This part of Wellington’s coast holds strong connections for mana whenua iwi (Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira). Taranaki Whānui has worked closely with Wellington City Council on aspects of the landscape design and gifted the name Tahitai (one tide, one journey) for the harbour-side walking and biking route around Akau Tangi (Evans Bay) between Miramar and the central city.
The tohu pattern etched onto walls and viewing platforms along Cobham Drive and at Ōmarukaikuru (Point Jerningham) depicts Taranaki maunga and ancestral origins.
Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says it is fantastic to see this important section of the walking and cycling route from the east complete and in use.
“This is one of our busier biking routes so it’s very pleasing that this stretch is now safer and easier to ride than it was – and that people on foot now have a safer place to walk and run,” she says.
“It’s also been very much a team effort on the improved resilience and environmental protection for the area. We have worked with a range of organisations including Places for Penguins, Predator Free Miramar, the Department of Conservation and Greater Wellington Regional Council.
“The 430m of new rock revetment has been engineered to spread the force of the sea and help to protect this coastline of reclaimed land, the new paths and state highway. The rock revetment will also provide better places for kororā (little blue penguins) to nest.”
Deputy Mayor Free says the number of Wellingtonians biking is continuing to grow with count data showing more people than ever riding into the central city from every direction during the busy morning peak.
Biking to work is an upward trend as evident from the cordon count, which monitors how people travel into the city between 7am and 9am, despite the 2020 survey being curtailed by COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown. The count has been done over a week in March every year since 2000.