Blue Green Network Programme

  • Project typeDevelopment, Water, Transport, Parks
  • Project schedule2021 - 2024
An image showing a group of people from community working on the Blue Green Network.

The Blue/Green Network Programme aims to deliver on the outcomes outlined in the Blue/Green Network Strategy document across a selection of prioritised projects. These outcomes include:

  • Enhance and connect communities
  • Enhance ecosystem services and ecological connectivity
  • Provide opportunities for economic development
  • Protect communities from natural hazards

Projects prioritised for 2021 - 2024

Five key Blue/Green Network projects have been prioritised for 2021 - 2024. The scope and timeline of each project will be confirmed over time.

  • The Upper Hātea Link project connects several different pieces of work by the Northland Transportation Alliance, Council’s Parks & Reserves, private developers, and community groups. The project proposed to provide a connected and functional recreational route along the Waitaua Stream from Gillingham Road to Whangārei Falls Reserve. The project includes shared paths/trails, wayfinding signage and riparian planting.

  • The Hātea Loop Extension project proposes to add additional length of shared path to the well-used Hātea Loop beginning from the Kotuitui Whitinga bridge, looping around both sides of the Waiarohia river and across Okara Drive bridge.

  • The Waiarohia Recreational Corridor project focuses on improving ecological and recreational amenity around the Waiorohia Stream flowing through Cafler Park and the sections directly upstream and downstream.

  • The Raumanga Stream Connection project seeks to deliver significant Blue/Green outcomes along the Raumanga Shared Path extension, notably along the stream between Keays Road and Otaika Road.

  • The fifth project is WDC/NRC collaboration on CBD coastal/stream Climate Change models.

These projects follow the main waterways flowing into the Whangārei Harbour - the Hātea River, Raumanga Stream and Waiarohia Stream.

Through the Blue/Green Network Programme, our expanding network of cycling and walking infrastructure will be complemented by playgrounds, wayfinding signage, landscaping, riparian vegetation, fish passage and flood mitigation works.

Blue/Green networks are a way of connecting nature and people, based around waterways (blue), and planting and parks (green). The popular Hatea Loop walkway is an example of a successful Blue/Green project.

In 2016, Whangārei District Council created a Blue/Green Network Strategy aiming to create an attractive and environmentally sustainable urban environment that also addresses threats from flooding and climate change.

Whangārei's urban built area is nestled among a wide, interconnected network of waterways and green spaces, making it ideally suited to a Blue/Green network.

Blue/Green Network Strategy

Status report:

Blue-Green Network Programme July - December 2021(PDF, 25MB)

Blue/Green Network Strategy

Waitaua Awa Community Planting

Over 200 students and whānau took part in a series of community planting days along the Waitaua Stream in Tikipunga in June 2021 as part of the Blue/Green Network Programme.

Run by Whitebait Connection and Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust and supported by Whangarei District Council, the planting days saw over 1,500 riparian native plants get planted along the Waitaua Stream where it flows adjacent to the Totara Parklands Estate subdivision.

A group of people on a Community Planting day:

A picture of group of people on a Community Planting day.

The plants will improve water quality in the Upper Hātea catchment, and boost amenity along a future walking and cycling trail that will eventually connect Gillingham Road to Whangārei Falls.

Riparian vegetation is a key element of the Blue-Green Programme, which aims to integrate cycling and walking infrastructure with ecological restoration, improved storm-water management, and flood protection.

The planting events coincided with Whangārei Matariki Festival 2021.

Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge

A project to construct a bridge over Waitaua Stream as part of the Tikipunga Shared Path was recently completed in partnership with BridgitNZ.

The new 12-metre long and over 2.5-metre-wide bridge with steel beams and timber cladding replaced a narrow timber board walk with a single rail that was previously in place.

A picture of the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge before the improvement project: 

A picture of the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge before the improvement project.

The new bridge provides a safe link for walkers and cyclists to cross the Waitaua Stream, along the Tikipunga Trail - a shared path and cycleway that provides a safe, healthy way for the Tikipunga community to get from Vinegar Hill Road to Whangarei Falls without using roads.

A picture of the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge after the improvement project:

A picture of the Tikipunga Waitaua Bridge after the improvement project.