Fourth sec­tion of rail trail open


Strong head winds didn’t stop cy­clists from try­ing out the new sec­tion of the Hau­raki Rail Trail on Novem­ber 18.

The new Puko­rokoro-Mi­randa to Kopu sec­tion of the Hau­raki Rail Trail was of­fi­cially opened with a full day of events.

There were dawn cer­e­monies at both at the Robert Find­lay Wildlife Area at Pu¯ko­rokoro-Mi­randa and at the Kopu bridge at the start of the rail trail.

The bless­ings were fol­lowed by an of­fi­cial open­ing at Kopu and a fun, fam­ily event with lots of ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages and plenty of spot prizes.

In the af­ter­noon, there was a best dressed bird com­pe­ti­tion for chil­dren and adults.

Prizes in­cluded a Red Trek Pre­caliper youth bike from Thames Jol­lyBikes, and two tick­ets for the Whi­tianga Water­ways Sum­mer Con­cert, cour­tesy of Coro­man­del’s More FM.

There were three pit stops along the new sec­tion of trail, with a lo­cal school or com­mu­nity group sell­ing food and drinks and the op­tion for walk­ers and cy­clists to take a free shut­tle to Kopu.

Hau­raki Plains Col­lege Te Wao Kahika kapa haka group per­formed dur­ing the day, along with Thames Val­ley Rock­ers and L&P Rock­ers, Dance Academy Paeroa, Steam Punk Flash Mob, Thames Youth Cen­tre Hip Hop and guest singers and mu­si­cians.

Hau­raki Rail Trail Gen­eral Man­ager Diane Drum­mond wanted to ac­knowl­edge the con­tri­bu­tion to the rail trail by the three coun­cils, Hau­raki Dis­trict Coun­cil, ThamesCoro­man­del Dis­trict Coun­cil and Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil.

‘‘They’ve just done a fan­tas­tic job work­ing to­gether and work­ing be­side me to en­sure we take this trail from good to great,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s taken us five years to be an overnight suc­cess so I think we’re get­ting there.’’

There are cur­rently four sec­tions of the trail open to cy­clists and walk­ers. Other sec­tions in­clude Thames to Paeroa, Paeroa to Te Aroha and Paeroa to Waihi.

A fifth sec­tion, from Te Aroha to Mata­mata, is un­der de­vel­op­ment, with work set to be­gin shortly.

Coro­man­del MP Scott Simp­son, left, with Mata­mata-Pi­ako mayor Jan Barnes, Hau­raki mayor John Tregidga and Thames-Coro­man­del mayor San­dra Goudie.

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