More than 20 schools have been selected for the first phase of Hastings District Council's Heretaunga Arakura – Hastings Pathways to School programme, which aims to get more students and the wider school community making healthier transport choices.
Heretaunga Arakura is a partnership between Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, with a total $8M of funding over the next 12 months. The programme will initially focus on rolling out traffic calming measures around seven schools in Hastings East and Flaxmere, to make roads more people-friendly and accessible for everyone.
Hastings Mayor, Sandra Hazlehurst sees the considerable potential of Hastings leading the way as a healthier, greener city.
"With Aotearoa's target for net zero emissions by 2050, it's vital we start transitioning young people and their whānau from their reliance on cars, towards more sustainable transport like bikes, scooters, skating or walking around their neighbourhoods. One school at a time, Heretaunga Arakura will make our city more liveable, and community focussed.”
"Mode shift will not only improve the health and well-being of ngā tāngata (our people) but of papatūānuku (our land) by creating neighbourhoods that are easier to move around, where everyone can access calmer streets, and residents have a deeper sense of place and belonging - we will build more connected and vibrant communities that we can all be proud of."
Heretaunga Arakura will see students heavily involved throughout the programme, from mapping to planning, designing, implementation and activation events. Many have already surveyed their schools and completed GIS (Geographical Information Systems) mapping, capturing travel behaviours throughout their school community, walking common school routes, and documenting any barriers stopping students and the broader community from moving to healthier, active transport modes.
Collected data will give the council a deeper understanding of popular school routes, current transport modes, and how they can design the best solutions for the entire community and create more accessible streets. With close to 5,000 GIS (Geographical Information Systems) entries and 400 community surveys submitted to date, with more being submitted daily, Hastings District Council have extensive data and a deep understanding of their residents needs to help them design decisions to better shape their city for the future.
Hastings District Council will work alongside Sports Hawke's Bay to run road safety and cycle skills workshops so whānau feel more confident about letting tamariki use active transport to and from school. The programme team is also looking to provide wider whānau with road and cycle skills, encouraging the whole families to move to more sustainable modes of travel, and improve the health and well-being of the wider community.
Council is also looking to build raised crossings, traffic bumps and planter boxes directly outside school frontages, with additional traffic calming measures being implemented on major school travel routes. Schools will have the opportunity the bring their own whakapapa into design elements with native plantings, pavement designs and school values woven into traffic calming solutions, creating a sense of place and connection to their kura.
Heretaunga Arakura is funded through two Waka Kotahi funds. Streets for People Programme supports councils to use quick, low cost, scalable improvements that inform future changes. The Transport Choices package is part of the Waka Kotahi Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) programme, which aims to demonstrate what’s possible for communities nationwide by quickly providing people with healthier, more affordable, and safer transport choices that are good for us, and for the environment.
Waka Kotahi Manager Urban Mobility Kathryn King says Heretaunga Arakura is a shining example of how the transport agency, council and schools can work together to have a lasting impact on the community, supporting tamariki and their whānau to shift towards sustainable travel modes.
“Our streets need to change. Our communities want safer, more resilient, and adaptable streets with less traffic, so children can confidently walk or bike to school, and Heretaunga Arakura will help achieve this in Hastings.”
The first phase of Heretaunga Arakura aims to roll the project out to 20+ schools and communities within a 6km radius of Hastings CBD between May 2023 – June 2024.
Heretaunga Arakura Programme - Comms & Content Creator
Phone 021 411 877
11 July 2023
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