The New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) has approved an amendment to the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan extending the Heaphy Track mountain biking season to include October and November.
The mountain biking season now runs over seven months, from 1 May to 30 November.
The extended season gives mountain bikers more opportunity to ride the track in the warmer months. Most mountain bikers had been riding it in May and September and numbers dropped off during winter when colder weather, including snow, made biking the track more difficult.
About the process
- The proposed amendment to the plan to extend the Heaphy Track mountain biking season was publicly notified on 11 May 2016, in accordance with section 47(2) of the National Parks Act 1980.
- The season at the time ran from 1 May to 30 September and it was proposed to extend it to 1 April to 30 November, excluding Easter.
- 188 submissions were received and hearings for submitters to speak to their submissions were held in Motueka on 15 August and in Westport on 16 August, 2016.
- The plan was revised, taking submissions into account, and was submitted to the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board for its consideration along with DOC’s response to submissions.
- The Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board supported the mountain biking season being extended into October and November. The proposed inclusion of April was not supported due to higher walker numbers in April.
- The Board’s recommendation then went to the NZCA for its final decision.
- The NZCA in April 2017 approved the plan amendment extending the Heaphy Track mountain biking season from 1 May to 30 November.
Revised amendment and responses to submissions
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