Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Pike memorial track officially opened

Regional Development Minister, Shane Jones, will today attend the official opening of the Pike29 Memorial Track, which has been dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners.

“The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men the community lost in 2010,” said Minister Jones.

“Today’s official opening of the Pike29 Memorial Track is a significant milestone for the families, many of whom are attending the opening at this beautiful location to see their wishes fulfilled.”

The Pike29 Memorial Track is an 11.6km shared-use track for walkers and cyclists which climbs 880m from the Pike River Valley floor to a ridgeline where it connects with the Paparoa Track Great Walk.

The track’s creation came about through a partnership of the Department of Conservation, Ngāti Waewae and some of the Pike River families.

“Not only is this track a tribute to the men who lost their lives, it is expected to be extremely popular with tourists, bringing economic benefits to a region that has so much untapped potential,” Mr Jones said.

Pike River Families Group Committee chairperson Colin Smith cut a yellow ribbon to mark the opening. Family members and others then walked through on to the track amid the luxuriant podocarp forest as two kea flew high above.

Mr Smith said the opening of the Pike29 Memorial Track has very real significance for Pike River families.

“It embodies the enduring memory the families sought for their family members lost in the Pike River Mine disaster on 19 November 2010,” he said.

“This track will ensure the memory of those family members lives on through the eyes and minds of all those who walk or bike this track forevermore.

“What a wonderful legacy that is for all of us, not only for the present generations but also for those to come so that they, like us, can reflect on the tragedy of the Pike River Mine Disaster and the lessons to be learned from it, remember those who were lost as a consequence of it and enjoy the beauty that abounds on the track and in the Pike Valley.”

Minister Jones also today attended the opening of Pounamu Pathway at Māwhera Pā in Greymouth, one of four tourism experiences exploring the history and traditions of Aotearoa, the people of Poutini Ngāi Tahu, and the West Coast’s relationship to the greenstone trade. 

Wētā Workshop and Cerebral FX were involved in creating the immersive storytelling experience.

Pounamu Pathway will eventually consist of four connected centres in Māwhera (Greymouth), Awarua (Haast), Kawatiri (Westport) and Hokitika.

Latest Articles