Man­gakino her­itage trail gets of­fi­cial open­ing day

South Waikato News - - Out & About - STEPH RANGI

A two year project for the small com­mu­ni­ties of Man­gakino and Whaka­maru is al­most at the end point with the of­fi­cial open­ing of their her­itage trails.

The Man­gakino/ Whaka­maru Her­itage Trails will of­fi­cially be opened and blessed on Thurs­day from 11am.

The ma­jor­ity of the pro­ceed­ings, in­clud­ing a powhiri, will take place at Poukani Marae in Man­gakino township, fol­lowed by the bless­ing.

An in­vi­ta­tion by Man­gakino Com­mu­nity Led De­vel­op­ment Lead­er­ship Group (MCLD) has been ex­tended to all, in­clud­ing past res­i­dents of the town.

‘‘Peo­ple are com­ing from out of town, with some of them in their 90s,’’ MCLD spokesper­son, Lisa de Thierry said.

Ten her­itage trail mark­ers and two her­itage in­for­ma­tion pan­els will be rev­e­lead and blessed at Man­gakino, while five her­itage mark­ers and one her­itage in­for­ma­tion panel will be blessed at Whaka­maru.

While the mark­ers and pan­els were a two year project, they were also part of the com­mu­nity led de­vel­op­ment project, which is a four year process, sup­ported by the Depart­ment of In­ter­nal Af­fairs.

The trails were a com­mu­nity wish and com­mu­nity driven.

‘‘[The trails] were iden­ti­fied after com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tions. It will give vis­i­tors a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence, [and] hope­fully they will stay a bit longer,’’ de Thierry said

De Thierry said the open­ing will be a real cel­e­bra­tion and it will be an event where peo­ple can come back to the township and tell a few sto­ries of the town that was only meant to last 30 years.

When putting to­gether the mark­ers and pan­els, de Thierry said they have sup­ported the lo­cal econ­omy and tried to keep as much of the work within the com­mu­nity.

The her­itage trails are a new de­vel­op­ment, which cel­e­brate lo­cal his­tory and pro­vides both towns­folk and vis­i­tors an­other ac­tiv­ity to en­joy.

Wind­ing tracks take in na­tive bush, ex­otic for­est, his­toric land­marks, rock for­ma­tions, farms, wet­lands and of course ex­ten­sive lake and river views.

DES­TI­NA­TION GREAT LAKE TAUPO

An­other 100km of cy­cle trails for lo­cals to en­joy.

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