Wellington Scoop

At last: designs released for harbourside pathway from Ngauranga to Petone


News from NZ Government
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today unveiled designs for public consultation on the Ngauranga to Petone shared walking and cycling pathway. She also announced funding approval to begin construction on the Petone to Melling pathway.

“This project will provide people living in the Hutt with a congestion-free commuting option into the city,” said Julie Anne Genter.

“With the rise of e-bikes and e-scooters, this path will provide people with more options for travelling between the Hutt, Petone, and Wellington City.


“The new designs show that the pathway will be an attraction for both visitors and residents alike. The 5 m wide path will include additional space for people to rest, picnic, and fish the coast.


“An iconic overbridge at Ngauranga will connect people to the coastal pathway.

“The project represents the most significant expansion of public access to Wellington’s waterfront in decades.

“The seaside path provides a critical resilience upgrade to the network, with protection of State Highway 2 and the rail line from erosion and damaging storm surges.

“In addition, the Transport Agency has approved construction to begin to extend a shared walking and cycling path from Melling to Petone. This path will make it safer and easier for people to walk, cycle and scooter to the train station, which will help reduce congestion and take the pressure of park and ride facilities.

“Ultimately the Melling to Petone section will connect to the coastal pathway and provide access right to the city. Work is expected to start on this section before the end of this year, with the project completed by the end of 2020,” said Julie Anne Genter.

People can find out more about the proposed design for the Ngauranga to Wellington section and have their say using an online platform, Social Pinpoint: nzta.mysocialpinpoint.com/w2hvlink

The Petone to Melling section is being delivered by the NZ Transport Agency, in partnership with the Hutt City Council. In March, the Transport Agency board approved funding to construct this section. Final costs are dependent on the outcome of negotiation with contractors.

The Ngauranga to Petone section is being delivered by the NZ Transport Agency, in partnership with the Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

Notes on imagery and video:

Today the NZ Transport Agency is releasing indicative imagery that depicts how the Ngauranga to Petone walking and cycling route might look in future. These are architect’s visualisations based on the design work completed to date, but features of the proposed route could change with community and expert feedback, and through the consenting process.

Trust welcomes consultation
Mayor welcomes plans


  1. greenwelly, 23. May 2019, 11:46

    Couple of things, it has to be lit, and there needs to be public toilets in at least one (preferably all) of the “resting spots”. Unlike other public paths, the railway line means there is no ability to “get off” the path to use nearby facilities. If they are wanting to encourage family use, then toilets are a basic requirement.

  2. David, 23. May 2019, 12:52

    With the type of cyclists who brave this commute, and more eBikes coming on, reality is they travel at 30kmph, so it’s not really going to be for family walkers unless very wide.

  3. greenwelly, 23. May 2019, 13:37

    @David, NZTA are heavily promoting this as more than just a bike trail.
    “Recreation – This project is an opportunity to create something more than just a route for commuters. It will open up a part of the harbour that has been inaccessible for many years, so we want it to be a coastal path of the highest standard.”

  4. Lindsay, 23. May 2019, 13:43

    Back in 2012, Gerry Brownlee’s transport plans committed to the Petone/Ngauranga pathway, and said it would be completed by 2015.

  5. greenwelly, 23. May 2019, 13:45

    This is still years away. It’s not due to be consented until 2021-2022 and given the restricted site access, I would expect an 18-24 month build (at minimum) so you are looking at 2023-2024 for completion. This was a government announcement last month.

  6. James Shaw, 23. May 2019, 13:46

    This is awesome news for Wellington – – a new 5m wide coastal path will mean a safer walking and cycling space into and out of our city.

  7. Patrick Morgan, 23. May 2019, 15:57

    Looks great. Note that getting this consented is a significant step. Any coastal reclamation must pass a high bar to get the tick from the Environment Court. NZTA needs to work closely with mana whenua to address any concerns. [via twitter]

  8. Celia Wade-Brown, 23. May 2019, 17:31

    The detailed plans look pretty good and will encourage commuting and recreational users.
    People with pushchairs and prams will find it an easy track to enjoy. The more separation between people on foot and on bike, the better.

    Access to the sea for blue penguin nest box installation, predator control and suitable planting will enhance the experience and natural environment which should counter any damage from further reclamation. NZTA is already working closely and constructively with mana whenua.

    The protection of the railway and SH2 has not been reported much but is very important so Hutt Valley and Wellington aren’t separated in storms and high tides as climate change bites. During the years of consultation, consent and construction, the sub-standard existing path could do with some protection along its most traffic-exposed 1.4km.

  9. Lance Harmstrong, 23. May 2019, 19:04

    The photo shows a couple of cyclists but I’m confident the number could surge to 10 per hour each way which adds to 500 trips a day or 180,000 per year.
    Given the $85million capital cost, the annual equivalent over 30 years discounted at 6% would be $6million (note no maintenance included just like the existing cycleway). So cyclists only need to benefit by $33 each per trip to make it economic! EY, PwC, Deloittes or KPMG could easily double this by adding CO2 savings and wider economic agglomeration benefits. Voila a BCR 2.0!

  10. Chris Horne, 24. May 2019, 15:55

    “Reclaiming” land from Te Whanganui a Tara has always been fraught with serious problems, extremely expensive ones. Consider the failures by civil engineers to “reclaim” land on which other civil engineers then built CentrePort, Statistics House and BNZ House. All failed catastrophically from liquefaction in the 2015 Kaikoura earthquake. How many millions of dollars did those failures cost?

    Civil engineers are likely to produce even more disastrous results if they try to “reclaim” land by dumping millions of cubic metres of soil and rocks into the harbour to build the proposed walkway/cycleway between Petone and Ngauranga. Why?

    1. The route would be directly above the Wellington Fault, and only c. 30 km from the West Wairarapa Fault which ruptured to cause a massive earthquake in 1855, producing 10-m-high tsunami waves which sloshed around the harbour for hours after it struck;
    2. The proposed “reclamation” would have to bear the brunt of the giant waves of ever more common southerly storm surges.

    Thus it would be wiser to upgrade the exiting walkway/cycleway to the greatest extent possible, and place a raised kerb along the inside lane of north-bound SH2 between Ngauranga and Petone, to provide a safe cycleway for north-bound cyclists.

  11. Darren, 24. May 2019, 17:41

    It takes a really long time to walk from from Ngauranga to Petone. About 2 1/2 hours last time I did it. The only place I can think of where it would be possible to split this journey is the J’Ville turnoff.

    Not sure how many folks in wheelchairs or pedestrians are going to commit to that walk; it’s not fun, and that whole area is a wind tunnel. I wouldn’t do this journey on foot again via the existing bike path if there was any other option available. Any new development would need to address lighting, wind, rest stops, and some way of not being forced to walk that entire distance.

  12. Guy M, 24. May 2019, 18:19

    Chris Horne – well, yes and no. Yes, you’re right that the proposed reclamation would bear the brunt of any waves from the south. But we do have a serious problem. There is simply NO ROOM to upgrade the existing walkway/cycleway along the Hutt motorway, on either side of the road, which is why those mad bugger cyclists continue to risk their necks every day on that horrible skinny little bit of glass-strewn “cycleway”. There is a cliff, a motorway, a train track and the sea, and really the only thing that can be done to get a wider and better path for cyclists is to either delete an entire lane of traffic (that’d go down like a lead balloon) or alternatively, build further out into the sea. There really is no other option – that’s what the roading designers have been looking for for the last 40 years, with no luck.

    Building a structure out of steel or concrete or timber all would be a nightmare proposal as well, so really there is only one option: pour truckloads of rocks into the water. It’s not particularly sophisticated, but it’s all we have.

  13. Andy Foster, 24. May 2019, 18:24

    It’s taking a long time, but great to see progress. It will allow a lot of people to make bike trips they otherwise wouldn’t and tie the Hutt River trail and Eastbourne and Bays to Wellington.
    Darren you are right that it is a fair way between places on foot – unlike the New Plymouth Coastal Path which is absolutely fantastic; but I make it just under 5kms Ngauranga to Petone which really isn’t far running or walking and you could easily ally a walk with a train trip back.
    There are also resilience benefits in protecting the railway lines from storms – if you recall them being closed a few years ago, something likely to happen more often in future.

  14. Ms Green, 24. May 2019, 19:30

    Do we know where the fill is coming from for this reclamation?

  15. NigelTwo, 24. May 2019, 20:24

    @Chris Horne. I understand your comments about reclaimed land, but here we are working with nature. This area was uplifted by ~1.5m in the 1855 quake! See the diagram here.
    Also Te Ara reports that:
    “The newly exposed strip of shoreline between Wellington and the Hutt Valley offered a safe road and railway route – parts of the coastal road had previously been impassable at high tide.”

  16. Jamie, 25. May 2019, 7:19

    $19k a m, hideously expensive. As well construction logistics, environmental constraints and traffic / train delays will push the actual cost into the $100s of millions. I’d like to see how the rocks will be delivered? Off the railway line at night – there go the logs that use the rail back on the trucks. Then the concrete and steel. Do we really want to reclaim more of the harbour.

  17. Bruno, 25. May 2019, 7:55

    Will the existing cycleway be used to add another lane to SH2? This would be beneficial in either direction. E.g. congestion due to the Ngauranga merge could be reduced if they had an extra lane all the way to Petone. The fill could come fromthe Horokiwi quarry. A conveyor over SH2 would do the trick.

  18. Brendan, 25. May 2019, 9:03

    Good idea Bruno – the Ngauranga merge is a commuter nightmare and needs sorting now. The southern end of SH2 is a disgrace!

  19. Boris Johnson, 26. May 2019, 9:37

    Spending this much on a coastal pathway? Why not extend the motorway to 3 lanes in each direction, shift the rail line to elevated and put a pathway underneath it? That is what you call future proofing for population growth….instead of building a nice to have for the present.

  20. Brendan, 26. May 2019, 10:03

    Well said Bojo! Sweep the current cycle way and get the road fixed for the majority of us much maligned commuters, tradies and truck drivers who keep Wellington fed, maintained and moving. Four Lanes to the Hutt Now (from Ngauranga)!