Māori/English collaboration for Pūhoi to Wellsford RoNS

By: NZ Transport Agency – Auckland Regional Office


The NZ Transport Agency and iwi and hapū from north of Auckland have adopted a dual name for the Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance that combines English and Māori.

Māori/English collaboration for Pūhoi to Wellsford RoNS
Maori/English collaboration for Puhoi to Wellsford RoNS

The route is now known as the Ara Tuhono – Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance. Ara Tuhono means a connecting pathway (Ara meaning pathway/passage and Ara Tuhono means connecting or linking one part to another).

The NZTA's Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town, says the name reflects the route's objectives of improving transport connections between Auckland and Northland.

"Ara Tuhono does not refer to one single location but has much wider significance relating to what this new highway is all about – making journeys for people and freight between our two regions easier, safer and more reliable."

Tame te Rangi, vice chair of Hokai Nuku, - the organisation representing iwi and hapu - welcomes the use of a dual name for a project that has social and cultural importance for the region.

"When you have lived at the northern end of the state highway network, you understand that it is more than just a road to Auckland – it is a direct route, a gateway, to the rest of the world," Mr Te Rangi says.

The Ara Tuhono tohu (logo) was presented at a ceremony held at the Auckland Council offices in Orewa today (Thursday 21 February) attended by NZTA officials, iwi and political and community leaders. The new green and blue tohu represents the objectives of iwi and the project.

Mr Town said the decision to adopt Ara Tuhono - Puhoi to Wellsford was emblematic of the positive ongoing collaboration between the NZTA and Hokai Nuku – an alliance representing iwi and hapu north of Auckland (Ngati Manuhiri, Ngati Mauku/Ngati Kauae, Ngati Rango o Kaipara and Ngati Whatua with the support of Ngati Paoa) in the development of the route.

Hokai Nuku was established to represent iwi and hapu, and it has been working with the NZTA since 2010 on a range of issues around the RoNS.

"The dual name says something more that is special about New Zealand – and the way Maori and Europeans engage together. Our partnership with iwi in Auckland and Northland can be seen on a number of highway projects that reflect cultural heritage through the design of panels, walls, bridges and artwork," Mr Town says. "The NZTA is committed to working closely with iwi across Auckland and Northland on all of our state highway projects."

The NZTA plans to lodge its Notice of Requirement with the Environmental Protection Authority to obtain necessary consents to construct the first section of Ara Tuhono - Puhoi to Wellsford – from Puhoi to Warkworth - in the third quarter of this calendar year. Construction is due to start in 2014.

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