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Cycleways bring economic benefit to communities

23 July 2014

For immediate release

Cycleways bring economic benefit to communities

An increasing number of cycleways are attracting tourists to regions and scenic parts of New Zealand and a special session at the Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) conference demonstrated how the economic impact of these bike paths are measured.

Local communities invested $30 million into Nga Haerenga , the New Zealand Cycle Trail network of cycle trails run throughout the country. The intention was that the trails, predominantly off-road, would showcase the environment, landscape, heritage and culture of New Zealand while generating economic, social and environmental benefits for communities.

LGNZ held an in-depth master class session on funding models and assessing the economic impact of cycleways, as part of its conference at Nelson, for specialised council staff, elected members and local government stakeholders.

The session, chaired by Dunedin City Council Mayor Dave Cull, explored how different local authorities have funded their cycleways and some of the challenges councils have in funding these, and what councils have found to be the economic impact of cycleways in their jurisdiction.

Speakers included Opotiki District Council Chief Executive Aileen Lawrie, Wellington City Councillor Andy Foster, Hastings District Council Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers, NZ Transport Agency Group Manager Planning and Investment Dave Brash and Tasman District Council Mayor Richard Kempthorne. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Policy Analyst Mark Walter joined the panel discussion.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says local and central government need to work together to secure funding and get cycleway projects across the line.

“Cycleways are an integral part of the transport network in many places as part of their commuter network. We want to build this capability together so communities can benefit from the tourism and lifestyle enhancements that well-built cycleways can offer.”

The session was kindly sponsored by NZ Transport Agency.

The 2014 LGNZ Conference took place 20-22 July at Nelson, with more than 550 local government delegates attending to take part in master class sessions, hear presentations from high profile speakers about significant issues and opportunities facing the sector. The theme of the conference was Powering Local Economies, Building Vibrant Communities.


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