The Taranaki Trails Trust, Ara Hononga o Taranaki, was launched on Monday, November 2, at an event attended by more than 70 people.
A new website to showcase Taranaki as an emerging mountain biking trails destination was also launched.
The Taranaki Trails Trust has been formed by a group of passionate community people who want to connect Taranaki through trails and make the region a world class trails destination.
“The purpose of the Trust is to develop and support inspiring cycling and walking trails that create deep connections to the mana of our Taranaki Maunga, our region and our people," says chair Darryl Gaudin.
"All over New Zealand, great rides and trails have been set-up, but we’re lagging behind in Taranaki.
"With this Trust, we’re going to change that.”
The new website, www.taranakitrails.nz, has been developed to showcase the trails that already exist in Taranaki.
“We’ve got some great adventures in Taranaki – from our iconic coastal walkway, to the extensive mountain bike park at Lake Mangamahoe," says trustee Charlotte Littlewood.
"We want to showcase that to the rest of New Zealand and the world. We also recognise how much our tourism and hospitality industry has been hurting due to COVID-19, and want to do what we can to help attract more visitors to Taranaki."
The Trust’s flagship project is to create New Zealand’s next great ride.
“Rides like the Otago Rail Trail and Timber Trail have transformed the smaller rural communities around them," says trustee Stacey Hitchcock.
"We’ve got the beautiful Te Papakura o Taranaki (Egmont National Park) on our doorstep, and inspirational stories of our people and history to share. There’s so much potential to create something unique and special here."
The foundational trustees are chair Darryl Gaudin, secretary Charlotte Littlewood, treasurer Rob Haveswood, Ian Armstrong, Paul Roberts, Stacey Hitchcock, Darrel Nicholas and Blair Cox.
The Trust’s commitment to te reo MƒÅori is reflected in the words Ara Hononga o Taranaki. Ara is a pathway which gives us access to the beauty, stories and people of Taranaki. Hononga is the connection that these pathways will provide. Their hope is that through these connections awareness, appreciation and well being will be enhanced.