Council & City

He Ara Kotahi

The He Ara Kotahi bridge and pathway will open on Friday 7 June. Rangitāne will bless the 7.1km track at dawn. Later in the afternoon the Associate Minister of Transport Julie-Ann Genter and Mayor Grant Smith will open the bridge. The bridge and pathway can be used by the public from 4.30pm.

Photo shows people walking on the lit bridge at night.

A sneak peek at the bridge lighting.

The bridge lighting has been revealed.

The route will connect cyclists and pedestrians between Palmerston North and Linton Military Camp, Massey University and Food HQ. The name means a pathway that brings people together. 

Photo shows sun setting over the bridge.

The 190m long He Ara Kotahi bridge connects to the Victoria Esplanade in the city, and to Dairy Farm Road, which cuts through Food HQ to give access to Massey University.

The bridge is 194 metres long, 4.5 metres wide and has a nine metre viewing platform in the centre.

There are four other bridges along the path to Linton. Turitea Bridge is the closest to the city, followed by Farm Bridge. Both are 36 metres long and have three piles anchored 15 metres into the ground. The 10 metre long Greenwoods Bridge is towards the Linton end of the path. It was built in Horowhenua and trucked in for installation. This bridge connects to a raised boardwalk which lets you walk in the canopy of some of this country’s most beloved native trees. The last bridge is a suspension bridge like the the Golden Gate bridge in San Fransisco. Our Kahuterawa bridge is 45 metres long and connects the pathway to Linton Military Camp.

Photo shows two people on a wooden footbridge spanning a gully with pines on nearby hills.

Farm Road Bridge.

You can access the bridge and pathway from three entrance points: Dairy Farm Road, Tennant Drive (Fitzherbert Bridge), Bells Road (linton) and Ruha St/Dittmer Drive.

Travel distances

  • He Ara Kotahi to Linton = 5.2 kms
  • He Ara Kotahi to the Tennant Drive intersection outside Massey University/FoodHQ = 1.5km
  • Loop between Fitzherbert Bridge and He Ara Kotahi bridge = 3.2km

He Ara Kotahi bridge design

The design inspiration for the bridge is a karaka tree, with its 'roots' in Dittmer Reserve, between the Esplanade and Ruha Street. People flying from Palmerston North to Christchurch will likely get the best view of the tree design. The Karaka design has strong links to the history of our iwi, Rangitāne. Generations of Karaka have lined Karaka Grove at Massey University, providing food and shelter for the people that once lived there. Karaka trees also once covered the southern bank of the Manawatū River on the flat land between Turitea Stream and the Fitzherbert Bridge. Early Māori setters cleared some of the forest to plant kumara. When the rest of the land was converted to farmland, the first European settler to farm the land protected the remaining trees. There are other significant cultural sites along the route so the Council and Rangitāne have worked closely with archaeologists to protect these sites.

Why we're creating He Ara Kotahi

He Ara Kotahi will provide a safer and more direct route for people to travel to work and educational centres south of the river. It will encourage people to choose to cycle, with sections of the route providing safer access away from the high speed traffic along the state highway.

Photo shows aerial view of river and new pathway being built alongside it.

We're expecting more than 1,000 people every day to use the route.

Who's involved?

The $19 million project has been funded by the New Zealand Government Urban Cycleways programme, NZ Transport Agency, Palmerston North City Council and Powerco. Rangitāne, Massey University, Horizons Regional Council and the New Zealand Defence Force have been key partners in the project.