If you have driven along the northern motorway through Albany recently, you may have noticed over the past 6 months or so, the construction and completion of a new shared footbridge between Spencer Road (on the east) and Corinthian Drive, Albany (on the west).
As part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project, to which Manuhiri Kaitiaki Charitable Trust representatives have been engaging and advising alongside other Mana Whenua representatives, this bridge is the first major piece of infrastructure to be completed along the motorway corridor itself.
The name Tirohanga Whanui, initially suggested by Ngati Manuhiri, refers to the wide views that can be seen from the footbridge over the area.
On Thursday 28th February at 5.30am, the bridge was officially opened with a big turnout of Mana Whenua, NZTA, Consortium, Watercare (there is a water pipe underneath the bridge visible through the open structure), Council and Local Board representatives as well as locals.
The Mana Whenua who have engaged on this project jointly developed a cultural narrative to be reflected throughout the Northern Corridor Improvements Project. Māori artist Graham Tipene was approved to work with the Consortiums detailed designers to ensure that this narrative was correctly incorporated and reflected in the infrastructure.