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It’s taken more than 20 years, but Te Ara Piko is finally the finished product.
The 5.25km, $5.3million pathway around the northern side of the spectacular Pāuatahanui Inlet was pitched in 1999 to then-Porirua mayor Jenny Brash by members of the Rotary Club of Plimmerton.
The first turf was turned in 2005 and an official blessing and opening was held on Monday at Motukaraka Point to recognise its completion.
Current Porirua mayor Anita Baker said the tireless fundraising by Plimmerton Rotary - it contributed $1.3m towards the project - has created a much-loved walkway that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
"It’s a fantastic example of what happens when a community organisation can take a literal journey with its local Council to create something meaningful.
"Porirua people have told us how much they value the harbour, and with Te Ara Piko accessible for cyclists and walkers, young and old - everyone can enjoy this beautiful and significant part of our city," Mayor Baker said.
Along with Rotary, Mayor Baker acknowledged Ngāti Toa for its continual support, contractors Fulton Hogan, consultants Tonkin & Taylor, DoC, Forest & Bird and the input of the organisations that have the best interests of the inlet at heart - Guardians of Pāuatahanui Inlet and Porirua Harbour & Catchment Community Trust.
Ecologists, wildlife experts and archaeologists have also been consulted along the way.
Current president of the Rotary Club of Plimmerton, Bill McAulay, said it was a brilliant achievement for the club, 100 years after Rotary was founded in the Wellington region.
"Since 1999, support has never wavered for this project, through four Porirua mayors, 22 Rotary presidents and many Rotarians and Council staff," he said.
"Te Ara Piko is a great model of project partnership between local government and a voluntary organisation working towards a common goal. The walkway provides an opportunity for community exercise and appreciation of the biodiversity of the area.
"The environmental enhancement from the planting is clear to see and we like to think we have left things better than before."
Usage of Te Ara Piko was just over 64,000 in 2020, with the number of users growing each year as parts of the pathway were completed. It runs from Taylor Stace Cottage in Pāuatahanui to Camborne Walkway carpark.
28 Jun 2021