One of Tāmaki Makaurau’s oldest settlements, Ihumātao is set to get its first bus route, if Auckland council’s new climate change strategy is adopted next month.
The bus proposal is part of council’s Tāruke-Ā-Tāwhiri (Climate Action plan), a strategy to reduce transport pollution which accounts for roughly 40 per cent of the city’s emissions; the announcement is tentatively welcomed by Te Ahiwaru-Ngāti Māhuta, mana whenua of the area.
“Public transport offers independence to our people, relieves pressures from families sharing one vehicle.” Kowhai Olsen the kaitiaki/for Ihumātao’s Makaurau Marae Trust told LDR
“[it] gives some independence for our elderly and, probably more importantly, opens up access to new educational and career pathways for the next generation.” She added.
Olsen says the one consideration mana whenua were discussing is if the Ihumātao protest roadblock would be removed to allow the bus to travel through to the airport in a circular route, or if it would do a u-turn and head back east.
The blockade had reduced traffic and lowered speeds in the areas, where previously truckers and commuters late to the airport would use the road as a thoroughfare, often at high speeds.
“We need to see speed reduction, pedestrian crossing safety before everything else.” Olsen said.
Auckland Transport says the road block discussions will be tackled when financing for the project as part of the broader $1 Billion environmental strategy is approved by ratepayers and councillors in the 2022/2023 budget in April.