Seven years and more than 1000 hours of effort — and the pathway's finished.

Te Puke's 4km Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway has been a long time in the making, but it is now complete.

The formal opening with invited guests will take place tomorrow, and there will be a celebration in the form of a fun run, walk and cycle on Saturday.

The pathway has been created by the Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway Society working in conjunction with Western Bay of Plenty District Council under a memorandum of understanding which specifies that the project had to be "community led" with support from the council.


Trust secretary Grant Dally said the trust had been supported by many generous donations of labour, materials and services, either discounted or supplied at no charge, from individuals or local businesses.

"In addition we have received funding grants from Western Bay of Plenty District Council, the Walking Access Commission, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Te Puke Community Board and TECT."

The pathway takes in Landscape Rd and Te Puke Cemetery, running alongside Te Puke Highway to the Waiari Stream before following the stream to the wastewater plant, then heading back to the end of Station Rd and the northern end of Lawrence Oliver Park.

There is also a link to Jubilee Park and the town centre via Stock Rd.

The walkway idea was first put to Te Puke Environment Forum in 2011 by Gael and Cedric Blaymires. The trust was formed to oversee the project.

Last year, thanks to a grant from the district council's community matching fund, a pond was built just below the cemetery. Late last year work started on the final boardwalk sections of the pathway.

As well as walking, it is anticipated the track will be used for running and cycling.

Longer-term there are hopes the pathway can link up with others to provide a network stretching to Papamoa East, Maketu and Pukehina Beach and beyond.