Trail given big boost

HELEN MURDOCH
Last updated 10:26 02/11/2012
Sue and Dick Snell
HELEN MURDOCH/FAIRFAX NZ
RIDE ON: Sue and Dick Snell, left, with Coastal $800k Group member Lucy Hodgson and chairman John Kerridge.

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Motueka’s Dick and Sue Snell have dipped into their pockets to help put the Mapua to Kaiteriteri cycle trail on the map.

The retired couple said that though they had passed the stage of riding bicycles it was important the trail was finished so others could ride safely.

Nelson Cycle Trails trustee and Coastal $800k Group chairman John Kerridge said the Snells’ substantial donation would go towards the completion and upgrade of the trail from Mapua.

The couple, who have made Motueka their home for the past 20 years, said finishing the trail was ‘‘very important’’.

‘‘Young people need to get out and have fresh air and exercise. Plus cycling on the trail will be safer than the road,’’ Sue said.

John said the money raised by the $800k group was on top of funds put into the project by Tasman District Council for the Mapua to Riwaka section of the trail.

‘‘The council has allocated generous funding to help get the trail to grade three level but we need to upgrade that to grade one so it can be promoted as a Great Ride.’’

The Ministry of Economic Development has pledged $150,000 toward the trail from Riwaka to the Kaiteriteri Mountainbike Park, much of which is being spent on the Riwaka River cycle bridge.

John said the Snells’ generosity was timely and exactly what was needed to show that there were people prepared to back the project with whatever they could afford.

‘‘Donations can be of time and effort – not just cash.’’

He said the trail to Kaiteriteri was progressing well and the Riwaka River cycle bridge would be completed by Christmas.

‘‘We’re open for someone to come along and offer us some money to help support the bridge’s construction,’’ John said.

John said completing the whole 173-km trail, which would run from Nelson to Richmond where it looped to include Brightwater, Wakefield, Kohatu, the Motueka Valley, Motueka and Mapua, was a three- or four-year project.

‘‘But the trail to Kaiteriteri is one of the big features. It is going to happen, there is some work to be done – but the whole community will benefit by it coming to Motueka. The hard bit is getting it finished – once we do it will sell itself.’’

John said that once completed the Great Taste Trail would be one of 18 Great Rides around New Zealand.
Motueka business owners are invited to attend a meeting on November 20 from 5.15pm at the Sprig & Fern which will cover the trail’s progress. Those attending are welcome to bring along ideas on business opportunities.

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An up-to-date account of the trail’s progress was posted in the window of Whitwell’s Menswear.

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