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Ngāti Toa Names Key Structures On Transmission Gully

Ngāti Toa Rangatira has named 15 of the 25 structures of the new Transmission Gully motorway, including its largest structure – the bridge over Cannons Creek.

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira has been working with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency on the Transmission Gully project since 2010.

Ngāti Toa Rangatira kaumātua and former Executive Director of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira, Tā Matiu Rei says the names gifted by the iwi were chosen to recognise many of the original place names that were changed during colonial settlement.

“Ngāti Toa Rangatira has a deep and rich history in the Porirua and wider Wellington rohe, and naming some of the key structures on Transmission Gully is one small way of increasing awareness and knowledge of our history,” Tā Matiu says.

“As the largest structure, the name we have given to the bridge over Cannons Creek is “Te Ara a Toa”, which when translated means the “Pathway of Toa”.

“When translated, the word “Toa” can symbolise strength and might – which is befitting for the largest bridge on Transmission Gully. It also reinforces Ngāti Toa as mana whenua for the area and across the entire Transmission Gully motorway.”

As well as naming some of the key structures, Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira has provided input to the project to ensure the needs and expectations of Ngāti Toa are met.

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Board Chair, Dr Taku Parai said the Rūnanga have been instrumental in working with the Transmission Gully project to manage the local iwi’s interests in cultural and environmental mitigation.

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“We have been involved from the outset of the project and have, where possible, worked hard to influence decisions around cultural and environmental mitigation. All in all it has been a successful working relationship with the project and we are pleased to have another opportunity to assert our presence as mana whenua, ” Dr Parai says.

Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery Andrew Thackwray says the relationship with Ngati Toa on the Transmisson Gully project extends as far back as the cultural assessment of the original designation in the mid-1990s.

“Partnering with mana whenua has been an important part of the development and construction of this project, and has supported our team to better understand the historical, cultural and ecological significance of this area,” Mr Thackwray says.

“These names will help our wider community understand the history of the land that Transmission Gully travels through and acknowledge the significance of this area to Ngati Toa.”

“We thank Ngati Toa for the big part they’re playing in ensuring that Transmission Gully delivers the greatest possible benefit and enjoyment for all Wellingtonians and visitors to the region,” Mr Thackwray says.

The names of the structures (from north to south) on the Transmission Gully motorway are as follows:

Bridge 2. Paekākāriki

Bridge 3. Te Puka

Bridge 4. Horokiri ki Raro

Bridge 6. Horokiri

Bridge 8. Horokiri ki Runga

Bridge 13. Mātai Taua

Bridge 15. Pāuatahanui

Bridge 16. Waitangirua

Bridge 19. Wai o Hata

Bridge 20. Te Ara a Toa

Bridge 24. Kenepuru tua tahi

Bridge 25. Tawa

Bridge 26. Raroa

Bridge 27. Kenepuru tua rua

Bridge 28. Kenepuru tua toru

In addition to the structure names, in recognition of Ngati Toa’s name for Mt Wainui, Pouāwhā, a bilingual sign will be erected at the Pouāwhā Wainui Saddle Summit – the highest point in the motorway at 253 metres above sea level.

Ngāti Toa Rangatira is currently planning celebrations to mark 200 years since their migration from Kāwhia to Porirua under the leadership of their ancestor and rangatira Te Rauparaha.

“The opening of Transmission Gully in 2021 and the use of our names on the key structures will not only add another dimension to our 200 year history in Porirua, but further mark our presence for generations to come,” Dr Parai says.

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