Cycle Trail future to be in the hands of passionate locals
The New Zealand Cycle Trail is moving from the construction phase to setting the stage for its longer-term governance and management.
An establishment advisory board is being formed to oversee the year-long transition to an incorporated society - Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail Incorporated (NZCT Inc).
MBIE’s Cycle Trail Programme Manager John Dunn said, with more than 1800km of the 2400km cycleway completed and two further trails in Hawkes Bay and Queenstown to be opened shortly, it was time for governance to be handed over to the local organisations who built and operate the trails.
“Making the cycle trail an incorporated society would put it in the hands of passionate locals who have a real incentive to make it grow. NZCT Inc’s responsibilities would include developing and enhancing the New Zealand Cycle Trail brand, quality assurance and continuing to expand the trail network,” Mr Dunn said.
“The numbers of international cyclists coming to New Zealand has doubled since 2008. In terms of drawing people to New Zealand and showcasing some of the best scenery we have to offer, we expect the cycle trails to become as important as the Great Walks through our National Parks.
“It is about getting visitors and more kiwis out into our lesser known regions but the real benefits of the Cycle Trail will come from the development of new businesses – like cafés, accommodation and transport services – to support the riders.
“The locally operated Otago Rail Trail is already a great example - it attracts 20,000 cyclists each year who contribute more than $12m to the local economy.”
The advisory board will comprise four elected members and a Crown appointed Chair.
MBIE will continue to manage the contractual agreements for the cycle trails that are still under construction.
MBIE, DOC, NZTA and Tourism NZ - as key stakeholders in the New Zealand Cycle Trail - would regularly interact with NZCT Inc to grow the value of the Government’s investment.
The membership of NZCT Inc will include representatives of each of the Great Rides.