Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key has announced a further $3 million will be invested in 2015/16 to help fund the completion of Northland’s Twin Coast Cycle Trail Pou Herenga Tai.
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,” says Mr Key.
“The Great Rides are the premier rides on the New Zealand Cycle Trail and have proven to be a significant driver of local and international tourism. The funding announced today will help build on that success and create more opportunities for Northland and New Zealand.”
The New Zealand Cycle Trail project was announced in 2009, with the objective of creating a high quality tourism asset that would attract more tourists, create jobs, and boost economic growth in the regions.
“Six years on, the New Zealand Cycle Trail is almost complete and is going from strength to strength,” says Mr Key.
“I acknowledge the ongoing support of the Green Party in its development.
“Reports from individual trails indicate more than 1,200 jobs have been created and that the trails are boosting regional economies. They are also proving increasingly popular with tourists.”
Mr Key says the trail has the potential to help rejuvenate small Northland towns such as Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Okaihau and Horeke, in the same way that towns along the Otago Central Rail Trail have benefitted since that trail was opened.
This new operating funding brings the total Government contribution to the Northland trail to $7 million and to almost $55 million to the construction of trails nationally.
The Far North District Council will also be responsible for raising the extra funding – approximately $1.8 million on top of the Government’s latest contribution – needed to complete the Twin Coast Cycle Trail.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will manage contractual obligations with the Far North District Council, including determining project milestones, budgets and timeframes.