The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $450,000 to establish a high standard walk and cycleway on Mahia Peninsula, near Wairoa, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.

“Construction work will begin next month and will upgrade the existing walkway so that it meets New Zealand cycleway standards and boosts the local economy by encouraging more visitors and locals to visit the area,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

“Whangawehi Catchment Management Group (WCMG) will manage the project, which will employ 10-12 people during construction and once complete will create a 24 km loop track that will begin and end at Mahia Beach.

“The work involves entrance ways and parking facilities, installation of toilets, shelters and picnic tables and earthworks and planting.

“WCMG is a collaborative initiative led by Tuahuru Marae, Kaiuku Marae, landowners, regional council, and government agencies to protect and enhance the natural, cultural, economic and spiritual resources of the catchment.

“The project secured PGF funding as it was able to show it could redeploy and create new job opportunities post COVID-19, get work underway as soon as possible without waiting for investment partners, and be a visible signal of economic recovery in the regions.

“The group’s long term vision is to extend the walkway to develop a three to four-day eco-tourism experience and offer lodge and cabin type accommodation.

“Earlier this year we announced $8.3 million towards roading for the Mahia Peninsula. I’m pleased to be announcing another PGF investment that supports the Wairoa region, improves the visitor experience, looks after the environment, and supports people’s livelihoods,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

Note to editors:

Funding from the Provincial Growth Fund is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations and differ from project to project.

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