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Alps2Ocean moves into new phase

Starting as a partnership between Waitaki and Mackenzie District Councils that has now seen a decade of success, the Alps2Ocean (A2O) cycle trail is moving into its next phase by restructuring its governance and operation model, starting with the appointment of a permanent trail manager.

Waitaki’s Recreation Manager Erik van der Spek said, “Over the last ten years the A2O has done great stuff and as part of a natural progression, it’s time to embark on a new stage. We’ve achieved what we wanted, built a world class cycle trail, and now it’s time to review and re-set the structure so the trail will progress into the next decade to build on those successes and to seek new funding from MBIE and other possible sources to support continued development to evolve the trail to be an even more fantastic amenity and attraction.  Anne Relling, who has a background in recreation management, has been appointed interim trail manager while the recruitment of a permanent manager is underway.

“We’d like to thank and acknowledge Tourism Waitaki for their support over the last decade. In 2012 they were originally contracted to control the initial development of the Trail, including marketing, creating, and managing the partnership program, and overseeing Trail maintenance contracts up until 2018. During the last three years Tourism Waitaki managed the partnership program and marketing services of the A2O - their contribution has been invaluable.”

Mayor for the Mackenzie district, Graham Smith said, “A2O is a successful and exciting joint venture trail linking the Mackenzie and Waitaki districts from the mountains to the sea. With its natural beauty of mountains, lakes and tussock land, this trail has become one of the top 10 cycle trails in New Zealand. Further investment in management and development will ensure our trails continue to provide enjoyment for thousands of locals and visitors and contribute to the economic success of both the Mackenzie and Waitaki districts.”

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said, “I was Waitaki’s Deputy Mayor when our Councils agreed to create the Alps2Ocean trail and even then, it promised to be a top-class cycling experience. 10 years later, that dream has come true, and it is time to take the trail and its management to the next level. I look forward to us implementing a structure which continues to grow the users’ experience and provide an equitable partnership program for the businesses which use the trail. It is an exciting time!”