Celebrating our cycleways
The relationship between Waimakariri and its Belgian twin district Zonnebeke was further enhanced this week when representatives from both joined on Monday to celebrate the opening stages of the construction of two cycleways which will eventually link Rangiora and Christchurch.
It was far from an ideal day for an open air celebration but that did not deter a crowd, albeit armed with raincoats and umbrellas, for the occasion which began with a turning of the sod at the Kaiapoi site. Although Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey was reluctant to be photographed digging a hole one week out from the election, the rain overnight certainly helped soften the mud and provided an easy task for the spade-wielding VIPs. Doocey was joined by Mayor David Ayers and former Belgian Navy lieutenant commander Freddy Declerck.
Declerck is the chair of the Memorial Museum at Passchendaele and was responsible for the twinning between the two districts in 2007. He said it was exciting to see the makings of the track which would provide a lasting memorial for the lives lost at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. The battlefield is in the Zonnebeke region.
A second ceremony was held in Woodend to mark the start of the Rangiora to Woodend cycleway. Both projects are part of the government’s Urban Cycleways Programme.
Turning the fist sod of the Passchendaele Memorial Cycleway are MP Matt Doocey, Freddy Declerck of Zonnebeke and Waimakariri Mayor David Ayers.