Taupo Council Long Term Plan:
Taupo District Council, bless them, have invited submissions for their LTP – 10 year Long Term Plan. We really had several priorities that need to be promoted, like reopening the Turangi museum, opening the underground power station for tourists, promoting trout fishing, etc. but to give them a break, to be fair to others, we decided to chose just one proposal from our wish list, the one which TRM inmates suggest would do the most to secure Turangi’s future prospects.
TRM’s submission is for the long awaited tourist bike trail link with Taupo north and Tree Trunk Gorge south. This is right up there with either Government’s preferred tourist policy and ticks all the boxes to qualify as a no-brainer in terms of potential economic success.
So how could we fail?
TRM’s brief submission was to develop the T2T (Taupo to Turangi) bike trail following SH1 along the eastern side of Lake Taupo and beyond to link several other DOC (Department of Conservation) trails south. When they asked if we wanted to be “heard” on our proposal we ticked that box. Now TRM have been allowed a brief ten minute slot next Wednesday to convince them of the merits of the bike trail…
The question is how? There are over 70 other proposals also waiting to be heard – over 50 in Taupo on Monday & Tuesday and more in Turangi on Wednesday. By then the panel will be understandably bored out of their tree struggling to listen to all the others droning on and inevitably they will be lucky to remember only a few that take their fancy.
So how do we really impress and convince them? This needs a devious plan. When it comes to devious plans SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed manages the motel and anything else She sees) is in a master class all on Her own. So this is where She suggests you come in! TRM represent you all. Use people power via the internet… Brilliant!
SWMBO suggests the best motivation for any Council is good public exposure and the fear of ridicule. If it is good, they love it. If it is bad, ….! That is why TRM’s visionary proposal will attract their full attention. They will discover to their joy (or horror?) that there are thousands of you out there in cyber space watching and waiting anxiously in anticipation for a positive TDC decision to make this T2T a reality.
None of the other submissions or concepts or proposals have anything like your backing or power of persuasion.
How can it possibly fail, when you will be delighted to learn that in TDC’s own consultants report in 2017 – “Turangi Economic Development Strategy” – this trail was considered the top priority – described as “transformational” for the economic future survival of Turangi.
With your support it must succeed… Your submission follows: Thank you all.
Watch this space…
TRM’s Submission for TDC’s Long Term Plan:
A feasibility study of the Turangi to Taupo bike trail was completed in 2015 with supporting statistics from TRC (Tourism Resource Consultants).
In 2016 they estimated within 5 years over 20,000 tourists would use the trail between Turangi and Motuoapa to generate between $2.87 & $4.71 million annual income.
The continued growth of biking/walking trails has been remarkable. Biking is the new golf, etc. TRC confirm one in every four visitors, who participate in a walking or biking activity, stay longer and spend more. Based on the success of other trails – Timber Trail, Hauraki Trail, etc. we believe these $$$ forecasts are now conservative.
i.e. On both these trails new tourist accommodation was developed due to high demand from visitor numbers. Comparatively several motels on SH1 along this eastern edge of Lake Taupo have closed in the last five years…
Formal and informal discussions (by Turangi Councillor Tong Kingi) with land owners and trustees of multiple owned blocks of land have continued for over the last year. We understand they have nearly all been consulted and are equally enthusiastic about supporting the trail. To them it is needed as much as a long term business creation scheme as a tourist trail. They cannot afford further delays. It is now time to commence development.
Since then, in November 2017, TDC prepared a submission to DOC for this trail to be part of the next Great NZ Walks extending from Taupo through Turangi to Whakapapa.
Much of the trail south of Turangi is linking existing DOC tracks. Only the Turangi to Taupo section involves new trails.
The initial first step needed will be to link Turangi via the Tongariro River Trail to Lake Taupo at Stump Bay and on to Motuoapa. DGLT (Destination Great Lake Taupo – Damian Coutts) are totally supportive of this proposal and have already investigated the likely route.
From Taupo the lakefront “Lions Walk” already extends their popular biking/walking trail to Waitahanui.
Nothing else is more important to encourage tourist growth to secure the economic future of Turangi. i.e. TDC’s own demographic projections indicate Turangi population could fall 25% in the next 25 years (from 3,340 in 2013 to 2,475 in 2043). Property values struggle as there are limited employment opportunities and limited demand. The demand is for holiday homes rather than from new permanent residents.
i.e. Recently one Auckland buyer invested in seven properties to rent out as Airbnb holiday homes – for about the same price as an average house in Auckland..
For Turangi residents it is more important to provide long term employment as a tourist trail – in addition to initial short term jobs during construction.
Irrefutable evidence from other trails (i.e. Hauraki Trail) confirms the growth of other localised business to support bike trails. It would be a win-win for everyone.
The completion of this trail will increase international awareness for Taupo region as a biking destination – already claiming to be the “bike hub” of the North Island.
As a result Taupo misses out on events such as the “Tour Aotearoa” bike-packing market from Cape Reinga to Bluff. This has been a huge success.
i.e. In February 2018 over 600 bikers left on the Tour Aotearoa. None visited Taupo. Completion of this new “Great Walk” through to Whakapapa could bring the “Tour Aotearoa” (NZ’s 3000 km bike-packing odyssey) bikers following the same route to Taupo.
i.e. It was subject to a feature article in the January 2010 issue of Wilderness Magazine.
A video prepared in 2011 featured the MP and Mayor supporting the proposal.
Taupo Times, 12 February 2016 heading was “Taupo to Turangi bike trail reaches stage two” (?) etc.
Meanwhile over the same time frame other trails – i.e. Waihaha etc. have been conceived and completed…
It is time the construction of this biking/walking trail to link Tuangi with Lake Taupo and Motuoapa commenced…
Thank you in anticipation.