Last Friday I represented Cycle Action at the launch of this hugely inspirational project for a 13km walking and cycling route connecting the Manukau and Waitemata Harbours. I was blown away by the prospect of a north-south connector linking the Te Atatu Peninsula, the NW Cycleway, a necklace of foreshore reserves on the Whau River, Portage Rd and Green Bay on the Manukau.
The Herald is reporting on the project today. Here’s some of the highlights from Wayne Thompson’s story –
“As well as a draw for visitors, the 13km Whau project would restore the river’s nature, link existing parks, reserves, greenways and neighbourhoods and give public access to the river.”
“For too long we have turned our backs on the Whau River” is the slogan of a group, headed by Keep Auckland Beautiful chairman Iris Donoghue. She said the project would follow the example of the 10km walkway at New Plymouth, which was built in stages on the city’s neglected ocean edge.
This is a community- led project which already has a big head of steam, due in largely to leadership from Councillor Ross Clow and Iris Donaghue who were the stars of last week’s project launch. I left the event awed by Ross and Iris for their impressive leadership and success in combining funds from local sources and Central Government in public private partnerships.
Here’s more quotes from the Herald, this time from Ross – “Partnerships have enabled all sorts of things to happen out here that would not have otherwise happened.
A prime example was the Government’s support for the $400 million New Lynn revitalisation but Mr Clow said three other strategic projects for West Auckland were enabled by “other sources” of funding. The Trusts Waitakere Arena cost $38 million. Waitakere City Council gave $20 million and other sources $18 million, including a $10 million grant from The Trusts Community Foundation (TTCF).
Cycle Action joins with many others who stood up to welcome this project to Auckland and applaud the superb work completed to date to bring it to the launch. We will be helping it in any way possible, and reporting back to the cycling community.
I can’t help thinking about the NZ Cycle Trail’s Kauri Trail which links to West Auckland – imagine if this new trail could be linked up to showcase the natural and cultural taonga that characterise Te Atatu, the NW Causeway, the Whau River and the Manukau Harbour’s Green Bay.