Te Ara Awataha Greenway, Northcote
Does Northcote ever feel a bit like a concrete jungle? Do you need a place to connect with nature, breathe fresh air, meet new people, let the kids run wild, or just enjoy some peace and quiet? Look no further than Te Ara Awataha, the new 1.5km greenway in the heart of Northcote!
You might not have known, but a stream has always run through Northcote town centre. It’s called Te Ara Awataha, and it has a long historical and cultural significance in the area. Many years ago, as Northcote developed, the stream was enclosed in a concrete pipe to make construction ‘simpler’. This had unfortunate cultural, environmental, and practical consequences. Enclosing the stream sacrificed the mauri (life essence) of the stream, destroying and depleting the living ecosystems surrounding it. What’s more, it reduced the town’s capacity to deal with flood events.
In 2019 a major project was undertaken to “daylight” the stream once more, by strategically removing the concrete piping, and restore it to its near-natural state. Kaipātiki Project has been delivering the community-led regeneration of Te Ara Awataha and Jessie Tonar Reserve (which sits at the source of the river) on behalf of Eke Panuku Development Auckland, in partnership with mana whenua, Auckland Council's Healthy Waters and the Kaipātiki Local Board.
Through combined efforts and community participation, Te Ara Awataha stream has been brought to the surface and revitalised, and its mauri is being restored with each season. It has become the heart of Te Ara Awataha Greenway, which links multiple small reserves and creates a stunning natural space and green corridor for everyone to enjoy. The nature-based design has proven itself in the recent Auckland flooding, where excess water was captured (as planned) and allowed to drain slowly and safely back into the natural water system.
Te Ara Awataha is now a thriving habitat for birds, insects, and eels. Although it is relatively early in the regeneration phase (year 4), there is new life flourishing! Join our Community Regeneration Events to play your part in regenerating these beautiful ecosystems.
Working and volunteering at the reserves along this greenway directly contributes to 5 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals: