The Government has confirmed a $13 million contribution towards a Queenstown-Central Otago cycle trail that is expected to create 329 full-time jobs.
Central Otago Queenstown Trails Steering Trust steering group chairman Stephen Jeffery welcomed the money and said it assured the future of the $26m project.
The funding was promised by then-Prime Minister John Key in May 2016 but only confirmed this week after a business case had been prepared and analysed.
Once the 122km of new trails is complete there will be a 530-kilometre continuous cycle trail network across the Otago region between Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell, Alexandra and Roxburgh.
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said the trail was part of the proposed extension of Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail, which will connect four existing Great Rides and link 30 communities.
It is estimated the number of people riding the trail will more than double to 174,000 by 2032 and the average length of time that trail users stay in the area will increase by 33 per cent.
A resource consent application for the 35km section from Cromwell to Clyde had been lodged with Central Otago District Council.
It included easements agreed with four private land owners and others with Land and Information New Zealand and the Department of Conservation. An operational easement had been agreed with Contact Energy, the operator of the Clyde Dam.
Debbie Jamieson – Stuff August 9th 2018