$3 million to Northland cycle way

Prime Minister John Key, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman and Far North Mayor John Carter at the announcement of $3 ...
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Prime Minister John Key, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman and Far North Mayor John Carter at the announcement of $3 million in funding for Northland's Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

A further $3 million will be invested into a Northland cycle way as the Government and the Green Party announce the final piece of funding to complete the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.

Prime Minister John Key, who is in Waitangi for the National Party Northern Region Conference, made the announcement in nearby Opua, signalling the trail would be completed this year, nearly six years after the project began.  

It's one of a number of pre-budget announcements the Government was expected to make before Finance Minister Bill English unveiled the Government's seventh Budget on May 21.

The Government is working with the Far North District Council on the 84km trail, which will pass through the centre of the Far North District, from Hokianga Harbour on the west coast to the Bay of Islands on the east.

"The Twin Coast Cycle Trail is one of 23 Great Rides across New Zealand, 18 of which are already complete and open and which cover more than 2,500km of country," said Key.

It was expected the cycle trail, along with the other Great Rides, would drive significant tourism numbers to the region. 

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said working with the Government on the New Zealand Cycle Trail had been an important project.

"Put simply the cycle trail is good for people, good for our economy and great for our environment," he said.

"It is long standing Green policy for there to be a set of connected cycle trails around New Zealand. We want to see these great rides connect to urban cycle networks too."

In the lead up to the 2014 General Election, the Government committed to spend $100 million over four years on urban cycle ways.

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The new funding for the Twin Coast trail brought the total Government contribution to the Northland trail to $7 million and to nearly $55 million for the construction of trails Nationally.

The Far North District Council was expected to fund $1.8 million, on top of the Government's contribution, to complete the Twin Coast trail.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment would contractual obligations with the Far North District Council in the deal, which included determining project milestones, budget and timeframes.

 - Stuff

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