In the community

Te Whau Pathway Project is working with community organisations to fulfil part of the Project’s kaupapa of strengthening connections between people and with the river.

We went behind the scenes and asked these organisations how they became involved in the project.


Music under the Ash Street bridge on a HOOPLA walk
as part of the Whau Arts Festival.

Who are you?

HOOPLA is a social enterprise producing urban research, place advocacy, community engagement and design. Nina Patel, who grew up on the edge of Maungakiekie and on the Waitematā, lives with her whānau on the banks of Te Wai o Whau in Rosebank. Kathy Waghorn hails from Ōmata, Taranaki and lives with her whanau in Kelston, across the Whau awa from Nina. Between us we have  experience in architecture, art, landscape, education and urban design and all our work is focused in the Whau area.   

How are you involved in Te Whau Pathway Project?

We first became involved waaaay back in the beginning. In 2013, we worked with Kathy’s students from the University of Auckland researching the urban connections and conditions around Te Whau in a project called Muddy Urbansim. From this research the possibility of being able to actually move up and down the river on a pathway was identified. With the students we published this research in a book and sent the book to loads of important people – the Mayor, the Whau Ward councillor, our MPs etc.

The following year Ross Clow (then the Whau Ward Councillor) invited us to meet with him and not longer after the Whau Pathway Trust was established. For some years we were on the Whau Pathway steering group, and now, nearly 10 years since we started this work, we are now developing a project to get young people out on the awa. Called “Connecting Rangatahi to the Awa” HOOPLA is working with local groups, kura and schools to develop a way for all local rangatahi to go on the awa as part of their school life. 

HOOPLA in kayaks as part of the Flotilla Whau Photo credit: Brian Marsom

What are you looking forward to?

Better connections, a way to safely move through our neighbouhoods alongside the awa. 

Favourite place along Te Wai o Whau?

Nina, a regular on Te Whau in any craft she can find, loves being on the water. Kathy bike commutes through Ken Maunder park along the river banks, which is especially good at sunset. 

Whau tip

We recommend that when kayaking on the awa you keep a good eye out for Ofa!

Meet Whau the People

Who are you?

Whau The People Charitable Trust is an interdisciplinary arts organisation, focused on creating opportunities for local people to access and participate in the arts within their communities. We do this by leading, supporting and advocating on community arts projects that bring together artists and communities to empower, educate and connect.

How are you involved in Te Whau Pathway Project?

We are excited to partner with TWPP as the Community Art project leads.

What are you looking forward to?

Kayaking up the Whau awa, watching eels swim in the clean waters and birds living along the shores, tying up next to te Whau Pathway for lunch, enjoying the public artwork and exploring new spaces along the shores – Jody

I am looking forward to bringing more attention and knowledge to the Whau river as many of its residents are unaware of its name and history. I am looking forward to all the art projects that communicate and honour that – Janet

Favourite place along Te Wai o Whau?

The playground at Ken Maunder, under the the Ash Street bridge, amongst the mangroves on the river – Jody

West end rowing club outlook, Tony Segedin Park path and the Boardwalks to Ash Street bridge – Janet

Your fav karaoke song?

  • Regulate by Warren G – Jody
  • Poi E by the Pātea Māori Club – Janet