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Northern Pathway project update
4 June 2021



Northern Pathway - Westhaven to Akoranga Project

Kia ora,

Following the announcement from the Minister of Transport this morning (Friday 4 June 2021), we are now able to confirm that the preferred option for the Northern Pathway, Westhaven to Akoranga is a separate structure for walking and cycling alongside the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

This will provide a more enduring solution than the original within the New Zealand Upgrade Programme which, as you know, was a shared path attached to the side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The Northern Pathway will become a key part of the strategic transport network and create a world class link for people to travel across the harbour on foot and on bikes for generations to come.

We want to assure you that we will keep you as informed as possible but need to take some time to continue to develop the design now that it has been endorsed. In the meantime, further information is available on our project webpage.



A new walking and cycling bridge

The preferred option is a standalone bridge alongside the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge, protecting the heritage and structural integrity of the bridge. 

Providing a separated solution that is fit for a growing Auckland with an increasingly decarbonised transport system, will help unlock the significant investment that has already been made to enabling a healthy and sustainable transport system through a number of other walking and cycling connections on either side of the harbour.

The new design allows for growth in the number of people who will walk and cycle over the harbour in the coming decades.

Waka Kotahi will continue to look for short-term solutions to be able to provide walking and cycling access across the Waitematā harbour. These solutions need to address safety, walking and cycling, motorist demands and operational issues.

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Project benefits

  • Allows for growth in the number of people who will walk and cycle over the harbour in the coming decades. 
  • A separate structure will safeguard the integrity of the existing bridge which is a key part of Auckland and New Zealand’s strategic transport network.
  • A safe and enjoyable walk or ride with a wide deck and places for people to stop and enjoy views of the harbour.
  • Enhanced network resilience for all users crossing the Waitematā Harbour.
  • Completes a strategic missing link and unlocks investment already made and planned for in the Auckland walking and cycling network.
  • Increases access to one of the world’s great harbours and provides health and wellbeing benefits.
  • Provides a dedicated 24/7 cross-harbour connection to meet the needs of current and future users.
  • Opportunity to create economic, environmental, social, tourism and cultural benefits for Aotearoa.
  • Overall, this transformational walking and cycling project is expected to provide more than 175 jobs in the infrastructure industry during its construction.


Northern Pathway

The Northern Pathway, from central Auckland to the North Shore, is split into three connected sections for delivery:

  • Westhaven to Akoranga, Te Ara Pae Moana (harbour bridge component) and land component between Sulphur Beach Reserve and Akoranga
  • Akoranga to Constellation Drive
  • Constellation Drive to Albany is under construction as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project

Once complete, the Northern Pathway will provide a fully separated pathway between Westhaven and Albany with local entry and exit points.

The Northern Pathway, Westhaven to Akoranga has been allocated $785 million (including contingencies) of the New Zealand Upgrade Programme funding. Costs will continue to be refined.

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We are aiming to start the process to secure approvals late in 2021, using the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act. This will provide certainty and an accelerated process for obtaining final consents and designations.

The soonest construction could begin is mid-2022, subject to the approval process.

It is expected to take about four to five years to complete construction.



Next steps

  • Continued design development confirming the new bridge’s structural and architectural form and features to support a great user experience.
  • Continued collaboration with our iwi partners honouring the significant history and importance of the harbour and the whenua on either side.
  • Continued engagement with stakeholders and our communities who will live near and will use the pathway for decades to come.