Matakana picnic table

Promoting access: Pūhoi to Mangawhai

Planning for access in a rapidly growing peri-urban environment

Herenga ā Nuku has partnered with Auckland Council to develop plans for public access in the Rodney local board area. Population in the north of Auckland is growing rapidly and is forecast to increase further in the coming years.

As a predominantly rural area, this growing population will be housed through subdivisions and new developments. This offers a unique opportunity to plan public access for commuting and recreation before building the houses.

At the same time, the New Zealand Transport Agency is building a new motorway in the area from Pūhoi to Warkworth. This motorway required the partial closure of Herenga ā Nuku’s Moirs Hill Walkway, and the $800,000 compensation received by the Commission will largely fund the new project with Auckland Council.

Herenga ā Nuku employs Chris Charles, a staff member within Auckland Council, to lead the project, working alongside the Matakana Coast Trails Trust, iwi, the Department of Conservation and other relevant organisations.

Charles helps to build capacity within Auckland Council to ensure public access is a key element of statutory and other planning processes.

Over the next three years, this project will produce a strategy for public access in the area, ensuring that the communities are connected and local amenities such as the coastline and regional parks.

This strategy will be used to prioritise the acquisition of easements and other forms of public access on private land, working with landholders and developers before and during the subdivision process to ensure we do not miss this unique opportunity.

The existing community has a vision for how they want things to be — in 20 years, once tens of thousands of people live in the area, every child should be able to walk, cycle or even horse-ride to school without travelling on the road. That is a vision Herenga ā Nuku supports, and this project will help turn it into reality.

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