Northcote Greenway.
Te Ara Awataha.


Te Ara Awataha is a 1.5km green corridor located in the heart of the new Northcote town centre and housing redevelopment. The design makes it fun and convenient for people to walk and cycle, play and meet one another within the neighbourhood. Linking up Northcote’s existing parks and open spaces it features a learning landscape co-designed with local school children.

On the Edge of a Volcanic Landscape—Source to Sea
In future the Greenway will be connected to a wider network of walking and cycling paths and green spaces. The plan shows existing and proposed walking and cycling facilities relating to the Awataha Greenway Project (does not show all existing and Kaipātiki Connections Plan walking linkages).

Te Ara Awataha is an integral part of the larger Northcote Masterplan. As a key spatial corridor the Greenway project is characterised by the physical presence of the Awataha Stream. The stream begins at the spring or ‘puna’ in Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve and flows mostly underground toward the Waitematā Harbour.

Through a process of regenerative design with mana whenua kaitiaki the project identified the potential to open up and reveal (daylight) the stream along long stretches of the Greenway. The Awataha Greenway will have an important role in reconnecting to a place-sourced identity in an increasingly urbanised environment. The controlled flow of the stream will assist with stormwater management. While carefully selected planting and habitat creation will contribute to the North–West wild-link.

Comnunity Greenway Master Plan

Awataha Greenway Reference Plan
1  Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve
(Kākā Reserve)
2   Kākā Street
3   Kākā Street extension
4   Greenslade Reserve
5   Town Centre
6   Cadness Reserve
7   Schools Edge
8   Cadness Loop Reserve
9   Link to Hato Petera College
10 Richardson Park

Te Ara Awataha Greenway will provide sheltered rest areas for relaxation and socialisation. The shared path will safely connect school children and the community to local destinations, including schools, homes, playspaces, and the town centre.

In addition to enhancing the ecological habitat the Greenway also offers a place to learn about the natural world. Through artistic expression and mātauranga māori native planting it tells stories about Tāmaki’s natural landscape.

The design also draws on established community aspirations for a fun, friendly, inclusive, safe, distinctive, and healthy place for everyone to share and be proud of. Shared spaces are intergenerational and allow people to observe and participate.

Open spaces connected by the Greenway all have different functions—varying from safe neighbourhood pocket parks, to play destinations, to active sport and recreation. There is an outdoor classroom and measuring and monitoring stations. Along with a play trail, which weaves back and forth across the stream and its banks, offering an interactive journey through Northcote with immersive ‘nature play’ attractions to stop and enjoy along the way.

‘Te Ara Awataha captured our attention for its interweaving of Te Ao Māori, urban design and
environmental remediation principles. It is a collaborative piece of placemaking that goes
beyond just a physical corridor to employment, social procument and educational objectives.
A project that demonstrates a regard for all four dimensions of well-being.’

— Judge’s citation 2021 LGFA Taituarā Excellence Awards

Te Ara Awataha has been co-created through workshops and discussions with the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Project Working Group, the Kaipātiki Local Board Working Group, a Community Reference Group and three neighbouring schools (primary, intermediate and secondary). This has shaped the integrated mauri outcomes for the Greenway—with a focus on health and wellbeing for Northcote as it develops.

Community Engagement Urban Design Isthmus

“The most important thing is restoring the health of the environment because that will involve people and help grow a healthy community. This reinforces Māori cultural values for living systems, and the special qualities of this place.”

—Isthmus Principal Landscape Architect Helen Kerr has been working with local schools and the community for several years to gather input into the design of the Greenway.

There are three strands—Aho toi (cultural), Aho tangata (social), Aho taiao (natural). These strands have been used to develop a mauri outcomes framework with mana whenua appointed advisors/ecologists and the Kaipātiki Project.

Aho toi is the cultural cohesion that comes from weaving the strands in a way that is unique to Northcote and its people. It is the act of empowering the community through the creation of the Greenway, with each of its unique parts expressing character and diversity. As well as providing ongoing opportunities for community involvement, ownership, and care.

Community leadership and partnerships could also lead to future education and employment pathways for Northcote people—catalysed by the Greenway, and the tools and techniques used to design and deliver each stage of the project.

Aho tangata refers to social cohesion and is the strand that connects people to each other and to nature. To support a healthy, resilient, and inclusive community. The Greenway is a shared backyard for the people of Northcote through growth and change.

Left and Above
Greenslade Reserve is a major component along the greenway and upgrades an existing park to strengthen Northcote’s health and wellbeing facilities in promoting sport and fitness. The sports pitch level is cleverly lowered to maximise stormwater capacity and provides a defensive reservoir, in a significant boost to neighbourhood flood resilience in the face of increasing climate uncertainty.

Aho taiao supports healthy land, water and habitat. It showcases the stories of the whenua (land) and the wai (water) in the context of wider ecological and spiritual systems. The Awataha Stream corridor should be green, resilient and ecologically healthy, supporting the return of fish, birds and wildlife to Northcote as urban development continues.

Te Ara Awataha Greenway is currently under construction and will be delivered in phases from 2021 onwards. Richardson Park is the first public space to be realised along the corridor.

The pocket park at Richardson Place completed in June 2021 serves as a shared ‘backyard’ space for the recent housing developments in Fraser Avenue and Lake Road.

2021 LGFA Taituarā Excellence Awards — GHD Award for Environmental Leadership

Kāinga Ora
Panuku Development Auckland
Healthy Waters (Auckland Council)

Piritahi Alliance (Engineering)

Mana Whenua Selected Artist/Carvers
Janine Williams
Reuben Kirkwood