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Fund makes outdoor access easier

New Zealand Walking Access Commission

Media release

28 May 2012

Fund makes outdoor access easier

Twenty-two projects designed to improve access to the outdoors will receive funding through the New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s Enhanced Access Fund.

Fifty organisations applied for a portion of the $230,000 made available in this year’s funding round. The contestable fund contributes to the Commission's goal of free, certain, enduring and practical walking access to the outdoors.

Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said 2012 grant recipients came from all over New Zealand, from the Brynderwyn Ranges in Northland to Mataura in Southland. Projects that will receive funding range from new tracks and boardwalks to bridges and signage that makes existing access easier to find.

“Every year the quality and number of applications improves. There are some incredibly hard working groups out there with strong community support and it’s always a challenge for our panel to select successful recipients.”

A project to create a walkway to the eastern shore and wetlands of Lake Wairarapa will receive the largest grant this year ($20,750). Led by community group Wairarapa Moana Wetland Project, the walkway is expected to open up the area to walkers, bird watchers, botanists and wetland enthusiasts.

Other groups receiving grants of $20,000 or more include the Mohikinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust ($20,000), to build a walking and cycling bridge on the Old Ghost Road cycle trail in the north west of the South Island, and Te Araroa Trust ($20,000), to assist access negotiations in five parts of the North Island.

Mr Neeson said some of the projects would still require agreement, consents and permissions from private landholders, local councils and iwi.

“We look forward to the completion of these projects. Not only will they benefit local communities, but they will also open up some of our country’s most desirable spots for the enjoyment of domestic and international tourists,” he said.

The 2012 round of the Enhanced Access Fund is the third run by the Commission. It follows a successful 2011 round, in which eighteen projects received funding.

Among those that have been completed in the past year are the Lake Ngatu Track in Northland, the Purakaunui Inlet Track north-east of Dunedin and a project to signpost access to Waikato River Trails Trust walking and cycling tracks in the Waikato.

ENDS


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