Hauraki Herald 1.06.2007
Council money keeps walkway plan on track
By Mathew Grocott
A plan to create a network of walking tracks in the upper Coromandel has taken a big step towards reality with the Thames Coromandel District Council agreeing to put $84,000 into the plan.
The Coromandel on Track - Haurahi Ora Walkway project will include the construction of more than three kilometres of new tracks.
At Wednesday's full meeting the council voted unanimously to support the plan once legal access agreements form affected land owners were sighted.
In 2004 TCDC received a funding request from the Coromandel Independent Living Trust (CILT) for a walkway in Coromandel township. The council approved the grant in principle subject to public consultation and funding of just under $55,000 being approved by the Coromandel/Colville Community Board.
The aim of the Coromandel on Track programme is to create a system of walkways, both new and restored, in the upper Coromandel Peninsula.
"A lot of the old paths and tracks are becoming overgrown, disused and ultimately lost," TCDC Coromandel area coordinator Margaret Harrison said.
"A lot of these tracks were created by the first settlers to the Coromandel and area huge part of our rich history.
"This project will not only provide an easily accessible walkway for locals but encourage visitors into the area and provide new employment opportunities for the town."
The idea for the project came from a conversation between CILT manager Mike Noonan and a Coromandel resident who lamented the fact a lot of old tracks were becoming overgrown, disused and lost.
The business plan provided to TCDC by CILT said the construction of the first track, the Harray Walking Track, will create three fulltime jobs as well as boost tourism and provide new opportunities for wildlife education.
The track runs from the existing Kauri Track on Jacks Point across DOC land, Coromandel Golf Club land and Matt Harray's land to Rings Rd. However the group hopes further development of neighbouring land will enable the track to eventually exit closer to Frasers Reserve.
Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand
Send e- mail to: Waihi Walkways