News & Events
Cycle way still progressing - slowlyFriday, 4 June 2010
The Around the Mountain cycle trail is still being worked on, albeit with slow progress. Southland District Council chief executive David Adamson said Venture Southland had been maintaining pressure on the Ministry of Tourism for funding. "However, we are only getting $4 million from the Government so we are going to need to stage the trail, with the first section from Walter Peak to Mossburn being created first," Mr Adamson said.
The national funding will cover the construction of that section, but Venture, Council and all other parties involved, including the communities along the trail, are adamant the rest of the trail will be built as well. The full economic benefit of the trail will not be recognised until the whole trail is completed, a point the Ministry appears to be missing.
"Staff and various groups are working hard to find ways to raise the rest of the funding, which is about another $7 million. The Government has changed the goalposts on us and we are working on modifying everything as quickly as possible to adapt to their changing demands," he said.
Mr Adamson hoped the whole project would be more of a partnership where all parties could see the full benefits of the project and work collectively to achieve a completed end result. The current philosophy appears to be to spread resources far and wide, which is not likely to achieve the Government's initial objectives, he said.
The Around the Mountain trail is a flagship trail and will provide a basis for other southern trails to lead off from.
The multi-day experience is a must for economic development and the section from Mossburn to Lumsden and then up through Athol and Garston and Kingston is seen as just as important as the first section.
To date only about 10km of new tracks in Prime Minister John Key's national cycleway has been constructed from the $50 million fund set up for the project a year ago. The souther trail was one of seven "quick-start" cycle trails.
"Southland District Council, Venture Southland and all other local organisations associated with the project are committed to turn this project into reality as we all believe it is so important for New Zealand and Northern Southland," Mr Adamson said.
He hopes that Central Government and local interests can align to deliver on the vision originally contemplated.
Who to contact
If you would like to discuss a matter on this page, feel free to contact us:
Southland District Council
P.O. Box 903
Phone: 0800 732 732
Fax: 0800 732 329