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OUR PLACE A ‘GREENWAY’ FROM GREEN BAY TO OTAHUHU?


The Greenways Project has a vision of seven safe and scenic routes crossing Auckland, for the exclusive use of cyclists and pedestrians. TONY WARING discovers one of the proposed routes takes an unlikely course from Green Bay to Otahuhu. The Greenways Project is a not-for-profit organisation established


by a small group of Aucklanders to lobby Auckland Council. They want Council to adopt their vision to dramatically improve safe and pleasant cycling and walking anywhere in the city for anyone willing to try. The Green Bay to Otahuhu route shows up on the Greenways


website as a ferry ride, which has raised the eyebrows of some respected people in the local community at this end of the route.


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Derek Battersby, Chair of the Whau Local Board, was unaware of


the Greenways Project until contacted by the Tatler, and was sceptical about the reintroduction of ferries. “The Manukau Harbour is famously tidal and windy, and Green Bay is especially shallow and tricky to navigate. We would need a wharf stretching almost to Otahuhu! And who’s going to pay for that? However, I commend their vision, and the Board would be happy to receive a presentation from them.” Long-time Titirangi resident and President of the West Auckland Historical Society, Trevor Pollard, is an intrepid walker and also commends the vision. “I remember back in the 1940s when you could catch a ferry at Cornwallis at 4am, sail over to Onehunga, and then catch a tram or a train into town, or wherever. Cornwallis, with its wharf, is certainly a more likely port than Green Bay, although the viability of a ferry service is questionable.” The Tatler ran a couple of articles on the Manukau Harbour Cruises


charter catamaran and water taxi service when it began operating on the Manukau in February 2006. Those who tried it all sang its praises, but the service was short-lived due to limited demand and a lack of adequate landing facilities. Founder of the Greenways Project, Stephen Smythe, readily admits


that all of the proposed routes are “…a first cut of opportunity,” and require a lot of local input to thrash out more definitive proposals that can eventually be put before council. “It’s anyone’s guess as to the long term viability of a ferry to Otahuhu. Notwithstanding this, if you don’t show the opportunity it doesn’t happen. For example, the Onehunga rail link was reopened entirely by lobbying.” To find out more go to www.greenwaysproject.org.nz


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