Work to kick off later this year on Coastal Walkway from Waitara to Bell Block after $18m funding injection

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Work on extending New Plymouth’s iconic Coastal Walkway to Waitara with a path created by hapū and NPDC will start at Waitara’s Otupaiia / Marine Park later this year following an $18 million dollar funding boost from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport.

In a first, it’s been fully designed with Manukorihi, Otaraua, Pukerangiora, Puketapu hapū and NPDC, and will extend the walkway to 23 kilometres long. As well as enhancing the wellbeing of residents by encouraging healthy and active lifestyles, a car free connection to help reduce emissions, it is also a chance to educate users on significant cultural and historical landscape.

The path will take in areas of significance to tangata whenua including pā and awa /rivers, a matairangi / lookout at New Plymouth Airport, boardwalks, rest areas and an estimated 96,000 native plants will be installed as part of NPDC’s Planting our Place initiative. 

“The walkway extension is a very important project for our hapū,” says project Co-Chairperson and Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Pouwhakahaere, Dion Tuuta.

“The co-design approach with NPDC has enabled our hapū to share their unique stories of the whenua with the wider community. Pathways are about connection and growth and its fantastic that Waka Kotahi is supporting this important kaupapa for our region.”

Mayor of New Plymouth District Neil Holdom is keen to get the next phase of the iconic walkway started. 

 “One of the most exciting things about this project is the partnership with Te Atiawa and the four hapū. When people ride, skate and walk it, they will be taking in our rich history while keeping fit, mentally healthy and reducing emissions, to grow our Sustainable Lifestyle Capital,” New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.

Waka Kotahi Regional Manager Sarah Downs says the funding is part of its commitment to improve safety and accessibility in the region, support walking and cycling facilities that help make our towns and cities more accessible and liveable. 

The estimated cost of project sits at approximately $39m, up from around $28m approved in NPDC’s 10-year budget. The increase is driven by global financial pressures fuelled by inflation, supply chain issues and increased material costs and labour shortages, the pandemic and war on Ukraine. Waka Kotahi NZTA have increased their funding from $13.1m to $18m to support the revised project cost estimate.

The project is due to be completed towards the end of 2027 subject to contractors, logistics and weather.

  • Waitara to the intersection of Brown and Tate roads (2023 - mid 2024).
  • Bell Block to New Plymouth Airport (mid 2024 – end of 2025).
  • From intersection of Brown and Tate roads to New Plymouth Airport (end of 2025 – end of 2027).

Find out more about the extension project on our website.


Fast facts:

  • In 2017, extending the Coastal Walkway to Waitara had 86% support in a public survey on NPDC’s focus areas.
  • Planning for the Coastal Walkway began in 1997. Construction of the first 7km (New Plymouth CBD to Waiwhakaiho River) began in October 1999 and was completed in December 2001, with the most recent section (Ellesmere Avenue to Bell Block Beach) completed in 2014.
  • The Coastal Walkway has won several awards including the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Gold Award (2002), the New Zealand Institute of Builders Supreme Award (2006), the Arthur G. Hayden Medal from the International Bridge Conference for Te Rewa Rewa Bridge (2011) and the New Zealand Recreation Association’s Outstanding Project Award (2011).
  • The coastal walkway is currently 13.2km long, the project will extend this distance to almost 23km.
  • NPDC looks after 82km of walkways throughout the district and 68ha of coastal dunes.


Artist impression of the area between Waitara Beach and the holiday park ‘after’ the new path is built as part of stage one.

How the same area looks now.