Minister for Transport Hon. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff joined mana whenua to celebrate the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project on 11 June.
Drag artists, dressmakers, barbers and shop owners joined a hīkoi led by mana whenua to walk the length of Karangahape Road.
The upgrades to Karangahape Road make the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project.
The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining experience for local cafes, two rainbow crossings, native planting, safe separated cycleways on both sides of the street, bike parking, and improved bus shelters and bus lanes.
“The upgrades to Karangahape Road make an iconic street even better. They mean people can safely walk and cycle in the city, which will help people leave the car at home - reducing congestion and emissions,” Michael Wood said.
“The Climate Change Commission’s advice highlighted one of the ways we need to tackle climate change is by encouraging more people to walk or cycle, which projects like this do.
“We want to see more of these kinds of projects across the country that support our economic recovery by creating jobs, while at the same time helping us move to a zero-carbon economy.
“The Karangahape Station is expected to be a key transport hub as part of the City Rail Link when it is finished in 2024. With the rail network doubling in capacity, more people will soon be walking, cycling, scooting and connecting to buses through this area,” Michael Wood said.
Mayor Goff says, “It’s fantastic to celebrate the completion of the Karangahape Road upgrade. This is a $30 million project that has delivered wider footpaths, more street trees, new street furniture, improved lighting and a protected cycleway for K Road.
“The Karangahape Road upgrade is one of several major projects completed or nearing completion in our city centre in recent months. Alongside the Quay Street improvements, new waterfront public space Te Wānanga, Te Komititanga and the upgraded Chief Post Office, we are transforming central Auckland into a more people-friendly, vibrant accessible and attractive place, in keeping with Auckland Council’s vision outlined in our City Centre Masterplan.
“The new-look Karangahape Road is a well-designed, more pedestrian-friendly and cycle-friendly area, and is more attractive and more environmentally sustainable. It’s great to have these enhancements complete.”
Waitematā and Gulf ward Councillor Pippa Coom is delighted to see this project finished for the community to enjoy.
“This project has created a stunning streetscape with new trees, artworks and street furniture. It builds on Karangahape Road as a unique destination that supports the diverse local community and the many Aucklanders that visit.
“The expanded footpaths and separated cycleways have also future-proofed this iconic part of Tāmaki Makaurau, to ensure it is a well-connected and welcoming destination for the thousands of people who will be using Karangahape Station when it opens in 2024,” says Councillor Coom.
Manager of the Karangahape Road Business Association, Michael Richardson, says the business community is excited about the impact that the completion of this work will have.
“We are highly conscious of the impact that this work, the ongoing City Rail Link (CRL) work, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had. It’s gratifying to see people return to the area and we hope they’ll come along on Saturday, 26 June to our community celebration to mark the end of this work. We also want to thank all the people who supported our businesses throughout the works.”
Mary-Jane Daly, from the Auckland Transport Board of Directors, says Karangahape Road has always been one of the best-connected areas in Auckland.
“By 2024, with the expected completion of the CRL, it will be even easier to get here. The recently completed work looks towards that future by providing wider footpaths for the additional people expected to come to the area and makes it safer for those who want to come here by bike.”
Another highlight of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project is an increase in the number of artworks, particularly around the overbridge.
Artist Tessa Harris ( Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki ) worked with Auckland Girls’ Grammar School’s Kahurangi Māori students to deliver contemporary tukutuku panels - telling the story of Te Ara o Karangahape, the path of Karangahape.
The Karangahape Road Enhancements project was a joint project between Auckland Council, with funding from the City Centre Targeted Rate and Auckland Transport - with some funding from Waka Kotahi (NZTA).
It aimed to preserve the road's unique character while creating a street environment that supports the local community and meets the needs of a growing population.
Aucklanders are encouraged to visit Karangahape Road on Saturday, 26 June - to celebrate the completion of the work with the Karangahape Road business and residential communities.