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$881k injection to extend cycle trail

An $881,000 funding boost for the Motu Trails cycle trail has been welcomed.

The funding was applied for by the Opotiki District Council and was confirmed by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones when he announced the latest funding yesterday.

It is expected the work to extend the trail will create 24 new jobs.

“On the Motu Trails the 7.5km extension is a welcome addition to the existing 121km unique ride that spans the Opotiki and Gisborne districts encompassing pristine native bush, rich history and a dune trail,” Opotiki District Council chief executive Aileen Lawrie said.

“It is an excellent start to our aspiration to take it all the way to Whakatane and will mean that people can now cycle safely from town to the beach. Outcomes are road safety, addition to tourism product and encourage cycling instead of driving.

“The funding is a really fantastic short-term injection of money into our economy to keep our businesses afloat in the short term and while our large PGF projects from before Covid ramp up.

“This means jobs, and we selected the footpaths project specifically because it is job-rich, and it dovetails nicely with the imminent harbour and mussel farm developments.”

GOING UP: Two cyclists enjoy the breathtaking views on the Motu Road, looking over the Whitikau Valley. The road forms part of the Motu Trails cycle trail which has received funding to add another 7.5km to the 121km ride. File picture