News & Events
Southern Councils pleased with cycle trail announcementMonday, 27 July 2009
Prime Minister John Key's announcement today about seven "Quick Start" cycle trails is excellent news for Southland and Otago, southern council leaders say. The Mayors and Chair from the seven southern councils - Southland District, Queenstown-Lakes District, Central Otago District, Clutha District, Gore District, Invercargill City and Environment Southland - have worked together to promote the Around the Mountain Rail Trail and it is fantastic that the Prime Minister has included it in his "Quick Start" projects, Southland District Mayor Frana Cardno said.
In a speech to Local Government New Zealand today Mr Key said the Government had set aside $9 million from the $50 million New Zealand Cycleway Fund for projects earmarked for a "Quick Start."
Mr Key said that the first three large regional clusters were formed by 21 Mayors and Chairpersons in Northland, the Central and Eastern North Island, and the south of the South Island. These clusters, along with the Department of Conservation, have recommended a small number of projects they believe can be started this summer.
"This is a fantastic example of a cooperative approach that will be critical to the success of the Cycleway. The projects that have been selected for 'Quick Start' are: Waikato River Trail, Central North Island Rail Trail, Mount Ruapehu to Wanganui, St James Trail, Hokianga to Opua/Russell, Hauraki Plains Trail and Southland Around the Mountain Rail Trail.
"These are only the first set of projects for the New Zealand Cycleway. As the numbers of tracks grow, and cycle tourism increases, the numbers of jobs generated will increase," Mr Key said.
Mrs Cardno, Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Clive Geddes, Central Otago District Mayor Malcolm Macpherson, Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks, Clutha District Mayor Juno Hayes, Invercargill City Mayor Tim Shadbolt and Environment Southland Chair Stuart Collie had written a joint letter to Mr Key to support the trail.
The letter said the councils see the cycle trail project as adding to the portfolio of complementary tourist attractions in the region, which provide visitors with a unique and high quality experience.
"It is clear to us that visitors will move across boundaries and value diversity, but will also want consistency in the standard and quality of what we offer. For those reasons, and because of the benefits of joint promotion, we believe that co-operation across all districts is an attractive option."
"The Otago Central Rail Trail is an excellent example of the broad economic, community development and job-creation benefits of cycling-related recreation investments. There are a number of additional cycle trails in development in this Southern region where similar successes can be replicated.
"We see this proposal as initially setting up a cycle trail which will form the backbone of a wider network of trails."
Mrs Cardno said it was also a great example of councils working together and would hopefully form the basis for doing more together as a group.
"It's a win-win situation for us all. The trail will be great for economic development throughout the region and will bring more tourists, who can visit the many attractions Southland and Otago are well-known for."
This trail would form the backbone from which future cycle trails could be developed, including from Lumsden to Invercargill/Bluff and from Lumsden to Gore/Catlins Coast.
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