Oh dear – TRM are back on their biking theme again. Borrrrring…
But Tongariro River anglers need to realise we are motivated entirely on your behalf. If this trail succeeds it will substantially increase the river fishing opportunities in summer months. Nothing else will match it to increase angling access up the Tongariro River.
i.e. If the existing Tongariro River Trail is extended south to link with the Poutu Dam (where existing DOC managed bike trails extend through to the Pillars of Hercules and south in the Kaimanawas to Tree Trunk Gorge) this will provide anglers access to the upper Tongariro River pools that are only accessible by raft at present. OK? So there is method in our madness and enthusiasm for new bike trails.
But please keep it to yourself and don’t tell Toe-Paw Council. They have not promoted trout fishing for over 25 years and recent history has proved they do not not want to do anything that may encourage tourism to the southern end of Lake Taupo.
We understand. They are traditionally greedy and selfishly want to look after their ratepayers at the northern end of the lake. But the biggest industry in Turangi and Taupo region and throughout NZ is called “tourism” so we have to win eventually. The $$$ commercial benefits will drive it in the end.
Cycling network promises regional benefits
One cycle trail body may soon rule them all in the Waikato bringing with it 100,000 extra visitors and 160 new jobs.
Economic development agency Te Waka and the Waikato Regional Council have commissioned a business case to identify how to maximise the economic, business and employment opportunities associated with the region’s cycle trails.
It comes amid the recent Waikato Economic Summit identifying cycle trails and their wider economic benefits as one of the top three economic development opportunities in the region.
The case suggests bringing the region’s Hauraki Rail Trail, Timber Trail, Waikato River Trails, the Great Lake Trail, and Te Awa River Ride together under the Waikato Regional Cycle Trail Network (WRCTN).
(If they are really aiming at tourists trails then TRM have suggested the T2T [Taupo-to-Turangi] and Tongariro River Trails to be included as priorities as well, as it is our rates to Waikato Regional Council being contributed. Otherwise Turangi will be overlooked – again.)
The network is made up of trail trusts, district councils, regional council,Te Waka, New Zealand Transport Agency, Department of Conservation, Hamilton and Waikato Tourism, Destination Coromandel and Destination Great Lake Taupō.
A regional approach to the development of the trails would be taken, rather than the trails being limited by local capacity and funding availability.
Te Waka chief operating officer Harvey Brookes said the cycle trails were a “potential game-changer” for the region.
“Our interest is in the economic growth and job benefits which the trails can facilitate- helping to connect and link destinations, events and assets, to create high-value multi-day visitor experiences.
“The development of trails can open up business and jobs opportunities in food and retail, cultural and event tourism hospitality and destination development that might not otherwise exist, or which might not exist to the same extent,” he said.
But South Waikato District Council economic development manager Paul Bowden said funding from WRCTN members won’t be impacted for three years. A total of $737,000 is needed during that period.
“The proposal is that a funding application will be made to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to fund the establishment of the network and operating cost for years 1-3,” he said.
The Waikato Regional Council will contribute 9 per cent of the funding needed and other members what they have already allocated through the likes of Long Term Plans.
Bowden said there was a need for the network.
“By working more coherently as a network and having dedicated staff managing that network then we have the opportunity to grow both national and international visitors.
“They estimate another 100,000 visitors over 10 years and that will create another 160 jobs by 2029,” he said.
“Cycling is already a big part of the community and Bike Taupō wish to join some trails together to make it better.
“Remember this is a long term strategy. It may be 20 years before the stars align and some projects are able to be undertaken,” he said.
The South Waikato, Hamilton City, and Hauraki District Councils have voted to support the move, while Thames-Coromandel, Waikato, Matamata-Piako and Waitomo District Councils are yet to deliberate.