The Far North District Council and the Northland Transportation Alliance have built almost 3km of new footpaths, at a cost of $767,500, in the Far North this financial year, part of a $2 million capital works and renewals programme for paths.
The new paths have been laid on Mangakahia Rd, Kaikohe (201m), Mangakahia Rd (toward Carey Rd), Kaikohe (111m), Rangihamama Rd, Kaikohe (741m), Greenway Dr to Aranga Rd, Kerikeri (565m), Long Beach Rd (footpath corner to carpark), Russell (68m), Mission Rd, Kerikeri (680m), and Donald Rd to Hillcrest Rd, Kaitaia (395m).
Construction has also started on 795m from North Park Dr to Whangatane Dr, Kaitaia, and 477m on Tau Henare Dr, Waitangi.
Mayor John Carter says the new paths built this financial year exceeded the total delivered for each of the previous three financial years.
"We are delivering more each year," he said.
"That is all more impressive when you consider the March Covid-19 lockdown occurred during a peak time in the construction season. I'm very grateful to staff and contractors, who managed to make up for time lost due to the lockdown. Only the North Park Drive to Whangatane Drive shared-use path in Kaitaia was delayed, and that is now progressing."
Some of the credit for the increase in construction went to the council's Footpath Priority Matrix, which, similar to the road sealing matrix developed by the council, established a priority list of projects based on greatest need and benefit. The list was fact-checked by the community boards in each ward.
"Combining the tool with an assessment of each path's condition allows us to make the most of the footpath funding we receive from NZTA," he added.
"In the past we had just $150,000 to build footpaths in each ward. We have worked hard to increase that total to the $767,500 we spent in the 2019/20 financial year."
The council also spent more than $680,000 on renewing existing footpaths, and around $100,000 on footpath maintenance across the district.