Te Manawa ō Ōwhatiura trial

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The Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial aims to create child-friendly streets that allow all people to move safely around our community. The trial project is the first of it's kind in Rotorua, and will change the way people drive, walk, bike or scooter through the area on their way to school, work, or the Whakarewarewa Forest.

Tell us about your experience of the trial project, by taking part in the survey. We want to know what parts of the design you think are working well, and what parts could be improved. Adjustments will be made to the design during the trial period, based on community feedback. You can also place feedback by emailing cycling@rotorualc.nz. See any project updates or adjustments to the trial layout here.

A working group consisting of students, staff and parents from Lynmore Primary School, local residents, members of Tatau Pounamu and Rotorua Cycle Action and the New Zealand Police are leading this mahi. Rotorua Lakes Council are supporting the working group to manage the project.

Project funding

90% of the project costs are funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People fund, with Rotorua Lakes Council funding the remaining 10%. The project is estimated to be around $100,000.

Find out more

To stay in the loop you can join the Te Manawa o Ōwhatiura Facebook group. It’s an open forum where locals can share suggestions, ideas and post pictures. You’ll also receive invitations to upcoming workshops and notifications to participate in surveys. You can also see updates about the project on Rotorua Lakes Council's website and Facebook page, or by signing up to Rotorua Lakes Council’s e-panui (e-newsletter). You can find out more about Waka Kotahi's ‘Innovating Streets for People’ fund, here.

The Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial aims to create child-friendly streets that allow all people to move safely around our community. The trial project is the first of it's kind in Rotorua, and will change the way people drive, walk, bike or scooter through the area on their way to school, work, or the Whakarewarewa Forest.

Tell us about your experience of the trial project, by taking part in the survey. We want to know what parts of the design you think are working well, and what parts could be improved. Adjustments will be made to the design during the trial period, based on community feedback. You can also place feedback by emailing cycling@rotorualc.nz. See any project updates or adjustments to the trial layout here.

A working group consisting of students, staff and parents from Lynmore Primary School, local residents, members of Tatau Pounamu and Rotorua Cycle Action and the New Zealand Police are leading this mahi. Rotorua Lakes Council are supporting the working group to manage the project.

Project funding

90% of the project costs are funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People fund, with Rotorua Lakes Council funding the remaining 10%. The project is estimated to be around $100,000.

Find out more

To stay in the loop you can join the Te Manawa o Ōwhatiura Facebook group. It’s an open forum where locals can share suggestions, ideas and post pictures. You’ll also receive invitations to upcoming workshops and notifications to participate in surveys. You can also see updates about the project on Rotorua Lakes Council's website and Facebook page, or by signing up to Rotorua Lakes Council’s e-panui (e-newsletter). You can find out more about Waka Kotahi's ‘Innovating Streets for People’ fund, here.

  • Project updates and adjustments

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    The Te Manawa ō Owhatiura project is adjustable and will continue to evolve throughout the life of the trial. Feedback about the trial will be used to adjust design elements as needed.

    Adjustments to improve safety;

    • Speed cushions were extended across both lanes on Owhatiura Drive
    • More yellow lines added on Larcy Road to increase visibility for drivers and pedestrians

    Feedback on your experience of the trial, or any improvements to the functionality and layout will be considered after the settling-in period ends (31 May).

    To place feedback on what works well and if any elements need adjusting, click here, or if you have pictures to support your feedback, email your feedback through to cycling@rotorualc.nz.


  • FAQs

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    What is the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial project?

    This trial project is called Te Manawa ō Owhatiura, and aims to create child-friendly streets that allow all people to move safely around our community. Te Manawa ō Owhatiura will change the way people drive, walk, bike, or scooter through the area on their way to school, work, or the Whakarewarewa Forest.

    The trial is based on the local community’s appetite for change to support active modes users. The community participated in creating the trial design and has provided ongoing feedback to the project. The streets involved in the trial include Owhatiura Drive, Iles Road, and Larcy Road.

    Te Manawa ō Owhatiura is one of many community ‘Innovating Streets for People’ initiatives funded by Waka Kotahi - NZ Transport Agency. More information on this can be found here.

    What outcomes are expected from the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial?

    Expected outcomes from the trial are safer routes to get to school; more room to move around for children walking, biking and scootering; slower vehicle speeds; drivers with more separation from pedestrians; and decreased risk of accidents. This will make the roads calmer for residents, with more people walking or biking through the area, and less traffic congestion outside the school gates and surrounding area.

    Benefits of the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura project could include:

    • Better-connected communities: creating vibrant and interactive ways to travel around the neighbourhood, and interact with the space and other people.
    • Safer caring communities: encouraging safe behaviour when driving and a more road safety-conscious community, reducing traffic speeds and congestion to make the area more people-friendly.
    • Thriving communities: making more room for people to move freely to access friends, work, leisure and activities, encouraging active travel and happier, healthier people.
    • Supporting residential growth: as residential areas grow so will the amount of traffic on our roads. Having safe spaces to travel around separated from cars, encourages more people to walk and bike, and reduces congestion on local roads.

    Learnings from this trial will inform any future ‘Innovating Streets for People’ projects in other areas of Rotorua.

    More information about the Innovating Streets for People project can be found here.


    What is the ‘Innovating Streets for People’ fund?

    A Waka Kotahi initiative, the Innovating Streets for People fund supports pilot projects that aim to make urban areas vibrant, safe, and easy to move around. You can find out more about the ‘Innovating Streets for People’ pilot fund here.

    As the first community in Rotorua to trial an ‘Innovating Streets for People’ project, people biking, walking and driving through Te Manawa ō Owhatiura will help pave the way for new and innovative ways to travel around our city.


    Why was the project site outside Lynmore Primary School chosen?

    There were a number of factors that highlighted the need for action to reduce congestion and increase safety outside Lynmore Primary School and in the surrounding streets.

    In Lynmore’s latest Safe Ways to School Survey, 90% of participants said they would like to walk or bike to school. 40% already used active transport, largely for health and convenience reasons. The primary reason for not using an active mode to get to school was road safety.

    Ongoing feedback from residents, as well as feedback from the Safe Ways to School survey also mentioned that Larcy Road had poor visibility for pedestrians crossing the road, due to parked cars.

    Lynmore Primary School had expressed its concerns about congestion and safety to Rotorua Lakes Council, and was also willing to help create change from within the school.

    In May 2020, Rotorua Lakes Council contacted the Lynmore community to gauge interest in trialling an ‘Innovating Streets for People’ project in the area. Residents could participate in a survey to let Council know if they were in support of a funding application to Waka Kotahi, and what changes they wanted to encourage more people walking and biking around local streets.

    This feedback largely supported a trial, exploring how we can improve visibility for those trying to cross the road, provide safer places to cross, reduce congestion, reduce driver speed, and improve safety and vibrancy outside Lynmore Primary School’s front gate and the surrounding area.

    Following all of this feedback and the existing community support, Council applied for the ‘Innovating Streets for People’ funding in June 2020.


    How does this project fit in with other projects in the Eastside area?

    Tatau Pounamu Collective and Rotorua Lakes Council have been collecting feedback from Eastside residents on the Eastside Structure Wellness Plan since 2020. Eastside residents gave clear feedback that increasing connectivity between our communities is important to them. This Plan identifies the need to expand the shared path network on the Eastside.

    Rotorua has been given funding from the Government-owned company Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to support current and future housing development in the Eastside, including construction of shared paths.

    Work is already underway on a Vaughan Road shared path. Design work for a shared path between Wharenui Road and Tarawera Road has begun. This includes a pathway down Iles Road and along Larcy and Lynbert Roads to the Lynmore shops and also through to Moana Terrace and the Forest. The construction of the shared path along Larcy Road will happen before the trial has finished, to meet the timeframes of the CIP funding.

    A copy of the Draft Eastside Structure Wellness Plan can be found here.

    Waka Kotahi have also given Rotorua Lakes Council separate funding to upgrade the pedestrian crossing on Iles Road, outside Lynmore School. This has happened as a result of a need to increase visibility and safety for the high number of people who use the crossing.


    Who is in the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura working group?

    A working group consisting of students, staff and parents from Lynmore Primary School, local residents, members of Tatau Pounamu Collective, Rotorua Cycle Action, and New Zealand Police, has been created to lead this mahi. Rotorua Lakes Council is supporting the working group to manage the project.


    How will the community be supported throughout the trial?

    There will be road safety education with school tamariki, signage on-site, and working group members on-site to guide school whānau, residents and commuters through the changes to the streets within the project. The working group will be collecting feedback about pedestrian, biker and driver experience through the space and will use this to adjust design elements as needed.


    What does ‘Te Manawa ō Owhatiura’ mean?

    In Te Reo Māori, ‘Te Manawa’ refers to a beating heart. In this case, the trial was named this for its location in the centre of an urban area, surrounded by the primary school, childcare centre, retirement village and residential housing.

    ‘Ō’ means ‘of’, and Owhatiura describes the day cloak that explorer Ihenga laid down to rest, upon the hill overlooking Owhata.

    The name was gifted to the trial project by matua Paraone Pirika based at Owhata Marae.


    Who do I contact if I have questions or feedback on the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial?

    You are able to place your feedback on kōrero mai here, by emailing cycling@rotorualc.nz, or you can call and speak to a member of the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura working group or Rotorua Lakes Council staff via 07 3484 199.

    Keep an eye out for more opportunities to get involved via the billboards on the corner of Owhatiura/Basley, Iles/Larcy, on Owhatiura Drive, outside Lynmore Primary School’s front gate, and outside the Larcy Road entrance to Lynmore Primary School.

    When will the trial start/finish?

    The trial will go live in April 2021 for 6 – 12 months, and design elements will be introduced in two stages. Stage one will include placing the crossings and build outs. Stage two will follow shortly after, adding colour and vibrancy to the space.


    Why will the project be live for so long?

    The trial needs to be live long enough to allow time for locals to get used to the project and ideally use it into the summer season. We will be asking for feedback and making adjustments where necessary to achieve safer and more vibrant streets for people to walk and bike around.


    What data have we collected so far?

    • Safe Ways to School Surveys
    • Traffic counts
    • Traffic speeds
    • Travel surveys

    The working group, Lynmore Primary School, and members of the community will continue to monitor and collect data throughout the life of the trial.


    What does the project look like, and what changes to the layout have been made already?

    Community feedback strongly suggested the use of a combination of colourful and vibrant elements nearer to Lynmore Primary School and simpler, natural themed elements in the outer edges of the project area.

    The concept design of the trial and is available here

    There have been changes to the layout of the trial since the concept was designed, including:

    • Removing or reducing the size of the build outs on the corner of Owhatiura/Basley, Owhatiura/Iles, Iles/Larcy and Larcy/Lynbert Roads.
    • Removing the red paint on all courtesy crossings, to create ‘safe crossing points’ that encourage children to stop and look for cars before crossing.
    • Moving the crossing points and realigning the let downs on Waitawa Place and Kahurangi Drive, so that pedestrians can travel in a straight line. These crossing points are protected by bollards and allow for better visibility.


    How much will Te Manawa ō Owhatiura cost?

    We were successful in securing 90% funding from Waka Kotahi to trial our own 'Innovating Streets for People' project, with Rotorua Lakes Council funding the remaining 10%. The project is estimated to cost around $100,000 total.

    As well as the financial resource, the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura Working Group has been meeting regularly since October 2020 to plan the trial and to provide opportunities for Lynmore School families and residents to provide their input on the trial plan.


    How can I get involved and stay updated?

    If you would like to take part in designing or painting any of the colourful or interactive elements around Lynmore Primary School, maintaining a planter box, or helping to monitor changes to pedestrian and road traffic, contact cycling@rotorualc.nz

    To stay in the loop, you can join the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura Facebook group. It’s an open forum where locals can share suggestions, ideas and pictures. You’ll also receive invitations to upcoming workshops, and notifications to participate in more surveys. You can also keep an eye out for project updates on the Rotorua Lakes Council website.

    How much parking space has been re-allocated for the trial?

    Around 12 spaces on Larcy Road and 12 spaces on Owhatiura Road, to allow for where the new crossings are.


    How will the road works on the State Highway 30 Eastern Corridor affect the project?

    There has been an increase in drivers ‘rat running’ via side roads in the Lynmore area, to avoid the road works on SH30/Te Ngae Road. The elements used in the concept design of the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial will help slow down drivers and discourage them from using these streets as a thoroughfare.


    Where is a safe place to drop off my child at Lynmore Primary School?

    If you live close to the school and are able to, we encourage you to walk, scooter or bike with your child to school. Once they are old enough and know a safe route they could travel to school on their own.

    If you don’t live close enough to the school, you could park a short distance from Lynmore Primary School and walk with your child to the front gate.

    By parking a short distance from the school, you help to reduce traffic congestion and make the school gate safer for tamariki and whānau.


    I have some suggestions to adjust an element in the trial layout. When will adjustments be made?

    Once the trial is live, there will be a one-month settling-in period for locals to adjust to the trial layout. However, if you have a suggestion relating to safety during this period, please let us know.

    After this, and throughout the trial, any adjustments to the trial layout will be assessed once a month. Decisions about changes will be made after weighing up the safety, functionality and reason for the suggested change. The month-long period between adjustments gives the community plenty of time to become familiar with the adjustment, and for the working group to monitor behaviour change.


    I would like to see the elements in the trial stay permanently. How can I place this feedback?

    It is important for the community to let us know if their experience of the trial project changed their feelings of safety or vibrancy in the area. Based on community feedback throughout the trial period, any successful elements could be made permanent.

    Place feedback on your experience of Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial by sending us an email at cycling@rotorualc.nz.


    What is the process for one or more trial elements becoming permanent?

    At the end of the trial, each element will be assessed against the feedback received from the community, the data collected and the success criteria to enable a final decision to be made. If the community would like to see an element being made permanent, they will be consulted on what a permanent design might look like.


    Why is there painting on the road and footpaths? What are you trying to achieve here?

    The artwork and paint effectively narrows the look of the road, to encourage drivers to slow down, as well as alerting them to the presence of the school, pre-school and young families. It is a visual reminder that this is a school zone.

    From the beginning, we have collaborated with a group of Lynmore Primary students to include the school in the trial design, and to add colour and vibrancy to the space. The designs featured in the paint work were created from ideas by the Lynmore students.

    Waka Kotahi use ‘Innovating Streets’ as an umbrella term for any project that seeks to use quick, lower-cost and temporary techniques to deliver positive people-centred changes to streets. Using paint is a low-cost and time-efficient way to add colour and vibrancy to the project space.


    Why are there so many crossings in the trial design?

    The local community and school families have told us that they wanted more safe places to cross the road, especially to access school. Crossings are also used to ‘bookend’ streets, creating thresholds and encouraging slower speeds. The speed cushions that are used on the approach to the crossing points have also been installed to slow down drivers entering the school zone and to further help drivers visually identify a crossing point.


    How will this project ease the congestion on the streets surrounding Lynmore Primary School?

    The trial project aims to create safer access to Lynmore School and the wider neighbourhood, so everyone can move around safely by walking or biking.

    If parents feel more confident that their child can safely walk, bike or scooter to school on their own, this would reduce the need for parents to drop their children at school by car, and create less traffic congestion from parents on the surrounding streets.

    By working with the school to encourage these modes of transport, there may be less people in cars in the area closest to the school.


    Why don’t the crossing points in this project look like other courtesy crossings? Why have you changed them for Te Manawa ō Owhatiura?

    Courtesy crossings have become a common feature on local roads across Rotorua and New Zealand. They facilitate road crossing and encourage considerate driving, especially where a pedestrian crossing is not suitable or there is not yet the data to support installing one.

    Community feedback suggested that the red courtesy crossings that were included in the original trial concept design may be confusing for children when used near the school.

    In place of red courtesy crossings, we are trialling crossing points that increase visibility for both drivers and pedestrians, provide safer places to wait on the roadside and help slow down traffic using speed cushions. Bollards and planter boxes protect and add visibility to these crossing points, but children must continue to stop, look and wait for cars before crossing.

    If these crossing points are well-received during the trial, they could become formalised as pedestrian crossings.


    What opportunities have the community had to place feedback?

    As well as the prior engagement with the Lynmore community in May 2020 (see “Why was the project site outside Lynmore Primary School chosen?” for more), Rotorua Lakes Council contacted the Lynmore community to gauge interest in trialling an ‘Innovating Streets for People’ project in the area. Residents could participate in a survey to let Council know if they were in support of a funding application to Waka Kotahi and what changes they wanted to support more people walking and biking around local streets.

    This feedback largely supported a trial, and suggested a need to explore how we can improve visibility for those trying to cross the road, provide safer places to cross, reduce congestion, reduce driver speed, and improve safety and vibrancy outside Lynmore School’s front gate and the surrounding area.

    Council applied for funding in June 2020. Since then, community feedback has been received through:

    • Workshops to identify barriers and brainstorm ideas with Lynmore School students.
    • Community drop-in design workshop for residents and Lynmore School whanau.
    • Design survey online.
    • Verbal feedback through community group representatives.
    • Email contact.
    • Walk and talk sessions.
    • Eastside transport open day.


    The opportunity for feedback is ongoing, as people are encouraged to share their experience throughout the life of the trial.

    Based on community feedback throughout the trial period, any successful elements could be made permanent.

    To place feedback or learn more, contact cycling@rotorualc.nz


    Why does the project layout look different to what was on the original concept plan?

    Community feedback is an important driver for this trial, and locals are encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences throughout the life of the project so that we can continue to improve and learn from it.

    Feedback on the original concept design suggested tweaks to the layout. These changes were incorporated into the trial design before the elements were introduced to the project site in April.


    Why don’t you upgrade the footpaths as part of this project?

    We are able to make minor adjustments to improve footpath access, but this can be expensive and there is already an existing maintenance programme for footpath infrastructure undertaken by Rotorua Lakes Council. Issues or faults with the existing footpath should be reported to Council by contacting info@rotorualc.nz or 07 3484 199.

    The Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial has a budget limit of $100,000, and focuses on using relatively low cost and temporary methods and/or adjustable materials. We anticipate that some of the temporary elements could be used on projects elsewhere in the district.


    Can we have more crossings on Selwyn Road, Tarawera Road and Basley Road, as part of the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial?

    The scope of this project only includes Owhatiura Drive, Larcy Road, Iles Rd and part of Lynbert Road.

    If you have suggestions about adding crossing points in other areas in the future, you can share this with the working group and Rotorua Lakes Council so that this feedback can be captured and used for planning future projects.


    I think a ‘walking school bus’ is great for helping kids walk to school safely, how could one of these be started?

    Community initiatives such as a ‘walking school bus’ rely on collaboration between the school and the local community, and parents volunteering their time. Lynmore School is keen to hear from you if you would like to help with a ‘walking school bus’ for tamariki getting to or from school. Contact reception@lynmore.school.nz to register your interest.


    Some of the elements such as planter boxes and road art are different to conventional roading projects. Are they legal?

    Before the trial layout could be introduced to the project site, engineers from Rotorua Lakes Council, GHD, and Waka Kotahi contributed to ensuring that the design and elements to be used are safe and compliant. Some of the elements in the concept trial design were tweaked before they were introduced, and some of the original community ideas were not able to be used in the live trial layout due to roading legislation constraints (as well as due to feedback from the community).

    The elements and innovative ideas used in the Te Manawa ō Owhatiura trial are often seen in ‘tactical urbanism’ projects. You can find more information about the other Innovating Streets for People projects happening across Aotearoa, here.


  • Who is behind the project?

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    A working group consisting of students, staff and parents from Lynmore Primary School, local residents, members of Tatau Pounamu and Rotorua Cycle Action and the New Zealand Police has been created to lead this mahi. Rotorua Lakes Council will be supporting the working group to manage the project.

    To stay in the loop you can join the Te Manawa o Ōwhatiura Facebook group. It’s an open forum where locals can share suggestions, ideas and pictures. You’ll also receive invitations to upcoming workshops and notifications to participate in surveys.

    You can also receive regular updates about the project from the Lynmore School newsletter, the Inside Eastside newsletter, or by signing up to Rotorua Lakes Council’s e-panui at www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/epanuisignup.

    You can find out more about the ‘Innovating Streets for People’ pilot fund at: www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/innovating-streets/about/pilot-fund(External link)

    As the first community in Rotorua to trial an Innovating Streets for People project, you will help to pave the way for new and innovative ways to travel around our city.

Page last updated: 07 July 2021, 10:44