Minister of Transport Simon Bridges and Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith opened the Shared Pathway before a crowd of around 200 people at Longburn Primary School.
"I'm pleased that, with the help of central government, we have been able to complete this project six years ahead of schedule and provide residents with an alternative safe transport and recreational connection," says Mayor Grant Smith.
"The aim is to make Palmerston North and Manawatū the best place in New Zealand to ride a bike. This pathway connects Longburn to the wider shared pathway network, and we hope that soon it will connect through to Linton, Bunnythorpe, Feilding and Ashhurst."
Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says these connections will ultimately form part of the wider Palmerston North Shared Pathway Network.
"I'm looking forward to seeing this kind of model repeated across the country," he said.
The Shared Pathway runs along State Highway 56 from Works Road in Longburn Village and connects with the Managaone Stream Shared Pathway, which also links to the Manawatū River Shared Pathway. Solar-powered warning signs will be installed at the two crossing points over State Highway 56, and will activate when pedestrians want to cross the road.
NZ Transport Agency Regional Director Raewyn Bleakley says the pathway provides safe, healthy transportation and recreation option.
"We're delighted to support this pathway and others in Palmerston North," she says. "It will make journeys safer for cyclists while making it more appealing to get on your bike."
"The new crossing system will provide reassurance to parents of children and motorists using State Highway 56."
Signs highlighting the area's history have been erected and others, focused on Rangitāne's history, are planned.
The $900,000 cost has been split evenly between the Urban Cycleways Fund, the National Land Transport Fund and the Palmerston North City Council.
Longburn became part of the city in 2012 and members of its community actively sought a shared pathway connection with the city.
Last week, the Government announced funding of $333 million to go towards a further 41 pathways, including the Linton Shared Path and bridge over the Manawatū River and two underpasses on the Mangaone Stream Shared Pathway.