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Kotuitui Whitinga and the Hatea Loop are now open!

This page contains information about the new bridge over the Waiarohia Stream and the looped walk/cycle way.
Updated: 11/09/2017 9:10 a.m.
Image of Foot Bridge.

Kotuitui Whitinga and the Hatea Loop are now open!

The new bridge across the Waiarohia Stream and the Looped Walk/Cycle way were officially opened on Saturday 13 September 2014.

A dawn blessing by kaumatua from the local tribes was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and speeches on the Hihiaua side of the bridge.

For the first time ever, people were  able to walk the entire loop around the Town Basin along new footpaths and over the brand new foot/cycle bridge (Kotuitui Whitinga) across the Waiarohia stream and the new riverside walk along the Hatea River.

The Hatea Loop 

Image of Loop Walkway. The Town Basin and its shopping area and surrounding footpaths have undergone major changes throughout the past century, but change has been very rapid in recent years.  A complex of colonial-style buildings replaced the former packing shed/Navy League Hall in 1995. The Dent Quay St realignment in 2005 saw the former John Street Bridge become available as an outdoor venue.

In 2011 The Whangarei Art Museum relocated to the area and Te Manawa, the Hub, a state-of-the-art visitor information centre, with an expanded cafe, toilet facilities, retail outlets and public transport hub. 

On 10 September 2011 the Canopy Bridge markets and newly developed Heritage Trail and Art Walk opened.

In the years since then Te Matau a Pohe has been completed and footpaths have been developed linking around the Town Basin, down to Te Matau a Pohe and back.  

Hatea Loop statistics

  • creates a 4.2km multi use trail loop around the inner harbour, including Town Basin, Riverside Drive and Art Park
  • links together numerous existing and future activities and experiences
    crosses three bridges
  • includes 2.4km of new 2.5m wide, broom finished concrete surface suitable for all non traffic vehicles from skateboards to mobility scooters
  • has saw cut control joints, to make for a smoother ride
  • traverses challenging terrain such as capped landfill and reclaimed estuarine environment
  • the main contractor was Transfield Services Limited NZ, the engineer to the project was Kennedy Associates, Northpower was the electrical subcontractor, Culhams Engineering did the heritage and lectern steel, and Engraving Systems did the stainless steel engraving for the signs
  • this project utilised waste materials such as remnants from Tutukaka pontoon. Steel remnants from Te Matau a Pohe were used to create bespoke site furniture and features.  

Image of bridge over Waiarohia Stream. Kotuitui Whitinga the final stitch

Simple, intriguing and with a sense of connection to Whangarei’s harbour, history and culture; these were the factors designers were asked to consider when designing the foot and cycle bridge across the Waiarohia Stream. Boats also needed to pass through it as they travelled up and down the stream.

The outcome is a bridge whose striking uprights represent the ko, a digging stick used in Maori gardens. The stainless steel mesh sides of the bridge symbolise fishing nets, and the woven patterns reflect the woven flax patterns of kete (food bags).

Kotuitui Whitinga statistics

  • has white deck lighting and coloured feature lights on the upstream side is 100m long and has a clear deck width of 2.5m
  • has an opening section which swings sideways to provide a 10m clear width for boats
  • has a clear height of 3m above mean high water springs (MHWS) in the centre and 2m at the river banks
  • is made of driven steel tube piles
  • has precast concrete piers
  • has steel beams and masts
  • has precast concrete deck panels
  • has stainless steel screens and handrails
  • will be controlled from Te Matau a Pohe’s control room
  • will take 60 seconds for the bridge to open and another 60 seconds to close
  • is a 100% local project
  • designed by local architects and designers HB Architecture and consulting engineers Richardson Stevens, and constructed by Steve Bowling Infrastructure Group, GHK Piling, Busck Prestressed Concrete, SSP Engineering, LC Hydraulics and McKay Electrical, overseen by Seakins Engineering and Griffiths and Associates.

Part of a bigger picture

The Hatea Loop that weaves past shops, through markets, beside yachts, parks and industrial areas, across the new cycle and footbridge over the Waiarohia Stream, is part of a grand vision of an area that all people can enjoy however they want to.

Kotuitui Whitinga - the bridge across the Waiarohia Stream ties the visual elements of the sail-like canopy and the rib-like wind-break on the Canopy Bridge at the Town Basin end of the loop walkway with the two dramatic hooks of Te Matau a Pohe at the other end.

Along the walkway people can enjoy an open-air market in summer, cafes, galleries and shops. From Clapham’s Clocks it is only a short walk to the popular Town Basin destination playground, and from there to Reyburn House gallery (one of the original buildings on the waterfront) and studio.

Meandering along the riverside, people can admire the new Art Park and study the Heritage Trail, before arriving at the Riverbank Theatre.  From there it is only a few steps to the Waka and Wave Millennium sculpture.  The path has now been extended to connect with the brand new bridge across the Waiarohia, which steps off onto a new pathway along the opposite river bank to Te Matau a Pohe. 

From there the path across William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island passes the Dog Park in one direction, the BMX track, an all ages cycle track and skatepark, before heading back towards the Town Basin past boatsheds, Riverside Park and yachts.  






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