He Ara Kotahi Bridge side view
Photo by Jonathan Harker

Gold foot nominations highlight exciting work by public sector

Living Streets Aotearoa has just announced the finalists for its Golden Foot awards 2020.

So, without Messi and Ronaldo among the finalists, some great Kiwi walking champions have won their chance to shine.

For instance, Te Araroa’s chief executive Mark Weatherall picks up a nomination for his advocacy of our length of New Zealand trail. The nomination praises his clear communication, focus on walker safety, financial accountability, and pleasant manner.

In the award category that overlaps most with the work that we do here at the Walking Access Commission, walking and public transport initiatives, three public agencies earn well-deserved nominations.

Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets for People pilot fund helps councils create more people-friendly spaces in our towns and cities. It uses tactical urbanism to make quick changes by testing and piloting projects that make our cities more walkable. Applicants can use the fund to build pilot bike lanes, wider footpaths play-street areas and safer intersections.

Palmerston North City Council’s He Ara Kotahi bridge and pathway provides a safe, direct and beautiful walking and cycling connection from the city to Massey University and Linton Army camp. Since the bridge and pathway opened in June 2019 it has had 500,000 groups across it, with an average daily usage of between 1500-2000 users. The path was built in partnership with Rangitāne, Massey University, NZ Defence Force, Waka Kotahi, and others. 

Auckland Council’s Tāmaki Loop is an innovative a 10 km track that will connect Panmure and Glen Innes. When it is built multiple destinations across the Tāmaki area such as schools, shops, parks and treasured mana whenua sites all interwoven through a new, safe and attractive walking route.

It is great to see the work New Zealand’s public sector is doing to build the country’s network of tracks, trails and accessible active-transport spaces. Walking spaces and trails are located in the heart of their local communities but together, as they grow and develop, they form a nationwide network.

We are looking forward to celebrating the finalists following the award presentation next week.