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A tracks and trails strategy to link South Auckland and Waikato
Tracks and trails advocates met yesterday in Tuakau to plan infrastructure that will link the booming communities in South Auckland and North Waikato.
Populations in the communities of Pukekohe, Pokeno and Tuakau are growing dramatically.
Local and central government planners together with community groups are already planning major changes in infrastructure to link these communities.
The New Zealand Walking Access Commission and the Waikato Regional Council brought together people involved in tracks and trails to a workshop to help develop a shared vision for building this infrastructure.
Jacqui Church, Waikato District Councillor for the Awaroa Tuakau Ward, was one of the driving forces for the workshop.
She was inspired by the work local trail groups were doing and had an epiphany that they could all work together to bridge some of the political borders between Auckland and the Waikato.
We want to collect and share the plans and maps we already have and bring them together as a bigger vision.
She says the local trail groups now know they have more local and national support for the work they are doing. But a bigger goal is ensuring the Waikato-Auckland border has some lines in the sand before it is overwhelmed by an avalanche of growth.
Walking Access Commission Regional Field Advisor Felicity Brough says the workshop wants provision for a network of cycling and walking paths and protected green spaces that connect communities before the new houses are built.
Children should be able to walk and cycle to their school along good tracks, and they should be able to see their parents doing the same as they commute between townships.
Photo of workshop participants discussing a walk and cycle trail strategy for the region