John Key Launches First Cycle Trail Project


Great news for cyclists. Talk has turned into action. The first New Zealand Cycle Trail project, the Waikato River Trail, has been launched this clcylemorning.

The prime minister turned the first sod at Waipa Domain on the banks of the Waikato River.

He also announced the brand name for the cycleway, which will be Nga Haerenga, meaning ‘the journeys’ and will be used in offshore marketing in conjunction with 100% Pure New Zealand and also on track signage.

The two new sections run from Waipapa Dam to Lake Karapiro, and from Whakamaru to Mangakino and will be completed in time for the Rowing World Cup at Lake Karapiro in October next year

The $3 million to complete these two sections of the Waikato River Trail will be funded from the National Cycle Trail Fund. Mr Key said that the 41 kilometre section of the Waikato River Trail is the last section of a 100 kilometre cycle track that will follow the Waikato River, and pass five hydro lakes in some of the most scenic countryside in New Zealand.

“That this project is so advanced already is a credit to the tremendous support from the community, Mighty River Power, and other corporate sponsors. This is fundamental to the ongoing success of cycle trail projects.”

“It is exciting to see the first of the seven Quick Start trails underway and to also unveil the National Cycle Trail brand. This will become an immediately recognised symbol for the cycleway all over New Zealand,” says Mr Key.

The seven are

  • the Waikato River Trail
  • Central North Island Rail Trail
  • Mount Ruapehu to Wanganui,
  • St James Trail, Hokianga to Opua/Russell
  • Hauraki Plains Trail
  • and Southland Around the Mountain Rail Trail

Green MP Kevin Hague, who biked 30km from Cambridge to get there, adds that while the tourism benefits of the Cycle Trail project are obvious, less obvious are the massive health benefits that will flow from encouraging Kiwis to get on their bike.

He says the Cycle Trail project has a highly successful precedent overseas. The UK National Cycle Network (SUSTRANS) was started with seed funding of £43 million in 1995.

The Network now consists of over 10,000 miles of signed cycle routes carrying 386 million journeys in 2008. That usage realised £270 million in health savings and offered potential carbon emissions savings of 493,000 tonnes.

“For every £1 spent on the UK’s cycle network, they’re now realising up to £18-£40 in benefits, particularly where the cycleway runs through urban areas.” But the Greens also want to accompany their enthusiasm for the project with a call for better safety for cyclists.

The party is promoting BikeNZ’s 1.5m campaign by introducing a Member’s Bill to the House which will require motorists to give cyclists 1.5 meters of space when passing.

The prime minister argues the cycleway will generate lasting economic, social, and environmental benefits for communities. Mr Key allocated $9 million out of the $50 million set aside for the cycleway in the Budget for the tracks. The idea of a national cycleway was conceived at the Jobs Summit, which looked at ideas to get NZ through the recession .

* Government FAQ on Cycle Trail Project




  1. While we are talking about the First New Zealand Cycle Trail project, the Waikato River Trail, has been launched by Prime Minsiter - General - AKT, phenomenon, Using the proper motor oil - the type recommended by your manufacturer - can increase fuel efficiency by 1%.


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