Plans to link South Auck­land and North Waikato track and trails

Walking New Zealand - - Walk Talk -

Tracks and trails ad­vo­cates met re­cently in Tuakau to plan in­fra­struc­ture that will link the boom­ing com­mu­ni­ties in South Auck­land and North Waikato. Pop­u­la­tions in the com­mu­ni­ties of Pukekohe, Po­keno and Tuakau are grow­ing dra­mat­i­cally. Lo­cal and cen­tral govern­ment plan­ners to­gether with com­mu­nity groups are al­ready plan­ning ma­jor changes in in­fra­struc­ture to link these com­mu­ni­ties. The New Zealand Walk­ing Ac­cess Com­mis­sion and the Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil brought to­gether peo­ple in­volved in tracks and trails to a work­shop to help de­velop a shared vi­sion for build­ing this in­fra­struc­ture. Jac­qui Church, Waikato District Coun­cil­lor for the Awaroa Tuakau Ward, was one of the driv­ing forces for the work­shop. She was in­spired by the work lo­cal trail groups were do­ing and had an epiphany that they could all work to­gether to bridge some of the po­lit­i­cal bor­ders between Auck­land and the Waikato. “We want to col­lect and share the plans and maps we al­ready have and bring them to­gether as a big­ger vi­sion.” She says the lo­cal trail groups now know they have more lo­cal and na­tional sup­port for the work they are do­ing. But a big­ger goal is en­sur­ing the Waikato-Auck­land bor­der has some lines in the sand be­fore it is over­whelmed by an avalanche of growth. Walk­ing Ac­cess Com­mis­sion Re­gional Field Ad­vi­sor Felic­ity Brough says the work­shop wants pro­vi­sion for a net­work of cy­cling and walk­ing paths and pro­tected green spa­ces that con­nect com­mu­ni­ties be­fore the new houses are built.

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