Share of cycle trail debated
A Mackenzie district councillor is worried the district will not be doing its fair share in promoting the Alps to Ocean cycle trail.
The district council has not joined its Waitaki counterparts in funding promotion of the 310km Aoraki-Mt Cook to Oamaru trail, despite the fact the Government has already pledged $2.75 million towards its establishment.
Instead, the council has guaranteed to fund only $125,000 over the next three years towards its maintenance.
However, councillor Annette Money asked Mayor Claire Barlow at a council meeting yesterday whether the Waitaki counterparts felt Mackenzie was doing enough. "I'm worried whether we're seen to be pulling our weight on this. This is a big thing for the region, and we need to be working together (with Waitaki)."
Mrs Barlow said she was due to meet Waitaki mayor Alex Familton to discuss the issue.
"We need to find out what our responsibilities are under the terms of reference," she said.
The Waitaki District Council has indicated it would spend more than $384,000 on the trail over the next two years, with one-third of that money going towards the trail's marketing.
Cr Graeme Page said Mackenzie was right not to get involved with setting up any business ventures.
"We've already got a number of private operators setting up around the cycle trail. It's the council's job to provide the framework, and not to run a business," he said.
However, Cr Money, who is a representative on the Alps to Ocean steering committee, said she felt the council had not really debated the issue.
Cr Page said most people who submitted on the long term plan did not want the council to take "too many risks" with the cycle trail.
Tourism Waitaki chairwoman Annabel Berry said it was in the process of recruiting someone to oversee the trail's marketing and promotion.
According to the most recent update on the cycleway, of the 123km to build, 33km was complete, 36km was under construction, and about 54km of construction was to be started.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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