Fund makes outdoor access easier

Twenty-two projects designed to improve access to the outdoors will receive funding through the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's Enhanced Access Fund.

Fifty organisations applied for a portion of the $230,000 made available in this year's funding round. The contestable fund contributes to the Commission's goal of free, certain, enduring and practical walking access to the outdoors.

Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said 2012 grant recipients came from all over New Zealand, from the Brynderwyn Ranges in Northland to Mataura in Southland.

Projects that will receive funding range from new tracks and boardwalks to bridges and signage that makes existing access easier to find.

“Every year the quality and number of applications improves. There are some incredibly hard working groups out there with strong community support and it's always a challenge for our panel to select successful recipients.”

A project to create a walkway to the eastern shore and wetlands of Lake Wairarapa will receive the largest grant this year ($20,750). Led by community group Wairarapa Moana Wetland Project, the walkway is expected to open up the area to walkers, bird watchers, botanists and wetland enthusiasts.

Other groups receiving grants of $20,000 or more include the Mohikinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust ($20,000), to build a walking and cycling bridge on the Old Ghost Road cycle trail in the north west of the South Island, and Te Araroa Trust ($20,000), to assist access negotiations in five parts of the North Island.

Mr Neeson said some of the projects would still require agreement, consents and permissions from private landholders, local councils and iwi.

“We look forward to the completion of these projects. Not only will they benefit local communities, but they will also open up some of our country's most desirable spots for the enjoyment of domestic and international tourists,” he said.

The 2012 round of the Enhanced Access Fund is the third run by the Commission. It follows a successful 2011 round, in which eighteen projects received funding.

Among those that have been completed in the past year are the Lake Ngatu Track in Northland, the Purakaunui Inlet Track north-east of Dunedin and a project to signpost access to Waikato River Trails Trust walking and cycling tracks in the Waikato.

2012 Enhanced Access Fund grant recipients

Brynderwyn Ranges track - Mangawhai Tracks Charitable Trust ($7,641)
Funding for construction of 300 steps and accompanying signage on a new track to the summit of the Brynderwyn Ranges. Once complete, the track will link with existing Brynderwyn and Te Araroa walkways.

Home Bay Loop on Motutapu - Motutapu Restoration Trust ($15,435)
Funding for construction of a loop track in the hills around Home Bay on Motutapu - an island in the Hauraki Gulf. The new track will provide visitors with a two-hour bush and ridge walking experience offering stunning views out over the gulf.

Woodhill Heritage Trail - New Zealand Horse Recreation ($15,690)
Funding for construction of an 8km heritage trail through the commercial Woodhill Forest. The trail will include signage about the history of the forest, its ecology and the local Maori people.

Central North Island
National Park cycleway - National Park Village Business Association ($10,000)
Funding to assist creation of a cycleway and walkway that follows the historic Marton Sash and Door Company tramway near National Park Village. The funds will assist construction of a bridge and access signage on the route.

Te Ripo Punanga Restoration Project - Sisters of St Joseph Congregational Trust Board ($3,450)
Funding for gates, stiles and signs marking access to Te Ripo Punanga Restoration Project near Cullinane College in Whanganui. The project provides community access to a valley and wetland owned by the Sisters of St Joseph Congregational Trust Board.

Te Ara o Parera - Wairarapa Moana Wetland Project ($20,750)
Funding to create a walkway to the eastern shore and wetlands of Lake Wairarapa. The walkway is expected to open up the area to walkers, bird watchers, botanists and wetland enthusiasts.

Paekakariki Escarpment Loop Track - Nga Uruora - Kapiti Project ($13,250)
Funding to create a beach and bush loop walk starting at Paekakariki Railway Station. The walk will take walkers along Paekakariki Beach and through a nearby forest reserve.

Cycle and walkway from Paekakariki to Raumati South - Friends of Queen Elizabeth Regional Park (Kapiti) Trust ($7,000)
Funding to assist construction of a section of an all-weather cycling and walking track between Paekakariki and Raumati South through Queen Elizabeth Park.

Marlborough and Tasman
Grovetown Lagoon Access Track - Te Whanau Hou Grovetown Lagoon Society ($10,000)
Funding to assist construction of a 750m access track along the southern side of Grovetown Lagoon, north of Blenheim. The track is the first stage of a planned perimeter path around the lagoon.

Motueka Boardwalk - Keep Motueka Beautiful ($10,000)
Funding for construction of a boardwalk that will form the final section of the existing walking and cycling path around Motueka Estuary Inlet.

Takaka Hill Walkway signage - Queen Elizabeth II National Trust ($3,980)
Funding for signs to mark access on the Takaka Hill Walkway, near Motueka. The popular walkway offers panoramic views over the surrounding area.

West Coast
Bridge on Old Ghost Road - Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust ($20,000)
Funding to build a pedestrian and cycle bridge across Specimen Creek on Old Ghost Road, north of Murchison. The 80km Old Ghost Road is a designated 'Great Ride' and will form part of Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail once it's complete.

Kahikitea Walk extension - Murchison Community Resource ($10,320)
Funding for construction of a new 480m track that will connect the existing Kahikitea Walk and Riverside Track to form a 2.75km loop from Riverview Motor Camp, near Murchison.

Kawatiri Beach Reserve signs - Kawatiri Beach Reserve Advisory Group ($10,000)
Funding for signage marking access to Kawatiri Beach in Westport. The Kawatiri Beach Reserve Advisory Group plans to make the area a hub for recreational activities including walking and cycling.

Hurunui Trails Waipara Vineyard Loop - Hurunui Trails ($8,000)
Funding for a section of a walking and cycling trail through the Waipara Valley. The trail will stretch for approximately 35km and will take in historic farmland and local vineyards. The project will provide access to private land that has not previously been publicly accessible.

Southern Lakes
Newcastle Track - Upper Clutha Tracks Trust ($10,000)
Funding to assist creation of a 12.5km track that will provide walking, mountain biking and fishing access along the Clutha River, east of Wanaka. The new Newcastle Track will link with the existing Hawea River Track and the Upper Clutha River Track to create a loop.

Golden Lakes Discovery Loop - Queenstown Mountain Bike Club ($10,000)
Funding to assist creation of a walking and cycling loop track that will take in lakes Wakatipu, Moke and Dispute. The new Golden Lakes Discovery Loop will combine existing multi use tracks with mining pack tracks and water races to provide a scenic walkway for locals and visitors to Queenstown.

Lower Shotover Conservation Area Walking Access - Lower Shotover Conservation Trust ($4,007)
Funding for installation of a gate and construction of a new 500m trail linking the Lower Shotover Conservation Area to the neighbouring Tucker Beach Wildlife Reserve.

Otematata Wetlands Walkway - Otematata Residents Association ($5,400)
Funding for track markers and signs to mark access along the Otematata Wetlands Walkway, on the shores of Lake Aviemore.

Gabriel's Gully Walking Track - Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board ($10,000)
Funding to assist formation of the last 400m of a 4km walking and cycling track from Lawrence to historic Gabriel's Gully. Gabriel's Gully is the site where Australian prospector Gabriel Read struck gold in 1861, triggering the Central Otago goldrush.

Mataura Walkway Project - Mataura Community Board ($5,000)
Funding for construction of an 800m walkway providing access alongside a flood bank between Asquith Street and State Highway 1 in Mataura.

Access negotiations - Te Araroa Trust ($20,000)
Funding to assist access negotiations in the North Island. If successful, the negotiated access would result in some changes to the existing route of the Te Araroa pathway, which stretches 3,000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff. The changes would help ensure more desirable tracks in some areas.

Page last updated: Sep 8, 2020, 3:47 PM