Hundreds turned out to celebrate the official opening of a $19 million, two-way bridge in Taipā on Monday.

Young kaihoe (paddlers) ready the waka Whakaangi with the new Taipa bridge in the distance. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Young kaihoe (paddlers) ready the waka Whakaangi with the new Taipa bridge in the distance. Photo / Peter de Graaf
MPs Willow-Jean Prime, Shane Jones, Matt King and Chris Bishop with NZTA Board Northland representative Ken Rintoul (centre). Photo / Peter de Graaf
MPs Willow-Jean Prime, Shane Jones, Matt King and Chris Bishop with NZTA Board Northland representative Ken Rintoul (centre). Photo / Peter de Graaf
In the past Wikatana Popata has led land occupations at Taipa Pt - this time he was giving a speech on behalf of Ngai Takoto. Photo / Peter de Graaf
In the past Wikatana Popata has led land occupations at Taipa Pt - this time he was giving a speech on behalf of Ngai Takoto. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The Otaua-based waka Ngatokimatawhaorua is put through its paces on Taipa River. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The Otaua-based waka Ngatokimatawhaorua is put through its paces on Taipa River. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Party political differences were put aside by MPs Chris Bishop (National), Willow-Jean Prime (Labour), Shane Jones (NZ First) and Matt King (National) during the official opening. Photo / P de Graaf
Party political differences were put aside by MPs Chris Bishop (National), Willow-Jean Prime (Labour), Shane Jones (NZ First) and Matt King (National) during the official opening. Photo / P de Graaf
Sixteen-year-old Jedidiah Hita from Parapara (centre) performs a haka during the bridge opening ceremony. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Sixteen-year-old Jedidiah Hita from Parapara (centre) performs a haka during the bridge opening ceremony. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddler) Pounamu Matika, 15, from Parapara, performs a haka in support of the speakers. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddler) Pounamu Matika, 15, from Parapara, performs a haka in support of the speakers. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Raharuhi Fiaui, of Whatuwhiwhi, performs a powerful haka. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Raharuhi Fiaui, of Whatuwhiwhi, performs a powerful haka. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddler) Pounamu Matika, 15, from Parapara, performs a haka in support of the speakers. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddler) Pounamu Matika, 15, from Parapara, performs a haka in support of the speakers. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Sir Hekenukumai Busby's stepdaughter Gina Harding and waka expert Robert Gabel unveil a photo of the great navigator and bridge-builder gifted by the NZTA. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Sir Hekenukumai Busby's stepdaughter Gina Harding and waka expert Robert Gabel unveil a photo of the great navigator and bridge-builder gifted by the NZTA. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddlers) perform a powerful haka as the bridge-opening ceremony draws to a close. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddlers) perform a powerful haka as the bridge-opening ceremony draws to a close. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones declares Taipa bridge open as a photo of Sir Hekenukumai Busby looks over his shoulder. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones declares Taipa bridge open as a photo of Sir Hekenukumai Busby looks over his shoulder. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddlers) Tiare Lanigan, 13, of Mangamuka, and Aotu Hita, 17, of Parapara, perform a waiata. Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaihoe (paddlers) Tiare Lanigan, 13, of Mangamuka, and Aotu Hita, 17, of Parapara, perform a waiata. Photo / Peter de Graaf