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Te Araroa gets support from Minister
The Walking Access Commission’s Board got a sunny opportunity to stroll with Walking Access Minister Hon Meka Whaitiri along a Paekākāriki stretch of Te Araroa this month.
The Minister noted Te Araroa’s value to New Zealand. She said she hoped to share it with many other people — from fellow ministers to tamariki at kohanga reo.
Te Araroa executive director Mark Weatherall said it was invigorating to see the awhina and support for the trail from the Board and the Minister.
“COVID-19 has highlighted that the trail is an asset that belongs to all New Zealanders,” says Weatherall. “People all over the country used the last year to walk a segment of our national trail.”
Weatherall says having the support of the commission and the Minister is making a big difference to the trail.
“We are moving more of the trail off roads onto safer tracks. We are working closely with landowners, improving our maps and raising the profile of the trail among New Zealanders. That allows our local volunteers to spend more time looking after and improving the trail for walkers,” says Weatherall.
The commission’s board meets 4 times each year. As well as Te Araroa, much of its recent work has focused on the commission’s strategy to engage with Māori, to progress recommendations for the review of the Walking Access legislation and to support projects to develop regional tracks and trails strategies.