Prime Minister John Key announced on World Tourism Day, 23 September 2010, that funding of $13.9 million has been approved for five more cycle trails forming part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project. This announcement means that all of the planned eighteen Great Rides have now had their funding confirmed and can proceed to the construction phase if construction has not already begun.
ViaStrada continues to have significant involvement with the project; directors Axel Wilke and Andrew Macbeth were appointed project engineers to the NZ Cycle Trail Technical Assessment Group (TAG), under a contract between the Ministry of Tourism (now part of the Ministry of Economic Development - MED) and ViaStrada. In this engineering advisory role, ViaStrada offers advice and assistance that helps guide MED in its decision-making process.
A comprehensive Design Guide was developed by ViaStrada and published in March 2010. The guide provides valuable information and advice to trail designers, builders and funding applicants, as the project progresses. The design guide is available from the NZ Cycle Trail website and can also be downloaded from the ViaStrada website.
The five new trails are:
- Bay of Islands to Hokianga,
- Hauraki Plains,
- Pathway of Fire (Rotorua),
- The Old Ghost Road (Buller), and
- Roxburgh Gorge (Central Otago).
These and other trails of the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) are illustrated on a cycle trail map on the MED website.