Mangakino heritage trail gets official opening day
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.
Another 100km of cycle trails for locals to enjoy.