Stage one of the ambitious, 13 kilometre, Te Whau Coastal Walkway was opened during October, creating an important milestone in the development of an everincreasing network of walking and cycle paths spreading across the whole of Auckland and beyond.
Stage one is 1.6km of 3km walking and cycling paths which have been laid in several sections across three parks, on the banks of the Whau River.
When complete, the path will stretch from the mouth of the Whau near the Te Atatu Boating Club, to Olympic Park in New Lynn. There it will connect with other shared paths reaching out to the Green Bay coast in one direction and to Waterview in the other.
The completed sections have been built across Kelston’s Archibald, Ken Maunder and McLean Parks and Olympic Park in New Lynn. Design, consultation, resource consenting and project management for stage one was funded by The Whau Local Board. The Whau Coastal Walkway Environmental Trust funded the construction to date with a grant from The Trusts Community Foundation. The project manager was Auckland Parks.
Future project management will be carried out by Auckland Transport.
The $30 million path will hug the banks of the Whau the whole way, opening up this “buried treasure” for walkers, cyclists, skateboarders and scooterists, children and adults alike.
Indeed, so popular has it already proved that, no sooner had Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse declared it open, cyclists of all ages seemed to appear out of nowhere to try it out.
Maybe, one day, it will also encourage tourist kayaking and rowing ventures so that the public can enjoy this broad and beautiful expanse of water for pleasure and recreation.
Planning for the completed path currently calls for sections of the path to cross the water on environmentally sensitive boardwalks.
The brainchild of Councillor Ross Clow, the path is a collaborative venture between Auckland Council Parks, The Whau Local Board, Iwi, The Trusts Community Foundation, Auckland Transport, The Henderson-Massey Local Board, The Whau River Catchment Trust/Friends of the Whau, Eco Matters Environment Trust, Keep Waitakere Beautiful, Community Groups, Schools and
Local People under the leadership of The Whau Coastal Walkway Environmental Trust.
The Walkway Trust is made up of many of the collaborating groups was especially set up to lead the work, with Iris Donaghue MNZM as its chair. The path was opened at a small ceremony with Councillor Clow acting as MC, and speeches from Whau Local Board Chair Catherine Farmer, Iris Donaghue and Phil Robinson representing Cycle Action Auckland, before Deputy Mayor Hulse spoke and invited the assembled children in the audience to cut the ribbon. Formalities were opened with waiata from Kelston Boys Service Academy and a mihi by Auckland Council’s Otene Reweti of Ngati Whatua.