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Easement agreement grants way for construction to start on Kawatiri Coastal Trail
Diggers have started to build the first section of Kawatiri Coastal Trail.
And Walking Access Commission chief executive Ric Cullinane has just signed the agreements to grant an easement for the first section of the trail — a 5.8km section from Westport to Carters Beach. The agreements are between the landowners, the Commission, the Charleston-Westport Coastal Trail Trust and the Buller District Council. They set the terms and conditions for the construction and safeguarding of the enduring public access over the trail route.
Parliament’s undersecretary for regional economic development Fletcher Tabuteau said the project will employ over 30 local people in construction, project management, design, engineering, ecology and archaeology.
Around 18 construction workers have begun work on the Westport to Carters Beach section, which they expect to have open before Christmas.
When finished, the full 55 km trail from Westport to Charleston will be a family-friendly heritage cycle and walk trail. It will pass through gold rush heritage sites and areas of high significance to Ngāti Waewae.
The trail is being built to New Zealand Cycle Trail Grade 2 safety standards. It is mostly flat with some gentle climbs on smooth track so will be a pleasure for walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities. It will have several entrances and exit points so walkers and bikers can do short sections and communities along the trail can provide hospitality and tourism.
Trail builders anticipate the entire trail will be open for local, domestic and international users in 2022.