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Lucky Thirteen New Cycle Trails Planned

Lucky Thirteen New Cycle Trails Planned

Thursday 11 February 2010

Thirteen cycle trails got the nod today to go through to feasibility studies for inclusion in Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

Described as the “stand-out winners” from the 54 applications that applied for funding in December, the successful applicants will now have a feasibility study carried out where the vision proposed in the Concept plans will be priced and checked to ensure they can be built and that they will deliver what they promise.

The New Zealand Cycle Trail fund will contribute to the feasibility studies.

John Dunn, Programme Manager, says the calibre of all the applications was very high which made the Technical Assessment Group’s job of short-listing incredibly difficult.

“I want to congratulate all the applicants on the excellent work they put into the Concepts,” says Mr Dunn. “Their applications were outstanding and demonstrated a level of commitment to their regions that show how a community can be galvanised into that great Kiwi tradition of ‘getting in behind’ a great idea.”

“Nonetheless, with a limited funding pool of $50 million dollars, prioritising the trails was important and has meant that the ones going through to feasibility are “simply superior in every way”.

They are:

1. Tauranga Moana Coastal Cycle Trail (Tauranga)
2. Old Motu Coach Road (Opotiki/Gisborne)
3. Thermal by Bike (Rotorua)
4. Lake Track (Taupo)
5. Mountains to Sea Cycleway – link (Ruapehu)
6. Heretaunga Ararua: Land of a Hundred Pathways (Hawkes Bay)
7. Dun Mountain and Tasman Cycle Loop (Nelson/Tasman)
8. Old Ghost Road (West Coast)
9. Westland Wilderness Trail (Greymouth)
10. Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail (Mt Cook)
11. The Wakatipu Trail (Queenstown)
12. Roxburgh Gorge Trail (Central Otago)
13. Clutha Gold Trail (Otago)

“These applications promise trails of stunning beauty and, along with the previously announced Quick Start projects, will provide a network of about 2000 kilometres of iconic Great Rides.”

Mr Dunn says that prior to being funded for construction applicants must still prove feasibility and confirm there is a sound business case.
“We want them to put their best bid forward in their feasibility study which also means confirming the co-funding for construction.”

Regarding the unsuccessful applicants, Mr Dunn says the Technical Assessment Group was particularly keen that the considerable investment made by the communities in their proposals was not lost. He says many of the trails deserve to be built and encouraged the applicants to explore other funding mechanisms and options to support their vision.

The feasibility study is expected to be completed by 31 May 2010 and it is hoped that construction could begin by the end of the year. To this end, applicants will be encouraged to work alongside their regional Ministry of Social Development offices to ensure young, unemployed New Zealanders can join the work force to help construct these trails.

For information about Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trails, go to www.tourism.govt.nz/cycleway


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