Artist’s impression of the new AMETI Eastern Busway on Lagoon Drive, Panmure
Archaeological work commences as part of AMETI
The AMETI Eastern Busway has reached another important milestone with the start of pre-construction work in mid-February on the Panmure to Pakuranga stage of this major transport project.
The work involves the demolition of 14 Auckland Council owned properties to enable archaeological investigations to commence. This work is essential to allow construction of the busway to start on schedule.
The archaeological work is particularly important on this project due to the unique history and culturally significant nature of the area, including the site of the historic Mokoia Pa. This site is located near the eastern end of Lagoon Drive and is of major significance to Mana Whenua. It was the site of the Ngati Paoa pa settlement throughout the 18th century and an important area of trade and commerce.
Programme director Duncan Humphrey says this is a significant milestone in the life of this transformational project. “Not only does this work symbolise further progress and bring us a step closer towards faster public transport and cycling journey times, improved reliability and travel choice for east Aucklanders, it also acknowledges an important partnership between Auckland Transport and mana whenua (and specifically Ngati Paoa in relation to Mokoia Pa) towards ensuring that the history and taonga of this area are restored and maintained.”
Archaeologists, working with mana whenua and heritage organisations, have been involved in the AMETI works since the project started. Although the landscape around the AMETI Eastern Busway route has been modified many times over the past century or more, archaeologists working on previous stages of the project found evidence of early Maori occupation which has added to knowledge of Maori settlement in Tamaki. It is likely that further historical findings will be made over the next few months.
Hauauru Rawiri, CEO to Kaihautu (the statutory Maori advisory committee within the Environmental Protection Authority), says: “We are pleased to work with Auckland Transport towards addressing the transport needs of east Auckland while also enhancing and regenerating this historic and culturally significant area.”
School and community visits
Demolition of the properties along parts of Lagoon Drive, Bridge Street and Pakuranga Road is now underway, and the archaeological work has begun around Bridge Street. Auckland Transport has indicated that there may be opportunities for school and community visits at some stage of the project.
The AMETI Eastern Busway is a high-priority, essential project in southeast Auckland that will significantly improve transport choices, reliability and public transport and cycling journey times in the area and to other parts of the region. Once operational, public transport users will be able to travel by bus and train between Botany and Britomart in less than 40 minutes.
The project is separated into various stages, including Panmure to Pakuranga, Pakuranga to Botany, Pakuranga Town Centre and Reeves Road flyover, and a new station at Botany Town Centre.
The AMETI Eastern Busway will be completed by 2026 and will run between Panmure and Botany Town Centre. The completed project will be supported by new cycling and walking connections, urban design enhancements, three new stations, two new bridges across Tamaki Estuary and Pakuranga Creek, and improvements for general traffic such as the Reeves Road flyover and upgraded signalised intersections. The first stage of the project was completed in 2014 and includes the new Panmure Station and Te Horeta Road extension.