09.05.2000: Proposal Aired Publicly


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LEADER, Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Walkways proposal aired publicly

Waihi Walkways first public meeting was held at Waihi Gold's education facility recently.

About 30 people were present and a visual presentation was made by Eric Lens with colour slides and photographs explaining the concept and locations of the proposed walking tracks.

Interested parties present were from Hauraki District Council and Environment Waikato. A letter of apology was received from the Department of Conservation.

Mr Lens told the audience they had had extensive consultation with potentially affected land owners. "Almost everyone spoken with was supportive and positive," he said.

Waihi ward chairman Sel Baker complimented the committee and Mr Lens on the presentation. "It was very professional, very thorough, very clear and well presented and should give confidence to everyone," he said.

College Teacher and walkways committee member Warwick Buckman said research showed that a large part of the district's tourist base came from Europe and Britain and that walkways emanating from the urban environment were what they were used to. Kiwi walkways always tended to require a substantial car journey before beginning the walk. "Ours tend to be divorced," he said, citing the example of our forestry tracks.

Colin Dray asked about flooding of some of the walkway when the river rises. Mr Lens said they were looking at making fixtures robust enough to withstand the onslaught and perhaps using markers like road pegs that bend.

Rien van de Weteringh, Land Management Officer with Environment Waikato, was present. EW have been involved with the Habitat Enhancement Landcare Partnership initiative in conjunction with Hauraki District Council. He says there is money available from the environmental initiative fund. "We're really impressed with what they've done so far," Mr van de Weteringh said.

Eric Lens said there has been reasonably good feedback from people since the meeting and he was hoping to move on and get closer to actually beginning work on the walkways . A meeting with district councillors to present a proposal in regard to the council-owned Lawrence Road property which is an important part of the river walkway will be held soon.

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

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