Te Kōwhai Nui (The Big Yellow) safeguards marine ecosystem during Te Whau Pathway construction

Last Updated : 12 Jun 2024
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Te Kōwhai Nui (The Big Yellow).
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Councillor Shane Henderson speaks at an event marking the start of Te Kōwhai Nui being used on the Te Whau Pathway project.
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Left to right: Gilbert Brakey (Deputy chair of Te Whau Pathway Environment Trust) Chris Carter (Chair of the Henderson-Massey Local Board), Kay Thomas (Chair of the Whau Local Board), Tony Miguel (Chair of Te Whau Pathway Environment Trust), Councillor Shane Henderson, Steve Croft Executive (GM of National Projects and Structures HEB), Taryn Crewe (GM of Parks and Community Facilities, Auckland Council).

Leaving minimal impact on the environment is top of mind as Auckland Council builds a pathway linking the Waitematā and Manukau harbours.

That’s why a massive piece of machinery – Te Kōwhai Nui, or the Big Yellow – has been put in place over the Whau River at Te Atatū Peninsula as construction of the boardwalk over this part of the Waitematā continues.

Councillor Shane Henderson has been involved in this partnership project with Te Whau Coastal Pathway Environment Trust since it began in 2014. He says he’s pleased to see the project making progress.

“I’m thrilled to see Te Whau Pathway is progressing, which will allow Aucklanders to walk or cycle from one side of the Auckland isthmus to the other.
“Te Kōwhai Nui will mitigate the environmental impact of the pathway’s construction over the Whau River.

Taryn Crewe, Auckland Council’s General Manager Parks and Community Facilities says using Te Kōwhai Nui in the construction project is crucial to protect the environment.

“Leaving as little impact on the environment is at top of mind during the Te Whau pathway project.

“Utilising Te Kōwhai Nui means the boardwalk will be constructed from the top down, that is, building a section of the pathway and moving along on the top to reduce our impact on the mangroves and surrounding environment below.”

Local community involvement in the project saw Te Kōwhai Nui named by Freyberg Community School in September 2022 following a competition in which each class suggested a name from which the winner was picked.

Construction on Te Whau Pathway restarted in December 2023 and the estimated completion time for the boardwalk connecting the Northwestern Cycleway and Horowai Reserve (Roberts Field) is December 2026.

Te Whau Pathway is a partnership between Auckland Transport (AT), Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Te Kawerau ā Maki, the Whau and Henderson-Massey local boards, the government as a major funder, Auckland Council delivering the construction and working closely with Te Whau Pathway Environment Trust.

Auckland Council would also like to acknowledge the construction team from Heb who are delivering the build.

Te Whau Pathway follows a traditional Māori taonga waka (portage). Fully delivered, all sections of the proposed pathway will connect Manukau Harbour at Green Bay to the Waitematā Harbour at Te Atatū Peninsula.

To find out more about how Te Kōwhai Nui works click here.


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