Cycle trail development continues in Central North Island
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA community consultation process about progress with construction and opportunities created by the “Central North Island Rail Trail” and “Mountains to Sea” cycle trails will take place next week.
Date: 22 February 2010
A community consultation process about progress with construction and opportunities created by the “Central North Island Rail Trail” and “Mountains to Sea” cycle trails will take place next week.
Seven meetings are planned from Whanganui to Pureora with the first being in Whanganui on Monday the 22 February. The overall vision for “Nga Haerenga - The New Zealand Cycle Trail” is to generate lasting economic, environmental and social benefits for local communities by providing a network of “Great Rides” through some of the countries most beautiful scenery.
Work has already been taking place on the ground providing employment opportunities and input into the local economy through construction. Nearly $500,000 has gone into the local economy so far from construction of the Mangapurua and Old Coach Road sections of the Mountains to Sea cycle trail. In addition approximately 36 people have been employed at various stages of construction.
Ruapehu District Mayor, Sue Morris, said that her council was confident that the economic opportunities for the Ruapehu District as the cycle trails are developed and then come into use will be substantial.
“We are already seeing strong evidence of the positive economic difference the development of the cycle trail is having,” she said.
The Old Coach Road section of the Mountains to Sea track in Ohakune is due to be completed by late April 2010. Work is still continuing in the Mangapurua – Whanganui National Park section of the cycle trail with local iwi contractors, based at the Hinengakau Development Trust, planning to have stage 1 of work completed by April / May 2010. Stage two through the Kaiwhakauka valley will then begin in spring 2010 with both stages being completed by late 2011.
Whanganui iwi are pleased to see locals benefit from the work taking place through cycle trail opportunities and to be working to bring economic development to the region. “It is great to see our local contractors benefit from these initiatives” said Graham Bell, Whanganui River Maori Trust Board representative.
Construction on the Central North Island Rail Trail will begin in April with a number of work opportunities for contractors and community alike. It is expected that much of the 60 km track will be constructed at the same time, and estimates of up to 30 people working on different parts of the track, along with contractors building bridges, are possible.
This is promising news and exactly the type of development that Ruapehu needs to speed up its transition to an all year summer and winter playground.
The cycle trail team, brought together under the Ruapehu Mayor’s Taskforce for Economic Development, has been boosted by the announcement this week from the Ministry of Tourism that it has approved a feasibility study for stage 2 of Mountains to Sea. The study will focus on the potential to build a link from Horopito at the end of the Old Coach Road through to National Park and down into the Retaruke Valley.