Ngati Whatua were generous in explaining that they appreciated having the chance to bless the ground, as they have not been able to do this in Grafton Gully before. There was an impressive attendance from senior executive staff from the Transport Agency and Auckland Transport, along with Auckland Central MP, Nikki Kaye.
Cycle Action Chair, Barb Cuthbert, helped to turn the first sod with Nikki and used her speech to describe that this project will unleash floodwaters of cyclists of all skills and types who are keen to cross the city for transport and pleasure. More significantly, thanks to the planning work of the Orakei Local Board on a route across Hobson Bay, and the future Auckland Harbour Bridge SkyPath, she stressed that this project will in the future also see cyclists flowing from the Northwest, across Central Auckland to the East and North. It really is the dawn of a new era of cycling in Auckland.
The Herald had a good feature about the cycleway yesterday, and NZTA has also just gone live with a website for the project, including a staging timeline to give you an estimate on when you can expect to ride the route (and join in for some day-time celebrations next time).