Pathway design

Te Whau Pathway Consultation Open

Estimated reading time: 2 min
Last updated: 23 February 2022


The purpose of this page was to help people respond to Consultation 2021. You can click on images to see a larger image. Or download the PDF file with all design elements discussed on this page.

Design thinking

Project vision

The weaving together of the river and the community through a series of infrastructural elements that respond and engage with the landscape, representing community, culture, and heritage. Aspiring for design excellence and creative placemaking that demonstrates best practice in environmental, cultural and social sustainability.

Design strategy

Click on the images to view larger versions.

1. One pathway, many places

Design Strategy 1- One pathway, many places

Continuous + Cohesive
The overall design language for the boardwalk will be consistent and cohesive supporting the idea of a single pathway embedded with a sense of identity and place that supports the project aspirations and unique Te Whau identity linking harbour to harbour. 

Modular + Elegant
The design and strategy for the boardwalk is to be simple, elegant, uniform, and efficient.

2. Site specific and episodic

Design Strategy 2- Site specific and episodic

An overlay of curated and site specific responses that support ‘episodic experiences’ as the pathway transitions through varying landscapes and neighbourhoods. These are a combination of opportunities to access the water, provide for views and opportunities for bird watching and ecological enhancement etc. The considered distribution of these elements will provide points of interest and respond to the site. 

Start + Middle + End 
Gateway interventions acknowledge the start/end points of the pathway in Green Bay and SH16 and the idea of a ‘middle’, a key destination and focus point for the community.

3. Art, wayfinding and interpretation

Kit of Parts 
Building on locations and key ‘moments’ identified in 002, a curated series of integrated art, interpretation, wayfinding, and placemaking elements are interwoven, revealing stories, narratives and history of Te Whau and surrounding communities. 

Design Collaboration 
Collaborative/co-design of a suite of signage and interpretation elements in collaboration with mana whenua / appointed artists / community / and appointed designers. 

Colour palette

The colour palette of Te Whau intertidal landscape zone of mudflats, riparian margins and tidal zones has influenced the design of Te Whau Pathway. Inspiration is also drawn from Te Taiao, the natural world and environment, and the highly significant kuaka (Bar-tailed Godwit) that migrates every year from Alaska to feed on the tidal flats and coastal marshes of Aotearoa. A range of colours between browns and golds are being considered.

Proposed boardwalk design

Recommended boardwalk option


MCA boardwalk option

This is the preferred option of the Multi Criteria Analysis. (What is Multi-Criteria Analysis?). This option was one of three options compared against the base case (the concept design from the Scheme Assessment Report in 2017).

MCA boardwalk option - plan elevation section

Technical details

  • Pile Span: 7500mm centres 
  • Pile Material: Precast concrete 400x400mm 
  • Grillage: Alumium grillage 
  • Decking: FRP panels
Proposed balustrade types

The typical boardwalk balustrade is coloured steel reflecting the design narrative with ‘moments’ of timber and solid panels located at selected locations to provide wayfinding and artistic and cultural integration opportunities. 


Boardwalk visualisations

These images give an idea of how the boardwalk would look in the wetland estuary of the Whau river.

Click on an image to see a larger image. You can view these images from a mobile but the viewing experience may be better if you download the PDF file.

Boardwalk design parameters

The boardwalk structure is consistent with the April 2021 Preliminary Design and meets the Resource consent requirements TBA


  • Width: 4.0m 
  • Decking Material: Fibre reinforced plastic. Colour: Charcoal 
  • Deck Level: 2.89m (Auckland Vertical Datum) 
  • Height from bottom of deck plate to deck level: 400mm


  • Pile Span: 7.5m crs along boardwalk. Material: Concrete


  • Height: 1200mm from top of deck to top of handrail 
  • Material: 10x40mm flat bar verticals at 100mmm crs 
  • Handrail: 65x35mm steel rectangular hollow section 
  • Colour: Te Whau Colour

Proposed play, access and rest spaces

Below are a series of spaces that will support ‘moments’ along the pathway. These give opportunities to pause and rest, access the water, or to birdwatch. Interpretation and wayfinding reveal stories about the area and are woven into these moments. 

Some of these ideas will be developed as the design progresses. You can find suggested locations for these elements on the maps in the Section pages in the online consultation tool called Social Pinpoint.

We would like feedback on these elements. What do you like about the design and locations? What don’t you like? Also what else would you like to see along the pathway? Let us know!

 P01 – Whare Pūrākau

A shelter/pavilion, centrally located along the alignment, provides a community hub and gathering point for events and activities. A place for key pūrākau (stories) of the portage, the river, and the history of Te Whau to be communicated through wayfinding and integrated artworks.

P01 Whare Purakau v2

P09 – Nature play

A distribution of nature play locations across the length of Te Whau Pathway, including climbing logs, stepping stones, climbing nets, rope courses etc. Each with a different theme based on pūrākau (stories) of the area.

P03 – Lookout Pod

Lookout structures of varying sizes providing areas for pathway users to rest, meet and take in the natural surroundings. Potential for interpretation and pūrākau (stories) to be incorporated within the design.

P05 – Lookout Pod + Water Access

New water access points and the formalisation of existing locations, to provide access to Te Whau river. Access types vary as they are dependent on the location, and designs will be developed further. 

P05 Lookout pod and water access v2

P07 – Transitions

Furniture, wayfinding, and interpretative information bookending the boardwalk where it transitions to land. 

P08 – Junction

Wayfinding information and materiality changes are integrated into the surface and balustrade railing to signal a junction where local reserves connect to the main boardwalk route.

F01 – Wayfinding Pole

F01 Wayfinding Pole

A standard Council directional sign with key places and distances displayed.

F02 – Wayfinding Totem

A standard Council wayfinding sign that displays route maps, locations, distances and directional information. 

F03 – Ground Treatment

F03 Ground treatment v2

Wayfinding text sandblasted into the pathway surface.

F04 – Marker

F04 Marker v2

Distance markers to highlight every kilometre travelled along the total length of the pathway.

F05 – Balustrade
Feature Panel

F05 Feature Panel v2

Solid balustrade panels displaying wayfinding information. They will be typically located at junctions and transitions.

F05 – Balustrade
Interpretative Handrail

F05 Feature Handrail

Interpretative information of pūrākau (stories) or significant sites applied to the top of the handrail as text and/or patterns. 

SH16 Entry from the Northwestern Cycleway

Download proposed design as PDF files

These PDF files include detailed versions of the design elements mentioned above.

The Design elements file is 11MB so may take some time to download.

The Design narrative file is 14MB so may take some time to download.

The Te Whau Pathway SH16 entry – Northern End file is 2MB.