Shared Pathway Opens to Purewa’s Beauty

Jul 12, 2022

Pictured above: MP Simon O’Connor, Auckland City Councillor Desley Simpson, Purewa General Manager Alastair Crombie, and Purewa Trust Board Chair Erica Jenkins enjoy the view of Purewa from the heights of the pathway bridge.

Purewa Cemetery has an impressive new neighbour with the completion of the Pourewa valley bridge. It’s part of the 2.65km long shared pathway which spans the valley, offering stunning views into the 20-hectares of beautiful spaces below. The bridge forms the key link in the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive shared pathway for cyclists, walkers and runners. Known as Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai – the path of land and sea – the joint project of Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi provides a total of 7.3km to connect Auckland’s eastern suburbs to the city centre.

Opened with Honour

A moving ceremony at Te Hapa Reserve marked the official opening. Participants included Ngati Whatua representatives from the neighbouring Orakei Marae, and representatives from the Ministry of Transport, Auckland Transport, Waka Kotahi and Bike Auckland. Also present were the Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff and councillors, as well as Orakei Local Board members. The Chair of the Purewa Trust Board and senior management staff represented Purewa Cemetery.

Auckland City Councillor Desley Simpson says the completion of section 2 is the culmination of nine years of constant advocacy from the local community.

“I feel so excited that as a result of all the hard work that so many of us have put into this project. Three of the four sections have been completed and construction has now started on the final section from Orakei Basin to Tamaki Drive,” Simpson says. “The shared pathway bridge through the Pourewa Valley is the most difficult and expensive section because of the topography of the valley and the need to preserve the critically important ecological corridor, which is home to magnificent natural bush and birdlife.”

An Opening for Purewa Heritage Tours

Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium General Manager Alastair Crombie says the shared pathway is a welcome key piece of infrastructure:

“We are already noticing a substantial number of people using the new shared pathway and the beautiful bridge constructed over the railway lines in the Cemetery’s north-west corner. It provides users with fantastic, unique views into parts of Purewa,” he says. “There is a natural entry point into the Cemetery which is close to the bridge in the Te Hapa Reserve, so we intend to create a new entrance there. It will be a covered and decked portal with security and pedestrian gates that will give 24/7 access by foot or bicycle.”

Adding to the value, Purewa plans to create a variety of tours through the 55-acre burial grounds. That, coupled with the shared pathway, provides a great opportunity to appeal to many new visitors. As the pathway links up with Meadowbank Train Station only two stops from central Auckland, many more visitors can easily access the beautiful gardens and grounds, history and serenity that the cemetery offers.

 

Read More at NZTA

 
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff cuts the ribbon officially opening the pathway bridge.

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