Sunday, May 19, 2024

$850k to keep trails on right track

New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year.

“Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails require constant maintenance to keep them safe and able to handle the pressure of visitors,” said Tourism Minister, Stuart Nash today.

“Annual funding from Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trails Fund has been approved for thirteen Great Rides from the Far North to Central Otago. The networks will receive a total of $850,000 in new investment.

“The community and charitable trusts who maintain the Great Rides carry out countless hours of volunteer work for the love of cycling and mountain biking, but they also rely on the government to step up with support to maintain and enhance the trails.”

The Minister said nearly $800,000 would be allocated to maintenance and improvements, and a further $53,000 would go toward repairs after damage from storms in June and July. Trail shelters, toilets and trail enhancements like signage and interpretation panels are the big ticket items in this funding round, he said.

“The Great Rides attract out-of-town visitors who benefit regional economies. Trails have to be regularly maintained and upgraded, which creates an economic spin-off for contractors and suppliers.”

“It’s important we have improved cycling infrastructure in place for Kiwis and overseas visitors to enjoy as we start to re-open our borders in a controlled way from next year.

“Prior to the outbreak of the Delta variant, domestic tourism was experiencing a boom. Annually, domestic tourism spending was up 22 per cent in the year to September, and up 14 per cent on pre-COVID levels for the same period in 2019.

“Cycling a Great Rides trail is the ideal way to enjoy Aotearoa. Not only are we spoilt with many unique landscapes, cycling also offers health and economic benefits.  I encourage anyone with a bike to saddle up this summer,” said Mr Nash.

14 projects will be supported under the funding announcement:

Round 14 – Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides – Total $796,608

Bike Taupo Advocacy Group Inc. – Great Lake Trail     

Trail enhancements including weed control and tree planting.         

Funding: $10,225       

Central Otago Clutha Trails Limited (Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails)

Various trail repairs and maintenance work across both the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold trails.

These include replacement of culverts, water table repairs and clearing of minor slips and slumps; bridge repairs; trail resurfacing; new interpretation and directional signage and removal of a dangerous tree.      

Funding: $66,199       

Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust – Hauraki Rail Trail 

Resurfacing for Waitakaruru stopbanks, Paeroa stopbank, Cadman Road and Te Aroha North; Memorial Bridge approaches; cattlestop improvements and replacement; Thames airfield road safety improvements; vegetation and pest control; and interpretation.         

Funding: $148,844     

Motu Trails Charitable Trust – Motu Trails          

Resurfacing sections of the Dunes Trail and installation of squeeze barriers.          

Funding: $16,500       

Nelson City Council – Coppermine Trail  

Trail material in-situ crushing             

Funding: $15,630                   

Otago Central Rail Trail Trust – Otago Central Rail Trail          

Enhancements to existing trail interpretation and wayfinding signs and to improve its educational resources.           

Funding: $21,355       

Ruapehu District Council – Timber Trail  

Trail enhancements at the Bennetts Road carpark in Ongarue, including the installation of picnic tables, toilets, shelter, water tank, planting and landscaping.           

Funding: $47,000       

Tasman District Council – Tasman’s Great Taste Trail 

Installation of trail shelters; undertake the Tasman View safety and amenity works; and to construct the Tapawera trail off-road link.

Funding: $71,568

Twin Coast Cycle Trail Trust – Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail       

Installation of shelters, picnic tables, bike stands and signage along the trail.

Funding $17,662

Waikato River Trail Trust – Waikato River Trail  

Boardwalk replacement at Lake Whakamaru and trail resurfacing at various locations.

Funding: $81,623

Westland District Council – West Coast Wilderness Trail         

Improvements on the Kaniere water race section.

Construction of a shelter at Milltown with toilets; installation of signage, safety information, directional pointers and interpretation panels.

Design and installation of new boardwalk at Mahinapua Scenic Reserve.

Funding: $300,000

NZCT Fund: Extreme Events funding – Total $53,574

Hurunui Trails Trust – St. James Cycle Trail

Extreme event repair works following the heavy storm damage in June and July 2021.    

Funding: $15,980       

Motu Trails Charitable Trust – Motu Trails          

Storm-damage repair work on a washed-out section of the Dunes Trail following a storm in July 2021.   

Funding: $17,094         

Westland District Council – West Coast Wilderness Trail         

Extreme event repair works following the storm event in July 2021.

Funding: $20,500

Funding total approved: $850,182

Latest Articles