The Waterview Connection project is designed to try and improve the environment for local communities by;
- making more walking and cycling paths
- improving and adding sports and leisure facilities
- adding safe parks and reserves
- looking after local plants and animals
- looking after places and buildings with historic value
A series of walking and cycling paths within and between the parks and reserves will be built. A series of new footbridges is also planned.
Part of the network of paths will connect the existing cycle routes along the Northwestern and Southwestern motorways. It will be 3m wide so that it can be shared by families, walkers, skateboarders and cyclists. There will also be smaller walking paths.
Facilities for recreation
In the south new sports fields, a skatepark and volleyball and basketball courts will be built at the Alan Wood Reserve.
In the north a new skatepark, BMX track and playground at Waterview are planned.
In the past the Oakley Creek (Te Auanga) ran through the area. It was put into a man-made channel in the 1930s by European settlers. Areas of the Oakley Creek have now been changed to make it more like a natural stream, rather than the channel it had been for a long time.
Local plants and animals
Before work began at the Alan Wood Reserve, copper skinks were moved to a new home. Six hundred short finned and long finned eels were moved from the old to the new parts of Oakley Creek. Plants and seeds of a geranium thought to grow only in the reserve were collected. These will be replanted in the reserve.
Native plants have been planted alongside Oakley Stream and more will be planted in the parks and reserves in the area.
Historic sites have been identified near the Waterview Connection Project works. They include;
- Māori shell midden sites
- old Māori food storage pits
- Māori living terraces along Oakley Creek
- An early flour mill (Star Mills), Garrett Brothers Tannery and quarry
The project’s design has avoided known historic sites as much as it can. Earthworks have been carefully done so that if anything of value is dug up it can be collected and looked after.