Govt funds five more cycle trails
The Government is putting up another $13.9 million for five more cycle trails, Prime Minister John Key said today.
It has now approved a total of $45.6 million for a series of 18 "Great Rides" that will take cyclists through some of New Zealand's most picturesque country.
Mr Key is also Minister of Tourism and the cycleway is one of his projects to boost the industry and the economy.
"All 18 trails on the New zealand Cycle Trail project have now had their funding confirmed," he said.
"This means all trails are either under construction or ready to enter the construction phase."
The five new trails are Bay of Islands to Hokianga, Hauraki Plains, Pathway of Fire (Rotorua), the Old Ghost Road (West Coast) and Roxburgh Gorge (Otago).
The Green Party said today's announcement meant another five communities would benefit from the project.
Spokesman Kevin Hague said he was at the launch of the Nga Ara Tuhono cycleway in Ohakune and it was being delivered by a combination of local council, iwi, community groups, businesses and children from local schools.
"The talk in the town is that there may now be enough people in town over summer to keep businesses open year-round, changing many jobs from seasonal ones held by out-of-towners to permanent, stable ones for locals," he said.
"The cycleway is a smart way to build up the resilience of local rural economies."