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Improving school journeys, connecting school communities, and supporting active travel throughout Hastings.

Heretaunga Arakura (Hastings Pathways to School) is a community-led project sponsored through Hastings District Council, funded by the New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) Waka Kotahi Streets for People Programme 2021-24. The project's objectives are aimed at goals around road safety, reducing carbon emissions, mode shift and community health and well-being by increasing the uptake of active transport options in school communities.

Building better futures and stronger communities for all partnerships 2

We plan to work alongside communities to lower vehicle speeds and volumes in school zones through the use of infrastructure and enhanced school frontages. The result will be more people-focused streets with improved safety for our school communities while creating more community-friendly spaces for teachers, students, and parents to connect and tamariki to walk, bike or scooter on their school journeys. 

Maximising health and learning benefits for our tamariki

Heretaunga Arakura intends to support our tamariki with lifelong road safety skills so they have the confidence and independence to use active transport. Regular walking, scootering and cycling school journeys will increase fitness and cardiovascular health and improve concentration and engagement at school for our tamariki.

Students will have the opportunity to connect to their area's whakapapa (genealogy) and pūrākau (stories/legends) and reflect this in the co-design of their school frontage improvements. In addition, the successful implementation of Heretaunga Arakura will create places for parents and caregivers to stop, meet and engage with their school community.

Putting the health and well-being of our tamariki and whānau first

Together we aim to collaborate with school communities to create a complete, sustainable package through a range of actions and initiatives, supporting local whānau and kura so students can confidently get to and from school by foot, bike, or scooter. mayfair planting on bg

Elements will include:

  • Cycle and scooter skills training
  • Traffic calming
  • School frontage enhancements
  • Footpath repairs
  • Crossing and intersection improvements
  • Student leadership development

The package will be adapted to each school’s unique needs, tailored to reflect their identity.

Ensuring all tamariki have access to safe and healthy school journeys 

Heretaunga Arakura follows a trial funded by Waka Kotahi’s Innovating Streets for People Project and carried out by Hastings District Council two years ago at four schools: Irongate School, Hastings Central School, Mayfair School and Te Kura o Kimi Ora. The trial saw temporary speed cushions, bollards and planter boxes installed, improving safety by slowing vehicle speeds and creating a calmer experience at the school gate.

Co-designing a programme to benefit your school and community

The new program is built on the measures rolled out in the trial schools. Schools will be encouraged to get actively involved and make the most of the teaching opportunities Heretaunga Arakura presents developing design elements and plantings representing the school's whakapapa, mapping journeys to school, and supporting students to run active travel events. Each school will be unique in its approach and the challenges it faces, both the physical street environment and the communities they serves. Heretaunga Arakura will work alongside each school to tailor solutions, ensure the programme is successful, and empower students and teachers to lead the programme in the long term.

How it would work: HDC presentation for growing school journeys kids at presentation

  • We meet and discuss your school’s unique situation
  • GIS mapping to see how many of your tamariki are using active transport to and from school
  • Walk the routes to see if there are any barriers that we can fix or remove to encourage active transport
  • Vehicle speed monitoring outside your school (before and after traffic calming tools are put in place)
  • Engage with and survey your school community on transport behaviour
  • Co-design traffic calming and frontage enhancements outside your school
  • Provide road safety, cycle and scooter skills instruction for tamariki
  • Construction begins!

There is the option to include multiple extensions of the program to further engage with the community, including:

  • Make journeys to school safer
  • Improve the health and well-being/mauri ora of students, their ability to learn, and their physical literacy
  • Create an environment more conducive to every-day school community relationships by reducing the level of road and engine noise outside schools, and creating a more people-friendly environment
  • Contribute to New Zealand’s carbon-zero goals by reducing the number of people in cars at pick-up and drop-off
  • Foster connection with the environment through education about the whakapapa (genealogy)/pūrākau (stories/legends) of their area, climate impacts, emissions
  • Enable leadership opportunities for students, and potential NCEA credits for secondary students.

Check out the video below to see how we have been working closely with local schools to capture information about the daily school journeys of our tamariki and rangatahi. By mapping their journeys, we can address any barriers and improve our network to encourage more biking, walking and scootering to and from school.

Depending on feedback from the community, this project may include:

  • Physical traffic calming near school zones
  • School frontage enhancements
  • Footpath repairs
  • Crossing and intersection improvements
  • Cycle skills education for children.

Project update 2024

Thanks to the funding from the NZTA Streets for People programme, we are starting construction around five schools in Flaxmere: Flaxmere College, Flaxmere Primary School, Te Kura o Kimi Ora, Te Whai Hiringa and Irongate School. This will take a couple of months to complete, and there may be some disruption to traffic at times. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience during this time while we complete implementations to support calmer and more accessible streets so our tamariki can live more healthy and active lives. 

Unfortunately we have had to scale our initial project back from over 20 schools in Hastings to just focus on five schools in Flaxmere. The recent change in government has resulted in NZTA (Waka Kotahi) and the new Transport Minister to withdraw Transport Choices funding, which was a significant contribution for our Heretaunga Arakura project. This means we are unable to carry out our planned project with all of our urban Hastings schools who were engaged with in the initial roll out of the programme. 

Community Updates

To view the latest community updates click the links below:

To subscribe to receive ongoing updates about the Heretaunga Arakura project, click here.

School Resources

GeoForm School Travel Survey
Link to Map Path

Contact our project team for more information: 

Larry Blake
Hastings District Council Transport Engineer
E: larryb@hdc.govt.nz
P: 027 561 1378

Fran Rose
Engagement and Educator Officer
E: fran.rosenzconsultancy@gmail.com
P: 022 455 4205

Heretaunga Arakura in the news

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