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We’re working to develop a shared pathway between Wi Neera Drive and Onepoto and provide coastal resilience along the harbourside edge of Titahi Bay Road and Wi Neera Drive. We've come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work to do – find out more below. You can contact the project team at WiNeera2Onepoto@poriruacity.govt.nz
August 13, 2021
This update is to let you know how the Wi Neera to Onepoto Shared Pathway and Coastal Resilience Project is tracking and what the next steps are.
We are progressing well with developing the consent-level designs and documentation to support resource consent applications to Greater Wellington Regional Council and Porirua City Council.
The aim is to lodge these applications within the next couple of months, and we are doing all we can to achieve a non-notified consent process to save time and money.
The package of work being developed for the consent applications includes (among other things):
We’re grateful for the input of Ngāti Toa, our partner on this project. Their endorsement of the proposal is critical to achieving a non-notified resource consent process. Our revised time-frame for lodging the resource consent applications allows for further discussions, and to allow for refinement of the consent-level design prior to finalising the environmental and cultural impact assessments.
Closer consideration of the design for the coastal resilience works has also been informed by feedback from Ngāti Toa, stakeholders, the community and Wellington Water.
Some elements of the design being reviewed following feedback include:
The team is also preparing an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Lottery Significant Project Fund, which closes in October. Feedback from this process will help us refine our formal application to the fund, which closes in March 2022. We’re also investigating other funds, including the Community Facilities and Environment and Heritage Funds (among others) which also close in March next year.
The Long-term Plan includes a capital budget of $10.7m for the shared pathway and coastal resilience project: $3.6m (PCC), $3.9m (Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency) and $3.2m (external funding sources). This is in addition to the $720k budget for pre-implementation works through to obtaining resource consent. (While this includes a $40k allowance for a non-notified consent process, the cost of a notified process could be in the order of $250k.)
The project is progressing well and we’re keen to update you on a few things.
Project Budget and Funding:
Porirua City Council has formally adopted its Long-term Plan (LTP) 2021-51 which sets the direction and budget for the next 30 years.
The LTP includes a newly-agreed capital budget of $10.7m for the shared pathway and coastal resilience project. This is broken down as: $3.6m (PCC), $3.9m (Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency) and $3.2m (external funding sources). The ability to complete the project is also no longer contingent upon external funding - as Council has agreed to underwrite the project if Waka Kotahi and external funding can’t be secured.
Waka Kotahi is one of our project partners and has been closely involved in, and helped shape, the project to date. Waka Kotahi has previously agreed to part-fund the project through to obtaining resource consent and we’ll continue to work closely with our Waka Kotahi Investment Advisor in the coming months to further maximise the funding opportunities available towards the upcoming design and capital works stages of the project.
We also have a Funding Plan which includes requesting additional funding from other funding organisations. Applications will be lodged to the Lottery Community Facilities and Significant Project Funds (among others) when they open later in the year - beginning in September. Other potential funding sources with a focus on environmental, cultural and heritage outcomes are also being investigated.
Key themes raised in recent feedback on the preliminary concept design:
Some of the key themes from recent feedback on the preliminary concept design included:
We’re continuing to work through the points raised (including the many questions asked). Your feedback, plus input from our technical specialists, is helping to shape the consent-level design (currently underway) and also guiding our discussions with project stakeholders. Some items we’re exploring in more detail with project stakeholders include:
Consent-level design and resource consent applications:
Work that’s currently underway includes preparation/development of:
We’re also continuing our engagement with Ngāti Toa and other stakeholders and this will include a project update to Ngāti Toa’s Kaumatua Committee in early July.
The target timeframe for lodgement of the resource consent applications is the first quarter of 2021/22 - and the earliest possible commencement of construction (assuming non-notified consents and funding availability) is summer 2022.
In our next update we hope to further detail how the project has responded to feedback received and provide responses to the many questions raised. We’ll also make this information available on the project webpage https://poriruacity.govt.nz/your-council/city-projects/wi-neera-onepoto-shared-pathway-coastal-resilience-project/
Council has agreed to progress with a preferred option for the Wi Neera to Onepoto Shared Pathway and Coastal Resilience Project.
Delivery of the project is subject to resource consents and to securing external funding, so there is still a lot of work to do.
The preliminary concept design for the preferred option includes:
We believe this is the best solution to deliver on the project objectives; to improve cycling and pedestrian connection and address harbour edge erosion and coastal resilience. This preliminary concept design has been shaped by feedback from community and stakeholder engagement in recent years.
The preferred option we are progressing with has an estimated construction cost of $10.7m; $4m for the pathway, $6.1m for coastal resilience alongside Titahi Bay Road, and $0.6m for Wi Neera Beach improvements. (30% contingency is built in.)
The final cost won’t be known until we have obtained resource consent, completed detailed design and expert costing reviews, and we have a preferred tenderer.
Based on the current estimate, Council would need to contribute $3.6m to the project, which is being sought through the Long-Term Plan. Further funding is being sought from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and external funding sources.
If Waka Kotahi and external funding can’t be secured, the project will be closed, and the capital funding returned to the Transport renewal programme, and to City Partnerships to complete Wi Neera Beach (subject to resource consent).
Coastal erosion issues along Titahi Bay Road would be managed through the business as usual transport maintenance programme.
We look forward to your feedback and to seeing you at a drop-in information session.
Our initial work included investigations into coastal processes, rates of erosion and sedimentation, tidal and sub-tidal ecology, and stormwater management.
On the foreshore, leading experts in coastal soft engineering and managing the effects of sea level changes investigated how coastal resilience designs could work to protect the harbour edge using bathymetry (seafloor) data, wave modelling and ecological analysis just offshore.
Onshore, engineering specialists investigated possible options for the pathway and developed two preliminary concept design options, taking local constraints such as the pohutakawa trees and seagrass into account and drawing from the results of geotechnical investigations.
The main parts of the preliminary concept design include:
The diagram below shows a typical cross section of the soft coastal resilience work which includes extensive areas of saltmarsh.
This project has a long history and affordability has been a key deciding factor along the way
The project began back in 2002 with a harbour-side boardwalk proposal jointly started by Porirua City Council and Ngāti Toa.
In 2007 the Takapuwahia Village Concept Plan included, among other things, a harbour-side timber boardwalk along Titahi Bay Road linking Onepoto to Wi Neera Drive.
There have also been a few feasibility studies exploring options to provide a path/cycleway and harbour edge erosion control works.
This is a complicated project. We need to look at erosion control, harbour ecology, climate change, road construction and maintenance and building a shared pathway. All of these matters need to be addressed through a resource consent process.
Taking community advice on board
During Council consultation on the project for the Long-Term Plan 2018-38, 73% of respondents who gave feedback on various pathway and coastal protection options supported a harbour-side path and erosion repairs to the harbour edge. The majority of feedback urged Council to complete the project sooner than proposed (at the time).
Key support decisions for the project
In 2019, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) endorsed a 4-Stage Business Case for a shared pathway between the Porirua CBD and Titahi Bay. This project is stage two of that pathway.
In 2019 a coastal expert was engaged to develop a concept for the shared pathway, which saw the introduction of ‘soft’ coastal resilience/restoration works which people requested. Soft engineering is a significant departure from previous ‘hard’ (concrete & rock) engineering solutions.
This work, plus the earlier feasibility studies and option assessments and feedback from the community and stakeholders has informed how we have developed the current project and our assessment of the options.
There are three approaches we could take to protecting the harbour edge and addressing the erosion issues: