New Zealand's Tourism Minister Kevin Davis announced it was funding another $3.4 million to help improve and extend Waikato's Haurati Rail Trail -- for cycling and tourism. The announcement was made on April 13.
This is the second major investment to be made through the Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund and will see the trail extended from Miranda to Kaiaua at one end and from Te Aroha to Matamata at the other.
“This investment will bring the current 120 kilometres of trail up to about 168 kilometres, providing a more attractive multi-day ride that will encourage riders to stay longer in the region,” Mr Davis says.
“This longer trail, at an easy grade and finished to a world-class standard, is what the Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust had always envisaged, and it’s great to be able to help them reach their goal.
“The enhanced trail, which offers access to accommodation, food and beverage and a range of natural attractions, provides an excellent opportunity for business growth and job creation in the northern Waikato.
“There’s potential to develop a bigger international market for the trail. When it’s complete, each section of the trail will show off a different facet of the region – from the rich Māori and goldmining histories to the beauty of the Kaimai Ranges and the Coromandel Peninsula.
“Funding also covers a smaller project to install bike racks in Te Aroha created by local artist Adrian Worsley, whose quirky sculptures are made entirely from recycled materials and will be a unique feature of the trail.”
The central government contribution is being matched with funding from the Hauraki District Council, the Matamata-Piako District Council and the Te Aroha Business Association.
Extensions to the trail are expected to take up to two years to complete.
In February the Government announced $2.4m towards extending and upgrading the Tasman cycle trail.