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Outdoor access projects to receive Walking Access funding
The New Zealand Walking Access Commission has awarded more than $60,000 in funding to organisations across the country working to enhance recreational access in the outdoors.
The funding was made available through the Commission's contestable Enhanced Access Fund. The fund supports collaborative projects that enhance enduring access in New Zealand's great outdoors for current and future generations.
Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said nine organisations had been awarded funding in the 2013 round. Successful applicants come from across New Zealand, from Maungatapere in Northland to Signal Hill in Dunedin.
“We received requests for assistance to fund projects worth a total of nearly half a million dollars, so it's not an easy decision. The level of enthusiasm and determination to improve access into the outdoors is impressive and it's always a challenge for our panel to make its selections.”
The largest grant this year was $20,000, which went to Te Araroa Trust to assist negotiations for new, improved routes on Te Araroa Pathway. The 3,000km pathway traverses the length of New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
Other organisations receiving larger grants were Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway Society ($12,000), to survey and create an easement that will provide enduring access for Te Ara Kahikatea Walkway and Cycleway, near Te Puke, and Sustainable Wairarapa ($8,000), to create a public access easement and walking track across private land between Carter Reserve and the Ruamahanga River, near Carterton.
Mr Neeson said the Commission had tightened the criteria for funding in the 2013 round to ensure the money was prioritised towards projects that obtain certain and enduring access through negotiation and legal processes.
“In doing this, we have created a more sustainable fund that will help hard working organisations and groups to create access that will stand the test of time”.
Since the fund began in 2010, 62 projects have been approved to receive funding. Among those that have been completed in the past year include a walking track around Grovetown Lagoon in Marlborough, a bridge providing access to the Brynderwyn Ranges in Northland and a cycleway on the old Marton Sash & Door Tramway in Ruapehu District.
2013 Enhanced Access Fund recipients
Enhanced access on Te Araroa Pathway - Te Araroa Trust ($20,000)
Funding to assist negotiations to secure access on new Te Araroa Pathway routes. Te Araroa is a collection of tracks that combine to make up a continuous 3,000km pathway traversing the length of New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
Access to Maungatapere Mountain - Maungatapere Mountain Trust ($3,000)
Funding to legalise and signpost access across private land to the top of Maungatapare Mountain, near Whangarei.
Bay of Plenty
Te Ara Kahikatea Walkway and Cycleway - Te Ara Kahikatea Pathway Society ($12,000)
Funding to construct fencing and create a public access easement to secure practical access for a new walkway and cycleway on the outskirts of Te Puke. The Te Ara Kahikatea Walkway and Cycleway will provide a scenic loop taking in four Western Bay of Plenty District Council reserves, two rail bridges, and part of the Waiari Stream.
Pohangina River access walkway - Pohangina Valley Community Committee ($5,150)
Funding for construction of fencing and creation of an easement across private land as part of a project to develop a walking loop track to the Pohangina River, north of Palmerston North.
Ruamahunga River access via Carter Reserve - Sustainable Wairarapa ($8,000)
Funding to assist with creation of an easement and walking track that will provide secure access across private land between Carter Reserve and the Ruamahanga River, near Carterton.
Whareroa Farm East Ridge Track - Whareroa Guardians Community Trust ($2,862)
Funding for signs and marker poles to enhance access for horse riders on the Whareroa Farm reserve's East Ridge Track. Whareroa Farm, near Paekakariki, provides recreational opportunities for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Marlborough and Tasman
River access signs - Fish & Game NZ, Nelson/Marlborough Region ($2,500)
Funding for construction of signage marking public access points to rivers in the Nelson and Marlborough region.
Motupipi Hill access - Rata-Tui Restoration Trust ($3,282)
Funding for fencing, a gate and a culvert to enhance access to Motupipi Hill, near Takaka. The area includes a range of walking and cycling tracks that are popular with outdoorspeople.
Signal Hill-Cleghorn Street track - Mountain Biking Otago ($6,670)
Funding to negotiate and formalise an easement that will secure access for a new walking and mountain biking track between Signal Hill and Cleghorn Street in Dunedin.