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Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost

The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.

"This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities for the Ruapehu district,"Jones says.

"The funding will help Ruapehu District Council to develop two new shared use trails from T≈´roa to Ohakune, to Horopito and Erua. This will create a continuous path from Mount Ruapehu to Whanganui and the Tasman Sea that can be completed by users over a number of days, taking them on a journey through two national parks and breath-taking scenery.

"This region has been waiting a long time for this project, which has been talked about for a number of years. I am happy that the Provincial Growth Fund has been able to contribute to it, particularly at a time when local economies need a boost," Jones says.

A number of existing trails in the region will also be upgraded, improving access to the landscape and World Heritage areas and creating a more sustainable visitor experience.

When complete, the trails are expected to attract more than 27,000 visitors to the region, and will create up to 127 local jobs through construction, maintenance and ongoing operation.

"Increased visitor stays and spending will be great news for local businesses, employers and iwi. Ngāti Rangi and Uenuku will have the opportunity to develop initiatives to manaaki (welcome) trail users through an area of immense cultural value," Jones says.

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