Oct. 2, 2017, 12:35 p.m.
The hapū of the iwi of Ngāti Kahu and NZTA are working together to not only build a bridge but relationships too. The Taipā bridge crosses Oruru River which is steeped in Ngāti Kahu history. The bridge is located on Northland’s main tourist connection, the Twin Coast Discovery Route. The bridge plays a critical role in the current Northland economy providing access to move goods up and down the east coast of the Far North.
The first bridge in Taipa was situated about 500 metres further up the Oruru River, the current one lane bridge will be replaced by Taipā's third bridge, a two lane bridge. This new bridge is one of the 10 that were promised to Northland. Works will soon begin on the bridge in Taipā, and locals hope they will get a job in the building process.
The bridge currently has limited access for pedestrians and does not really allow for cyclists, both of whom are important parts of the vision to grow the Northland tourist economy. Improving infrastructure for walking and cycling, and highlighting the special interest in Taipā as a popular swimming and fishing destination encourages visitors and will contribute to the local Far North economy. A group of Ngāti Kahu hapū representatives are working with NZTA on the aesthetic design of the bridge, and to ensure that tikanga is adhered to. Locals look forward to the group pushing jobs for the locals too.