Regular TRM readers have followed the progress (?) of the T2T (Taupo to Turangi bike trail proposal) over many years – the following is the latest update in the saga… First the message from Judell Wall followed by TRM’s response.
This group is for whanau,hapu, iwi, beneficiaries and owners in the affected partitions and land blocks that ‘Proposed Bike Trail from Turangi to Taupo’ will cross. While ‘Go Tongariro’ did a feasibility study in 2016, the great majority of affected land owners were not consulted until 21st December 2018.
This proposal affects Hautu, Tauranga Taupo, Opawa Rangitoto, Te Makomako and Tauhara Blocks.
This group provides a place to share information regarding the ‘Proposed Bike Trail’ so we can be proactive and we can access the same information easily. We do have the ability to scan documents like maps etc so they can posted. It will be easier to understand exactly how much land they they are trying to access.
Further to your message – that affected land owners were not consulted on the proposed bike trail – we need to confess that Tongariro River Motel (“TRM”) have been actively promoting this T2T (Taupo to Turangi) bike trail proposal for over ten years. The wider concept or long term aim is to link with the Tongariro River Trail and extend further south to Tree Trunk Gorge to provide a multi-day bike trail that will successfully compete with the Otago Rail Trail .
After the 2016 bike trail feasibility report was published – prepared by Perception Planning for the Turangi Trail Advisory Group of Go Tongariro – TRM held a meeting of several Kaumatua in FEBRUARY 2017. This meeting was also attended by the General Manager of DGLT (Destination Great Lake Taupo is Taupo Council’s tourist promotion organisation) plus four representatives from Taupo Council and Corrections Department (hoping they might assist in the construction of the trail?). The reason for the meeting was to acquaint them with the report which advised Maori had been consulted (?) as we were concerned they were unaware of the report. Their immediate response was complete approval for a tourist bike trail following the lake edge.
This can be confirmed by Damian Coutts of DGLT and other Council staff. Since then we have held several meetings with him and Council staff including their Head of Economic Development & Business, John Ridd, over the likely route and funding issues for this trail.
Immediately after the Feb 2017 meeting we met with our local Councillor, Tong Kingi who has since advised he has been progressively approaching all the iwi to make sure they were aware of the proposal. (To encourage support we suggested to Tong that it should be called the Tuwharetoa Trail?)
Since the Bike Trail Report, the “TURANGI ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY” dated September 2017 was published. On page 58 this identified the first priority, described as “transformational” for the future of Turangi, to be the T2T (Taupo to Turangi) bikeway.
After that the T2T was included in Taupo Council formal submission to Government (DOC) for this T2T to be part of a new Great Walk from Taupo via Turangi south to Tree Trunk Gorge and across to Whakapapa.
Over the last ten years it has been well publicised long before your meeting including feature articles in both local newspapers – Taupo Times and Turangi Taupo Weekender, so any of your members that read the local papers must have been aware of it.
Over the last ten years TRM Daily Reports and facebook have constantly promoted the T2T bike trail to Taupo Council as the key to the future progress of Turangi as a tourist town. Our last “official” submission was to the Mayor and CEO Green, for the T2T inclusion in the Council long term plan. Members of the Turangi Community Board attended this hearing. We reminded them then that TRM had made a similar request to the previous administration many years before when the Mayor was Rick Cooper.
For final evidence of how long this concept has been promoted, in the image below is the Taupo MP Louise Upston surveying the bike trail route proposed by the Advocates for the Tongariro River back in 2007! She and Taupo Council and everyone else have been aware of TRM efforts to promote the T2T since then!
If your group have any reservations over the proposal we suggest you contact iwi or kaumatua on the route of the Hauraki Bike Trail (extends from Te Aroha to Paeroa to Waihi and is now being extended further) to assess the economic and other tourism benefits (or identify any detrimental affects?) on their lives.