New footbridge and boardwalk proposed for Whitianga seafront. 23 July 2019 A new footbridge and boardwalk is being proposed to go over Taputapuatea Stream, which is a tributary that flows into Buffalo Beach beside SH25 heading into Whitianga. The proposed bridge and boardwalk will be connecting to existing footpaths and tracks on Taputapuatea Spit and into Pacific Estate residential area. Concept design of the proposed footbridge The Taputapuatea Spit is a popular spot with various recreational visitors throughout the year and community groups have been asking for better access to the Taputapuatea Reserve. The design is progressing, with the footbridge proposed to be 12.7 meters with a pest control gate to reduce the risk of pests entering this coastal environment. The bridge will be similar timber structure to that recently installed in Flaxmill Bay. It offers pedestrians a safer alternative route other than the highway for accessing the coastal area. Consultation has been carried out with local iwi Ngati Hei, Forest and Bird and nearby residents in relation to the position and design of the bridge. The proposed location was chosen to limit the impact to property view shafts. A timber carving will also be incorporated in the design, reflecting the cultural significance of the area. We are looking to lodge a resource consent by the middle of August.