDF 149KB)
- G302 - draft scheme plan (PDF 290KB)
- G303 - draft scheme plan (PDF 130KB)
- G304 - draft scheme plan (PDF 150KB)
- G305 - draft scheme plan (PDF 176KB)
- G306 - draft scheme plan (PDF 146KB)
- G307 - draft scheme plan (PDF 671KB)
- G308 - draft scheme plan (PDF 206KB)
- G309 - draft scheme plan (PDF 206KB)
- G310 - draft scheme plan (PDF 185KB)
- G311 - draft scheme plan (PDF 199KB)
- G312 - draft scheme plan (PDF 213KB)
- G313 - draft scheme plan (PDF 261KB)
- G314 - draft scheme plan (PDF 167KB)
- G315 - draft scheme plan (PDF 336KB)
- G316 - draft scheme plan (PDF 443KB)
- G317 - draft scheme plan (PDF 317KB)
- G318 - draft scheme plan (PDF 183KB)
- G319 - draft scheme plan (PDF 106KB)
- G320 - draft scheme plan (PDF 162KB)
- G321 - draft scheme plan (PDF 271KB)
- G322 - draft scheme plan (PDF 279KB)
- G323 - draft scheme plan (PDF 269KB)
- G324 - draft scheme plan (PDF 269KB)
- G325 - draft scheme plan (PDF 179KB)
- G326 - draft scheme plan (PDF 230KB)
- G327 - draft scheme plan (PDF 198KB)
- G328 - draft scheme plan (PDF 253KB)
- G329 - draft scheme plan (PDF 208KB)
- G330 - draft scheme plan (PDF 570KB)
- G331 - draft scheme plan (PDF 396KB)
- G332 - draft scheme plan (PDF 400KB)
- G333 - draft scheme plan (PDF 450KB)
- G334 - draft scheme plan (PDF 309KB)
- G335 - draft scheme plan (PDF 772KB)
- G336 - draft scheme plan (PDF 492KB)
Design details and impacts
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Download the landscape and urban design framework - Volume 1 (PDF 4.1MB, 25 pages)
- Download the landscape and urban design framework - Volume 2 (PDF 10.7MB, 73 pages)
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.
Planning and consultation is underway on a planned pontoon for Archibald Park. Discussions are being held with local waka ama clubs and other river users to ensure the proposed pontoon is fit for purpose. If feasible, the pontoon will be built once funding has been secured.
More on-land sections of the pathway are in the planning stages, and will be built following consultation and consent. These paths in Rizal Reserve, Queen Mary Reserve, Roberts Field and Tiroroa Esplanade will connect to the coastal boardwalk sections of the pathway in the future (planned for 2017/2018).
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.
We have arranged comments and suggestions into themes and responded in the consultation report.
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.
The scheme plan report has been completed. This is the last stage in the investigation phase of the project. The next stage is to develop the design and apply for resource consent for the project.
The application for resource consent will be publically notified in 2017/2018. This provides another opportunity for public feedback on the proposed pathway.
Further on-land path sections will be planned and built, if funds allow. This includes the pathway in Roberts Field, Tiroroa Esplanade, Queen Mary Reserve, and Rizal Reserve.