Mak­ing it real: cy­cle­way has strong com­mit­ment

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

The wheels are in mo­tion for the Hau­raki Rail Trail from Ka­iaua to Thames, Thames to Paeroa, Paeroa to Te Aroha and Paeroa to Waihi.

Hau­raki and Mata­mata-Pi­ako district coun­cils have been con­sult­ing with in­di­vid­ual farm­ers and have now spo­ken with most of the lease­hold­ers af­fected by the pro­posed trail.

The coun­cils have been work­ing closely with landown­ers to iden­tify the im­pact of the trail on their op­er­a­tions and how they can mit­i­gate any is­sues. Con­sul­ta­tion with lease­hold­ers will be com­pleted soon.

‘‘We’ve man­aged to con­tact most farm­ers to an­swer their ques­tions and dis­cuss their con­cerns, and work through so­lu­tions,’’ Hau­raki cy­cle­way pro­ject man­ager Adrian de Laborde said.

‘‘ We have gen­er­ally re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back from the farm­ers we’ve spo­ken to with many ex­press­ing their sup­port for the pro­ject and how it will ben­e­fit our com­mu­ni­ties.’’ Mr de Laborde said.

Thames Coro­man­del District Coun­cil is also ask­ing for sub­mis­sions on their draft an­nual plan, which in­cludes a pro­posal to con­trib­ute $ 450,000 for the Thames to Paeroa leg of the cy­cle­way and on­go­ing fund­ing to­wards an­nual op­er­at­ing costs.

Any­one can make a sub­mis­sion on this pro­posal by vis­it­ing www. tcdc. govt. nz/ an­nu­alplan or by pick­ing up a sub­mis­sion form from any Thames Coro­man­del District Coun­cil of­fice or li­brary.

The cy­cle­way is ex­pected to bring be­tween 45,000 to 60,000 vis­i­tors each year into the Thames Coro­man­del, Hau­raki and Mata­mata-Pi­ako dis­tricts, ben­e­fit­ing our com­mu­ni­ties by up to $16 mil­lion an­nu­ally once all stages are com­plete.

The trail will also open up new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties rang­ing from bike hire, to ac­com­mo­da­tion, tours, trans­port and more.

The cy­cle­way will be de­vel­oped in two stages.

Stage one will in­clude Thames to Paeroa, Paeroa to Waikino and Paeroa to Te Aroha. Con­struc­tion of this stage will start shortly and will take place over two sea­sons. The sec­tion from Ka­iaua to Thames (stage two) is presently on hold.

Up­dates on the cy­cle­way pro­ject are avail­able from www.hau­raki­rail­trail.co.nz.

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