Funding Boost for Local Great Rides

The Great Rides in the Nelson Tasman region are set to be upgraded with an $87,000 funding boost from the Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trails Fund.

Trail use continues to increase year-on-year as Kiwis (and international visitors) discover the joy of cycling and this Fund aims to ensure that New Zealand’s 22 premier rides are maintained to a world class standard.

Gillian Wratt, Chair of the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust says, “more than 250,000 cyclists and pedestrians used Tasman’s Great Taste Trail in 2020, so some wear and tear is to be expected. With such high usage, it is important that the cycle trails are kept to a standard that gives visitors and locals a safe, enjoyable experience.”

The funding announced yesterday will go to cycle trails in different parts of the country. As part of the Government’s tourism strategy, the trails are helping to attract visitors to the regions. At a recent Great Ride Forum, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association, Chris Roberts, highlighted the Great Rides as one of the few bright spots in a sector that has been hit hard by Covid.

Annual Ngā Haerenga funding is available for maintaining, developing and promoting the New Zealand cycle trails. Some of this money is contestable and Nelson Tasman has been successful in obtaining funding for four out of the five projects that were submitted.

“We are thrilled to receive funding to upgrade the Tasman View section of trail, which is one of many wow factors of the Great Taste Trail. From this vantage you’re rewarded with 360° views of Tasman Bay/ Te Tai-o-Aorere and the Arthur Range/Wharepapa. However the current trail is shared with 4-wheel drive/motor bike use and is a bit rough in places. The funding will enable us to improve this section for cyclists. We have also received funding for trail shelters on this Trail.”

“On the Coppermine, the trail through the rocky tops and down intro the Maitai is spectacular but requires considerable maintenance. This new funding will allow purchase of rock crushing equipment, to provide a long-term solution to resurfacing remote and problematic areas of the trail.”

The NZCT funding is matched by local money, which this year will be a combination of support from Tasman and Nelson City Councils, Trust Reserves and Rotary. Gillian Wratt says that “the trails would not have grown without the generous support of the Councils, local landowners, businesses and community organisations. The government contribution should be seen as acknowledgement of the hard work and local support that has gone into the trails so far.”

For more information about the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust and the Coppermine Trail or Great Taste Trail, visit  ENDS