Far North communities funded to make safer streets

Published on 08 September 2020

Gillies St Kawakawa Dec 2019.jpg

Streets in three Far North towns will soon be safer and more community-focused thanks to the latest round of funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People programme.

Projects in Kawakawa, Moerewa and Kaikohe were among a large number of plans submitted to Waka Kotahi from around the country seeking support in the programme’s second round of funding.

Innovating Streets aims to help councils and communities co-design and retrofit streets with physical innovations that will reduce vehicle speeds and create more space for people. Each project will test layouts, materials and design options that can be applied to permanent street upgrades.

The first funding announcement worth $13.95 million was made in June 2020, and the second, final round worth $10.1 million was announced last month. Around 72 projects are now being funded and are due to be delivered by June 2021.

The three Far North projects selected for funding are:

  • Kawakawa Safety and Streetscape Improvement Project. This will trial four key initiatives contained in the Twin Coast Discovery Highway Township Plan for Kawakawa. The aim is to help the town become more people-friendly and to actively respond to increasing growth and safety challenges.

  • Moerewa Safer Streets. The Council and community will work together to trial options along Otiria Road that will encourage slower traffic speeds and provide safe access to schools, marae and community facilities.

  • Tai Tokerau Kaikohe Safe Streets. Far North District Council will help co-design and trial temporary solutions in one of five key Kaikohe locations to reduce traffic speeds, activate Broadway, provide safer routes to and from schools, and encourage economic growth by better linking the town with Pou Herenga Tai – Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

Far North Mayor John Carter says support offered by Waka Kotahi goes beyond simply funding road safety projects. “This programme helps us to work more directly with our communities so we can quickly create temporary or semi-permanent changes to streetscapes. Communities are encouraged to re-imagine their streets and together we can test out design options to see what works best.”

He says that other, very worthy community-led projects were submitted for funding from the Far North, including two in Kerikeri and one in Kaikohe. “These were not selected this time by Waka Kotahi, but I hope the community groups involved will continue to refine their plans with our help.”

The Council will work with Waka Kotahi and each the successful communities over coming weeks to formalise project teams and agreements.