Underpass art unveiled

Tukutuku patterns along the underpass wall were officially unveiled today. Photo Nikki south.

A mural representing the connection between local hapū has been unveiled within the Hairini Link project in Tauranga today.

Tukutuku patterns on the wall of the Welcome Bay underpass linking to stories and traditions of Welcome Bay hapū are unveiled today ahead of the open day in two weeks.

The 100m long 2m high pattern relates to the makomako trees that once were a ready source of medicine for Maori, before they were replaced by farmland.

Nearby Kaitemako Road - off Welcome Bay Road - is another reference, says hapū project co-ordinator Rondell Reihana. The trees were once abundant on the Kaitemako hills in Welcome Bay.

The small black and red triangles represent the makomako leaves; and the bare triangles represent the barren hills of Kaitemako after the Makomako trees stopped growing.

NZ Transport Agency Project Team Leader, John McCarthy says the agency is very pleased to have worked with the hapū to tell this important local story.

“This striking mural is special to this area and we’d like to thank Ngāi Te Ahi, Ngāti He and Ngāti Ruahine for working with us to share it with the people who will use this road and the shared walking and cycling path.”

The unveiling is ahead of the public open day on May 27, where from 10am till 3pm the public will be able to walk and cycle the $45 million project before it opens for traffic next month.

Traffic is expected to be using the underpass shortly before the project’s official opening mid to late June.

“We will be using the new road as part of our temporary traffic arrangements to allow us to complete the tie-ins on the existing Welcome Bay Road,” says John.

“By doing that, it allows us to reduce the volume of traffic and to get in to areas safely.

“The temporary traffic arrangements at the moment are all to do with the tie-ins. They have to juggle them a little bit to try and effect the works while also minimising the disruption to traffic.”

Asphalting is happening today on the Welcome Bay approach to the underpass and is expected to be completed before the community open day.

The local community and school are all taking part in the open day which will feature refreshments, stalls and entertainment. There will be park and ride available from Waipuna Park. The open day is also an opportunity for the public to explore the connecting cycleway from the Poike overbridge to the top of the hill by the garden centre.

Once completed, the $45 million Maungatapu underpass will be a two-lane link underneath the Maungatapu roundabout and a separated cycle and walk way, that will improve the traffic flow on the state highway around the Maungatapu and Hairini roundabouts.


In the underpass, from left: Ngawaiiti Ririnui, Wakata Kingi, John McCarthy from NZTA, Keith Campbell from Fulton Hogan and Rondell Reihana,


Colleen Spiro

Posted on 19-05-2018 20:00 | By surfsup

.I hang my head in shame for these ignorant pakeha.It what way are the pakeha ignorant, surely the points raised are correct especially the European aspect. The shame is the opinion that all things maori are correct and should not be questioned under any circumstances, if they are then it’s either ignorant, racsist, or redneck people that make the comments.

Taika Waititi was right

Posted on 15-05-2018 14:42 | By Colleen Spiro

I guess Taika Waititi was correct when he said we are Racist as ^&^&....I hang my head in shame for these ignorant pakeha.

Lots of angry people out there

Posted on 15-05-2018 09:02 | By earlybird

I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I quite like it.


Posted on 14-05-2018 19:49 | By The Caveman

WHAT DID IT COST ?? Where is the recoginication of MY European History that goes back to 1876, in this area ??


Posted on 14-05-2018 19:39 | By About that

Yes, we share this land, emphasise share. If the other party were here first before any other culture or race, then fair enough. truth of matter is they were not the first here. So why the artwork, the land wasn’t theirs to start with. What about some Eurpean designs, maybe Mr G do a mural with both European settlers being greeted Maori Chief to symbolise unity and one nation. Too much of side going on around this country, time for change and move forward as one people, one nation.


Posted on 14-05-2018 19:38 | By First Responder

We get a few dolphins in the harbour and the city gridlocks. Now every Tom, Dick and Harry is gonna stop and pose for selfies in the underpass. Great.


Posted on 14-05-2018 19:32 | By dumbkof2

a lovely bridge ruined by this eyesore. looks like the grafitti people have been there


Posted on 14-05-2018 15:59 | By maildrop

...to the egg who thought of having a kaleidoscope, in an underpass, on a fast piece of road. That’s not at all distracting. Brainless.


Posted on 14-05-2018 14:37 | By Madmax

are u for real they always have to have there next it will be the rd they dont own the bridge they think they own eveything


Posted on 14-05-2018 14:28 | By dumbkof2

why oh why do we have to have iwi stuff on everything. surely the arrival of europeans should be on here as well

Survallance cameras

Posted on 14-05-2018 14:13 | By hapukafin

Very cool.I hope there is a lot of CCTV cameras to catch any graffitti scribblers.

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