Cities Walk The Talk


New Plymouth and Napier - Hastings have been chosen by NZTA as its  two target “model communities” for large- scale investment in new walking and cycling infrastructure.

The NZTA injection of $7.5 million into funding walking and cycling facilities in these communities is aimed at “significantly enhancing walking as a transport mode creating healthy communities.”

NZTA”s Jenny Chetwynd said the New Plymouth District Council and Hastings District Council will receive $3.71m and $3.57m respectively over the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years.

Ms Chetwynd said the NZTA’s model communities investment was being made in provincial towns rather than suburbs of larger metropolitan cities because it will be more cost effective in towns with less complex transport networks, which are easier to expand and have lower capital costs. It is also easier to manage traffic levels and promote active transport as the preferred choice in smaller centres.

“We also think the investment will be put to best use where it is more likely that the whole community’s enthusiasm can be harnessed,” Ms Chetwynd said.

The NZTA evaluated 22 proposals before approaching Nelson, New Plymouth, Hastings and Taupo to progress to stage two of the process, developing detailed funding proposals. New Plymouth and Hastings were then selected as model communities. Hastings District Council will also receive $3.6m over the next two years as a walking and cycling model community.

“Overall New Plymouth and Hastings demonstrated the leadership and commitment to best integrate walking and cycling as an integral part of their communities. They’ve displayed a real passion to develop their communities as great places to live, work and play, and to make walking and cycling easy transport choices,” Ms Chetwynd said.

Ms Chetwynd said the high level of interest from councils and the quality of the proposals the NZTA received, particularly those from the two other shortlisted councils, Nelson and Taupo, shows there is real commitment and passion for walking and cycling in New Zealand.

She said that Nelson and Taupo have  shown they’re well ahead of the pack in the progress they have made towards making their cities outstanding walking and cycling communities. “We look forward to continuing to work with them in fostering this enthusiasm and leadership.”

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule says not only is this a fantastic result for Hastings but it shows our commitment to making Hastings the cycling and walking capital of New Zealand.

“This follows in the footsteps of Council’s sustainability drive and will make Hastings an even better place to live, work and play.

“This is a great move from the NZTA. Instead of spreading money across the country they are making a significant investment in our walking and cycling networks, so we can show the rest of New Zealand how it’s done.

Hastings’ plans include:

  • Working with Hastings employers to encourage staff to walk and cycle to work.
  • Improving facilities for people cycling into the CBD, to bus stops, to work and school.
  • Encouraging young people to learn to ride safely to school.
  • Promoting safe cycling routes.
  • Improving road networks for cycle safety

Peter Kortegast of the Living Streets Aotearoa group says  becoming a walking and cycling city will boost tourism in both regions and is well timed to leverage off the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Mr Kortegast said: “ We need to get over the view that walking is a poor form of travel. Walking is good for your health, great for the environment and connects you with your local community. We have an entire generation of children who have been deprived of the fun of walking to School.”




  1. karl says:

    Call me ungrateful (even though I live in neither of these two cities), but that isn’t exactly a lot of money, when NZTA is spending $200 million on the Puhoi motorway STUDY alone.

    Still good - I had kind of wondered where that project had gone off to. Hope they use it well, and see some big gains.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Karl To be fair I don’t think Napier & new Plymouth would know what to do with $200m on cycling and walking other than to give everyone in the cities a free bike.
    Hmm.. thats a good idea

  3. karl says:

    I’m sure they have a couple bridges and tight spots that they could widen! ;-)


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