Waipu River walkway delights

Published on 27 July 2022

A photo showing the core team of the Waipu River Walk community project, at the start of the walkway.

Three years of detailed and consistent volunteer work creating a loop walkway along the banks of the Waipu River were celebrated at the opening of the Waipu River Walk (WRW).

“The walk begins at Waihoihoi Park and follows the river around to Nova Scotia Drive where it connects with the existing footpath. By following the footpath back through the Waipu township to Waihoihoi Park, it will make a loop, taking about an hour to complete,” said Chair of the Waipu River Walk Committee, Nigel Taylor.

“In August 2019, Council allocated $100k to Waipu for a Community Led Project. The Waipu Community-Led Project Committee was then formed in March 2020 and submissions and feedback were sought from the Community on the best way to use the funding.

“The consensus was for the Waipu River Walk proposal – a heritagerich area, with green space for the people of Waipu and visitors to enjoy. From there the committee worked with multiple community groups to complete the first phase of the work.

“This included working in partnership with Patuharakeke Trust Board, collaborating with its Taiao Environment Unit on many WRW environmental activities, including a bioblitz day (with Northland Regional Council, Department of Conservation and local schools as well), and planting hundreds of oioi plants along the river banks.

“The entrance signs’ kaperua design was created by Patuharakeke artist Marino Duke (who talked about the design on Saturday). The reo on the sign includes kupu (words) specific to Patuharakeke.”

Nigel said the committee met monthly holding regular working bees on the WRW, with lots of people turning up each time to clear gorse, privet, wild ginger, rubbish and other weeds.

“Local contractors worked on the stock fencing, tree work, sign design and sign installation, mowing maintenance, materials used on the walk, and more. Plenty of this has generously come at cost price (some services have even been at no cost), with time often donated. The new planting at the entrance and along the path is all native plants, following a plan carefully designed by Wes and Barb Bycroft of Waipu Fernery. The Waipu Presbyterian Church have also been strong supporters of the Walk and we must acknowledge their work with us on the entrance area.

“From start to finish the Waipu River Walk has been by the community, for the community. Saturday's event focused on the blessing to unveil the new entrance signs, but it is also a celebration of significant amount of work done to date. We are excited to continue enhancing the Waipu River Walk and achieve the many other things on the 'to do' list!”

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