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APRIL 6th 1999

Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to present the Waihi Walkways project to you, I will give a brief overview of our group and what what the project entails, then I shall pass over to Owen Morgan for a few moments. Eric Lens and Mike Oldfield will then give you a brief summary of the work they have done to date as well how Council may contribute to and benefit from the project. If you wouldn’t mind keeping any questions until the end of the presentation this should ensure that we don’t overrun the time you have allowed us.

The idea of developing Waihi Walkways is not a new one, the walkway that is presently being developed from Gilmore Lake to Clarke St was first mooted about 90 years ago. The main objective of Waihi Walkways is to develop links between existing tracks so that a network of walks linking attractions and areas of interest is achieved. Waihi Walkways has been formed as a sub-committee of GO Waihi to focus purely on the walkways project. The Waihi Walkways committee consists of 10 individuals who are active members of other Environmental enhancement, promotional and tourism focused community groups. We had our first meeting last November and from there enlisted the help of two volunteers, Eric and Mike who are devoting at least 12 hours per week each to walking the existing and potential routes and who are producing detailed reports on their findings in order to have a solid knowledge base from which to develop.

Waihi Walkways are filling a part of the walkway jigsaw which is already being developed. The Maratoto Walkways Group are working from the Paeroa side to link with Golden Cross. Coeur, through the Consultative Group are discussing options within Mine owned land. DOC are undertaking the upgrade of Karangahake and Waitawheta walks, and we are focusing on the Waihi area with the aim of developing loop tracks both within Waihi and linking to those outlying areas. We already have the support of Waihi Gold. HELP are willing to participate with the physical development and maintenance of some tracks and we would now like to invite Council, DOC and Iwi to also contribute in which ever ways possible.

This project is creating a growing interest, the energy of the group is positive and motivated. The amount that has been achieved in 4 months is huge. This achievement is mainly due to the consistent quality hours that Eric and Mike are able to contribute, but is is also because of good communication and planning by the group as a whole. We are consciously having to pace our progress so that manageable steps are able to be achieved whilst keeping in our sight the overall long term goal - which is to be part of the development of an extensive walkway network.

I would like now to pass over to Owen before Eric and Mike make their presentations.

Tessa Mackenzie

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

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