A coastal pathway for walkers, runners and cyclists connecting the Manukau and Waitemata harbours is being given a $35 million lifeline by the Government.
The Te Whau coastal pathway is among the projects the Government has decided to assist as part of its $3 billion Covid recovery infrastructure fund.
"Te Whau pathway will provide a safe walking and cycling route for kids getting to school, for commuters, and for recreation," Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter told the Herald.
"The pathway, when complete, will connect the Manukau and Waitemata harbours as well as 33 reserves, sports parks, local schools and the communities of Green Bay, New Lynn, Avondale, Kelston, Glendene and Te Atatū."
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The two metre-wide pathway is part of $220m cycleway package, which Genter said would create 1000 jobs overall including 100 jobs to finish the pathway.
It was one of dozens of projects Auckland Council put forward when the Government asked for shovel-ready projects for consideration.
Te Whau Trust patron Ross Clow said local communities have been wanting the pathway since 2014.
"But due to the Covid crisis, this would have dragged out for many, many years. I am pretty damn stoked [with today's announcement]."
About four out of the pathway's 15 kilometres have been completed so far - at a cost of $7m shared by two local boards, Auckland Transport and The Trusts Community Foundation, which runs pokie machines in licensing trust outlets around the country.
Clow said the pathway would bring social benefits as well as economic ones.
"A lot of the housing and streets and businesses have effectively turned their backs on Te Whau estuary.
"This will completely open up all the dead-end streets and allow people to effectively access the parks and pathways."
Modelling had shown a $2.50 return for every $1 invested, he said.
With the funding announcement, he hoped the remaining 11km would be completed by the end of 2022.
Genter said other cycleways in the $220m package would be announced in coming weeks.
The Government's $3b infrastructure fund announced in Budget 2020 is on top of the $12b list of projects it announced in January.
It has also passed legislation to Fast-track projects, including the Auckland Harbour Bridge SkyPath - through the normal Resource Management Act process.
Yesterday National Party leader Judith Collins said she would Repeal the RMA and replace it with two new laws - an Environment Standards Act and an Urban Planning and Development Act.
"The RMA is New Zealand's biggest barrier to future development," she said in her first major speech since taking over the leadership on Tuesday.
She also announced a $31b transport plan for the upper North Island, including four-lane expressway from Whangārei to Tauranga, an Auckland Harbour crossing in the form of a tunnel, rapid bus transit from Onehunga to Auckland's CBD, and a rail link loop connecting Auckland Airport to Puhinui and Onehunga.