Papakōwhai path and intersection upgrade

Papakōwhai Road shared path & Whitford Brown Avenue intersection upgrade

We’re connecting schools, parks and public transport with a new shared path along Papakōwhai Road and are working on a proposal to upgrade the intersection at Whitford Brown Avenue.

Find out more:


Latest shared pathway updates

Construction on the new Papakōwhai Rd shared path is underway, helping to make it easier to get around this part of Porirua. Traffic management measures and detours are in place to ensure the safety of our workers and of road users.

Construction work will generally take place between 7am – 6pm weekdays, with some weekend and night work possible. This project is expected to be completed by this winter.

What to expect on Papakōwhai Rd:

  • The northbound lane will remain open during most of the work (apart from the occasional night-time detour)
  • The southbound lane will be detoured around adjacent roads during some phases of construction.

Other traffic management that may be in place includes:

  • Stop/go
  • Contraflow (two-way traffic, moved over and slowed down)
  • Narrowed road widths
  • Temporary speed restrictions
  • Temporary removal of on-street parking.

Where possible please use alternative routes and expect delays.

For more information see below


We now have two active construction sections operating along Papakōwhai Rd as part of the new shared path project.

The first section is opposite Aotea Lagoon and includes work on the retaining wall outside the Police College and construction of the new shared path.

The second section of work on Papakōwhai Rd runs from opposite the bottom of Langwell Pl to just north of Romesdale Rd. This section will include constructing the new shared path and installing a raised zebra crossing at the Romesdale Rd intersection.

Traffic management is in place which will affect road users and roadside parking outside the lagoon. Parking will be reinstated, where possible, after 3pm. The lagoon carparks will remain open at all times.

A detour is also in place to allow for the safety of contractors as they work to widen the path and undertake the other work associated with the project.

Detour / traffic management details:

  • Stop/go management will be in place this week from Whitford Brown Ave to Tweed Rd while the contractors are stripping topsoil This is forecast to be completed by the end of the week. Once completed two-way traffic will be reinstated.
  • The north-bound lane on Papakōwhai Rd from Tweed Rd remains open to traffic.
  • South-bound traffic on Papakōwhai Rd is being detoured via Brora Cres and Tweed Road.
  • The south-bound detour operates from 7am-6pm weekdays and will be in place for several months.

Expect delays and please consider using alternative routes.

Visit the coffee cart at the southern Aotea Lagoon car park

The coffee cart is up and running in its new location. This is a temporary spot until work is finished – pop in and say hi!



Check out the aerial video showing how the Whitford Brown Avenue intersection and Papakōwhai Road area currently look.



A new shared pathway along Papakōwhai Road

A new shared pathway is being constructed along the eastern side of Papakōwhai Road to improve the connection between key locations including Aotea College, Aotea Lagoon, Paremata School and Paremata Railway Station. Construction began in November 2023.

The shared pathway will also form part of the Te Araroa Trail and tie in with a planned upgrade of the Papakōwhai Road and Whitford Brown Avenue intersection.

This shared path supports the Council's objectives to reduce emissions and focus on moving towards a more climate-resilient way of life.

It is fully funded by the Government’s Transport Choices fund (led by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency).

The Transport Choices fund is about making changes to streets and the way people use them. This is to enable people to take alternative modes of transport for their activities or commute (i.e. embrace walking, cycling or public transport as a means of travel).

View a plan of the shared pathway works

View an overview poster of the shared pathway project

View an overview poster of the pump track for Aotea Lagoon

View a map of the traffic management zones


Shared pathway construction - traffic management and detours

Construction on the new Papakōwhai Rd shared path is under way, meaning various traffic management measures and detours are in place to ensure the safety of our workers and of road users. Residents’ access will be retained.

Construction work is generally taking place between 7am – 6pm weekdays, with some weekend and night work possible. The project is expected to be completed by this winter.

What to expect on Papakōwhai Rd

  • The northbound lane will remain open during most of the work (apart from the occasional night-time detour)
  • The southbound lane will be detoured around adjacent roads during some phases of construction (see below for more detailed information on detours).

Other traffic management that may be in place includes:

  • Stop/go
  • Contraflow (two-way traffic, moved over and slowed down)
  • Narrowed road widths
  • Temporary speed restrictions
  • Temporary removal of on-street parking.

Where possible please use alternative routes and expect delays.

How the work is being undertaken

The entire site has been split into 5 individual zones as shown below – the initial three sites operating will be 1,3 and 5. This is to help minimise the disruption caused by completing the work as one large site.

See a map of the traffic management zones

Detours will be in place from time to time

As we work through the different construction zones, different detours and traffic management may be put in place during the hours of 7am – 6pm. Detours will be used as-needed and will depend on which activities are being undertaken and what is being constructed. Access for residents will be retained.

The initial temporary traffic management for zones 1, 3 and 5 is expected to be in place for several months, with work on zones 2 and 4 programmed to follow. All work is expected to be completed by winter.

What to expect:

When the Brora Cres detour is in place:

  • Vehicles heading south on Papakōwhai Rd will be sent up Brora Cres and along either Romesdale Rd or Tweed Rd to rejoin Papakōwhai Rd.
  • Residents’ access will be retained.

Romesdale Rd detour and traffic management:

  • Romesdale Rd will act as a detour route to get back on to Papakōwhai Rd when the Brora Cres detour is in place
  • Otherwise Romesdale Rd will remain open turning into and out of Papakōwhai Rd
  • During stop/go activities on Papakōwhai Rd, there may be potential delays for left-turning vehicles to allow northbound traffic to pass through
  • Residents’ access will be retained.

Tweed Rd

  • Tweed Rd will predominantly remain open for the duration of the works
  • Traffic management will be in place when the raised table and road surfacing is undertaken at this intersection with Papakōwhai Rd. There is a possibility of night work at this time
  • During completion of zone 2 work there may be a stop/go in place which could cause minor delays during work hours.

As work progresses, the layout of the temporary traffic management and detour routes may be subject to change. We will keep you posted on changes.


This project is about more than just a shared pathway, it’s about making a safer, more attractive environment for all. Key features include:

  • A 3.5m wide shared path where possible
  • Raised tables to make it safer for pedestrians to cross by lowering vehicle speeds
  • Better lighting
  • Installation of a pump track at Aotea Lagoon. The pump track has been designed so it can be moved around the Wellington region in the future.
  • Parking on Papakōwhai Road by the southern overbridge to Paremata Railway Station will be moved back approximately 80 metres to allow for widening the shared path on the eastern side.

Construction began in November 2023 with work scheduled for completion by winter 2024.

This project does have a tight timeframe for construction so will be delivered in sections with the potential for some work to be completed later in a subsequent funding round.


Why are you moving parking?

This is a safety issue. Parking on Papakōwhai Road by the southern pedestrian overbridge to the railway station will be moved back approximately 80 metres to allow for narrowing the road, widening the shared path, and the installation of a raised zebra crossing. Moving this parking ensures there is enough width for all users, and provides the required visibility to the crossing.

Congested parking at Aotea Lagoon – what can you do about it?

We are currently working with the Police College to limit staff parking along Papakōwhai Road and provide more available parking to Lagoon users. The Police College is also implementing procedures internally to limit the number of staff utilising the on-street parking.

Can you put in more parking at Aotea Lagoon?

We are currently not looking at putting more parking in at Aotea Lagoon as the aim of this project is to encourage other modes of travel rather than cars. By putting more carparks in, we would be encouraging more car usage. We are however, trying to minimize parking loss.

Can we have recessed or angle parking to create more parking?

Due to space requirements, land ownership and cost there are currently no plans to implement additional angle parking.

Isn’t it dangerous for children and cyclists to be sharing the same path?

We believe that the path will be wide enough for both cyclists and pedestrians to coexist on the path. The current path is used by pedestrians and cyclists concurrently and is considerably narrower than the new path.

Why can’t you spend this money on fixing the roads?

There are separate budgets for regular maintenance and emergency repairs to the roading network. No money spent on Transport Choices projects is taken from regular maintenance or emergency repair funding. Transport Choices projects are funded by Waka Kotahi from Government’s Climate Emergency Response Fund, which is resourced via the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Will all the current power poles be relocated away from the proposed shared path and where will they be situated?

No. There are plans to relocate six power poles situated at the northern end of Papakōwhai Road to maximise the shared path width and prevent a narrow pinch point. All other power poles will remain in their current location.

The view lines for pedestrians crossing south to north at Romesdale Road intersection with Papakōwhai Road are obscured by the overgrown vegetation at the bottom of the street – will this be addressed?

Yes. As part of the design process sight lines and visibility for both path users and road users has been assessed. As a result, vegetation will be cleared where required to ensure these sight line remain clear.

Transport Choices FAQs

Why are you trying to force people out of cars?

National and local government policy to offer more transport options is not about taking away from

people who drive. It is about giving people the chance to choose to cycle, walk or use public transport to get around their neighbourhoods safely and cost-effectively, while reducing their impact on climate change.

What are raised tables?

It is important that crossing points are safe to use for everyone. Ensuring vehicle speeds are low at a

crossing point ensures that should a crash occur, it is unlikely to result in a death or serious injury,

because speed is the biggest determining factor to how much harm is caused in a crash.

Raised safety platforms are an elevated section of road, installed on the approach to areas of higher risk, such as intersections and pedestrian crossings, that are designed to slow traffic. If something happens, vehicles are travelling slowly enough to give people time to react and avoid a crash. If a crash does happen, people are much more likely to survive and avoid serious injury if the impact is at a slower speed.

In addition, raised pedestrian platforms are safer for people walking where there are no controlled crossings, international research has shown them to reduce death and serious injuries by around 40 percent.


10 January 2024 - Work underway again

This week

Our contractors are back on site at Papakōwhai Rd and have been marking out the underground services. They are starting work building a retaining wall outside the Police College which will allow us to widen the path along this section.

What’s next…

Work on the shared path will continue opposite Aotea Lagoon for the next few months.

There will be traffic management in place which will affect road users and roadside parking outside the lagoon. Parking will be reinstated, where possible, after 3pm. The lagoon carparks will remain open at all times.

Detours may be in place and there may be occasional weekend work. Expect delays and consider using alternative routes.

Construction work will also be happening in other sections along Papakōwhai Rd and we’ll update you on those as start dates for these are confirmed.

A new spot for the coffee cart

The coffee cart has been temporarily relocated to the southern Aotea Lagoon car park while work is happening in the lagoon area. Don’t worry… they’ll still be serving the same great coffee and operating the usual hours.

12 December 2023 - Progress update

So far, we have moved power poles at the northern end of Papakōwhai Rd to allow space for the wider path and have set up the site yard at Papakōwhai Reserve.

We successfully installed the pump track at Aotea Lagoon at the start of December and it is already proving popular with those on bikes, scooters, roller blades, roller skates, skateboards etc.

What’s next…

You won’t see much more happening before Christmas as we wait for our final consents (submitted in August) to come through. Construction work is set to kick off in the new year.

We are still planning to complete the shared path in winter 2024.

Whitford Brown Ave / Papakōwhai Rd intersection

An additional upgrade of the Whitford Brown Ave intersection with Papakōwhai Rd may have to be deferred subject to budget announcements due in late June 2024. You can read more on this below under the Whitford Brown Avenue intersection upgrade heading and timeframe information.

4 December 2023 - New pump track opens at Aotea Lagoon

An exciting new facility for those that love their wheels has opened in Porirua.

Located at Aotea Lagoon, this new family friendly pump track makes use of the space where the old duck pond used to be.

The pump track is a loop of mounds and curves providing the ultimate riding experience with perfect geometry for rhythm and flow for those on bikes, scooters, roller blades, roller skates and skateboards.

The pump track is 100 per cent funded from the Transport Choices programme administered by Waka Kotahi as part of the Papakōwhai Rd shared path project that’s currently under construction.

The shared path will make it easier to get to and from the pump track on wheels and is just another way of making it more attractive for people to get out of cars and get active.

The pump track has been designed so that it can be moved to other locations around the region in future.

Work on the shared path is due for completion in winter 2024.

Take a look at the media release.

November 2023 - Construction starts this month on Papakōwhai Rd shared path

All going well, construction is planned to start 20 November 2023 and be completed in winter 2024.

Work will be done in sections between Aotea Lagoon and the southern pedestrian railway overbridge, mostly on the eastern side of the road where the existing footpath is being widened.

We know Aotea Lagoon is a family favourite and are working hard to minimise disruption.

Work will generally take place Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm.

  • Before 9am and after 3pm work will be confined to the shoulder and shouldn’t impact road users.
  • Between 9am and 3pm traffic management like stop/go will impact traffic and roadside parking.

Roadside parking will be reinstated, where possible, after 3pm. Both the north and south lagoon carparks will remain open at all times.

It is possible that detours may be in place during some of the work and that there may be occasional weekend work if needed. Road users can expect delays so should consider using alternative routes where possible. Pedestrian and cycle access will remain open.

Read the full community update

October 2023 - Construction contract awarded

Construction of Papakōwhai Road’s shared path will start in late November 2023. The contract has been awarded to John Fillmore Contracting Ltd (JFC) and construction will be done in sections between Aotea Lagoon and the southern pedestrian railway overbridge.

The majority of work will happen on the eastern side of the road where the existing footpath is being widened, where possible, to a 3.5-metre shared path.

Traffic management will be in place and road users can expect delays during construction so should consider using alternative routes where they can. Pedestrian and cycle access will remain open during construction.

September 2023 - thanks for community feedback

A big thank you to everyone who dropped in to our information & feedback session for these projects.

About 60 people attended the evening session at Papakōwhai School on 19 September.

We received a lot of valuable information and comments.

New pump track goes in at Aotea Lagoon

Come and try our new pump track

A new pump track was installed early December 2023 at Aotea Lagoon as part of the shared pathway project.

The pump track is a loop of mounds and curves providing the ultimate riding experience with perfect geometry for rhythm and flow for those on bikes, scooters, roller blades, roller skates and skateboards.


Whitford Brown Avenue intersection upgrade

Intersection improvements and safer crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists are planned for the Whitford Brown Avenue / Papakōwhai Road intersection.

As growth continues in this area it is important to provide safe crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists using this strategic corridor between Porirua and Paremata. This helps make it easier for people to get around the city without having to always jump in a car – one of the Council’s objectives to help reduce emissions and focus on moving towards a more climate-resilient way of life.

This work will also improve safety for motorists. Current wait times for motorists exiting Papakōwhai Road and turning right across Whitford Brown Avenue can be lengthy. This can lead to frustration and people pulling out when they shouldn’t. Since 2019 there have been 13 crashes on Papakōwhai Road and Whitford Brown Avenue (4 minor and 9 non-injury).

Project in design phase (December 2023)

The upgrade of the Whitford Brown Ave intersection with Papakōwhai Rd is in the design phase.

Construction may have to be deferred subject to budget announcements due in late June 2024.

When it goes ahead, the project will include signalised pedestrian crossings, traffic signals, an additional left turning lane out of Papakōwhai Rd, better lighting and a new raised pedestrian crossing at the southern entrance to Aotea Lagoon.

View a draft plan of the improvements

View an overview poster of the intersection improvements


Work includes:

  • Improving vehicle safety – by providing a dedicated left- turning lane from Papakōwhai Road and a signalised intersection to assist those turning right into Whitford Brown Avenue.
  • Improved pedestrian and cyclist safety – by providing a dedicated signalised crossing to help keep vulnerable users safe, installation of a shared path on the south side of Whitford Brown Avenue, and a new raised pedestrian crossing on Papakōwhai Road at the southern entrance to Aotea Lagoon. This will improve safety for Aotea College students by providing a safe crossing point over Whitford Brown Avenue.

The construction stage of this project may be deferred until the 2025/26 financial year. This is in line with the recent update from Council on managing the rates rises in the next Long-Term Plan (LTP) period, 2024-34 (see here for the media release).

We expect to hear in late June 2024 what the confirmed budget phasing for the next stage will be (i.e. after public consultation on the LTP).

Until budget phasing for the next stage is confirmed we will continue progressing the current design stage so we can resume this project ASAP.


There are already significant delays at Okowai Road at peak times – won’t this make that worse?

We are aware of the current issues on Okowai Road and have completed extensive modelling of the intersection in various scenarios to determine the best intersection option and the resultant effect to level of service and general operation following the intersection upgrade.

During peak school drop-off and pick-up times there will be a decrease in the level of service for Okowai Road during the red phase of the traffic signals for Whitford Brown traffic. The rest of time the modelling shows the level of service on Okowai Road will remain at a similar level.

We do have plans to investigate further improvements to Okowai and adjoining roads in the future to complement the main intersection upgrade. We propose to finalise construction of the new intersection, then monitor the post construction performance and impact to Okowai Road. Then we will be better educated to investigate an appropriate solution for the Okowai Road intersection.

Why don’t you improve the SH59 intersection?

The SH59 intersection is managed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency so this is outside of Porirua City Council’s jurisdiction. As part of the Whitford Brown Avenue/ Papakōwhai Road intersection upgrade the new traffic signals will be coordinated with the existing signals on SH59 to minimise disruption.

Why did you choose traffic signals as the preferred option for the intersection?

The traffic signals option makes use of the existing road footprint without the need for any additional land purchase, while still providing improvements for traffic flow and road safety.

A roundabout option was considered but due to land requirements and cost this option was discounted. To install an appropriately sized roundabout a considerable amount of land would need to be purchased from private owners which is not always feasible.

How will the signals work so there are not massive tail backs?

Signals at the new intersection will be controlled via SCATS (Sydney coordinated adaptive traffic system) which allows remote adjustment to signal phasing should any significant delays occur. The proposed signals will be coordinated with the existing signals on SH59 to provide the maximum efficiency.

We are not anticipating a significant reduction in traffic throughput on Whitford Brown Avenue and transit times are not expected to be impacted by more than 40-50 seconds.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a roundabout at this intersection?

A roundabout would require the purchase of a significant amount of land due to the footprint require for an appropriately sized roundabout. This land is currently owned by private entities. In addition, there is potential for similar delays for right turning vehicles from Papakōwhai Road due to the large number of vehicles on Whitford Brown Avenue which is the dominant flow.

In addition:

  • Probable increased delays to Whitford Brown Avenue, and Okowai Road, users compared to both the Do Nothing and Signal options.
  • Possible increase in use of Omapere Street as drivers delayed by a RAB seek to bypass the intersection altogether.
  • Increased safety risk to cyclists and no safe crossing point to the adjacent footpath on Papakowhai road.

Why have you chosen to merge two lanes into one where you have? Wouldn’t that be better further up Whitford Brown Avenue by Okowai Street?

We have tested this in our design software and what we have found is that there is insufficient width to allow for two uphill lanes, one downhill lane and a right turn lane while maintaining the minimum required lane widths and maintaining the cycle way up Whitford Brown. To achieve this, we would need to realign the existing kerb and footpath opposite Okowai Road to provide the sufficient width, however this is not achievable within the current project budget.

We would also be required to remove the on-road cycle path to provide the required width, this goes against our project objective to improve the safety of all road users and provide suitable facilities to encourage walking and cycling.

It is also likely that this will would not resolve congestion as a merge from two lanes to one is still required at some point. The current merge location meets the minimum visibility requirements and has been chosen as there is ample forward visibility for road users to perceive the merge. Moving the merging point further up adjacent to Okowai Road introduces significant safety concerns as the merge will conflict with right turning vehicles from Okowai Road.

As part of the project, new markings and signage will be installed to meet current standards. This will provide road users with advanced warning of the upcoming merge which will assist in highlighting the merge point while encourage correct merging practices.

We will monitor the completed intersection performance and if required complete further work, we are committed to getting it right.


If you have any questions? Please email us.