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Up to 150km to be added to Te Araroa Walkway

Up to 150km to be added to Te Araroa Walkway

The government has committed $3.8 million over four years in Budget 2007 to support the ongoing development of Te Araroa, The Long Pathway.

Up to 150 km is to be added to the national walkway Te Araroa, which aims to connect Cape Reinga and Bluff through public walkways and tracks.

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Conservation Minister Chris Carter today walked a section of the track in the Tararua Forest Park, near Levin, where they announced increased government investment in Te Araroa (the Long Pathway) project.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) has been granted $3.8 million over four years in Budget 2007 to support the ongoing development of Te Araroa, The Long Pathway. It will fund signage to identify 800km of existing track on Conservation land that will form part of the walkway, as well as create 150 km of new track on land administered by DoC.

"This funding marks a huge contribution to the concept of a national walkway linking communities the length of New Zealand," Helen Clark said.

"It illustrates the Labour-led government's determination to develop and sustain New Zealand's outdoor recreation infrastructure, and capitalise on the unique social and economic benefits our spectacular natural environment offers," Helen Clark said.

The Te Araroa Trust was formed in the 1990s to design the trail and develop it in conjunction with central and local government, iwi and private landowners.

DOC and the Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2001 recognising that 35 per cent of the 3,000km of the proposed trail would cross conservation land.

"Te Araroa is a bold concept, but one that is achievable and sustainable if the communities along the proposed walkway work together," Chris Carter said.

"The funding in Budget 2007 will mean that over half the parts of the trail that cross public conservation land will be complete by 2010," Mr Carter said.

ends

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