$18.85m cycle way projects approved

Eight new cycle ways have been approved at a cost of $18.85 million, the government announced today.

Acting Tourism Minister Jonathan Coleman said the cycle trails were in Opotiki/Gisborne, Taupo, Hawke's Bay, Nelson/Tasman, Westport, Mount Cook/Waitaki, Queenstown and Clutha.

Dr Coleman said the projects followed feasibility studies submitted to the Ministry of Tourism in May.

Construction would begin this summer.

"These trails will showcase the very best that New Zealand has to offer in terms of our landscapes, culture and communities. They will be a key draw card for both international and domestic visitors and add a further dimension to our vibrant tourism sector.

Today's announcements brings to 13 the number of cycle trails approved for funding under the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, which was a jobs summit initiative.

Dr Coleman said there were four trails which required further investigative work before funding could be commmitted - Rotorua's Thermal by Bike trail, the Ruepehu to Whanganui trail, Old Ghost Road trail on the West Coast and the Roxburgh Gorge trail in Alexandra. Decisions were expected by October.

The Tauranga Moana trail had been declined for funding because there was too mucy uncertainty about access.