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The steel interpretation panels can be found along the new shared path at key culturally significant sites.
The project took several months to develop. Landscape architect Kim Goodfellow came up with the storyboard concept. To bring to life the rich history of this ancient trail, the CNC Alliance worked with Lyttelton-based writer Liz Grant and Ngai Tahu Whakapapa unit manager Arapata Reuben.
Artist Morgan Mathews-Hale, of Kaitiaki Studios, designed the steel artworks and information panels.
"The design reflects the Taurapa (canoe stern post) of a great waka (canoe) and traditionally represent elaborate narratives such as that of Tāwhaki and his ascent to the heavens. For us it tells the stories and whakapapa of the motorway and also, indicates a journey, travel and direction of our ancestors and future generations. Corten Steel was chosen because of its likeness to the red ochre colour of our traditional carved waka."
Cyclists and pedestrians are invited to stop at each of the 11 sites and take time to learn about the significance of each place. Rather than a straight ribbon of asphalt parallel to the new motorway, the new off-road path meanders through the natural landscape currently being established alongside the motorway.
The new planting will be an important food source for the return of native birds into the city’s fringes.
"We are very pleased with this safe, off-road pathway linking to existing and new cycle facilities," said Richard Osborne, Christchurch City Council head of transport.
"This new cycling path has already inspired many people to take up biking, e-biking and an active commute to work.
"From day one we have seen an average of 350 cyclists a day using this shared path and the numbers are growing rapidly."