Waitangi Mountain Bike Park – The Build Begins

Exciting times alright! The SOUTHSTAR TRAILS team have arrived onsite in the WAITANGI ENDOWMENT FOREST  and commenced the build of the first stage, Zones 2&3, of the WAITANGI MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK. The crew are now daily operating in the forest. They are working near the top half of Bledisloe Rd, to the eastern side of the road. But before you jump on your bike to take a look – Beware Machinery Operating!

Signage is placed on the roadside to indicate if the diggers are working ahead. There is a lot of work yet to be done to create these world class trails, which will also then need settling, curing for the perfect surface. Be patient. Riding the trails is a long way off. All Waitangi Mountain Bike Park trails will remain closed until the Park officially opens. Riding on Waitangi Mountain Bike Park trails, whether they be under construction or complete, is currently strictly prohibited.

The Forestry roads shared by many recreational users – horse riders, mountain bikers, walkers and hikers. SAFE RIDING ETIQUETTE is a must!
STOP STAND SPEAK. Below is a link to the approved Safe Riding Etiquette for the Waitangi Endowment Forest and the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park. If you are currently utilising the Waitangi Endowment Forest for recreation as a horse rider, mountain biker, walker or hiker, then reading this document is a must. Also linked below is ‘”RULES OF THE TRAIL”‘  These are guidelines for trail behaviour that are recognized around the world. The International Mountain Bicycling Association developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. (Shared use trails are the forestry roads in the Waitangi Endowment Forest) It is important to keep all users safe and happy in the Forest.

Dogs, motorbikes and hunting are prohibited in the Waitangi Endowment Forest.
Link to WAITANGI MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK SAFE RIDING ETIQUETTE and RULES OF THE TRAIL developed by IMBA.

PHOTO ABOVE: Grant Harnish, Sarah Greener, Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes, Flo the Kiwi Dog and Rohan Alton – crew leader for Southstar.

It is hard to believe that it is finally happening, after almost 3 years in the pipeline. On the morning of Monday 12 October Deputy Mayor TANIA MCINNES, members of the FOCUS PAIHIA BOARD, theDEPT. OF CONSERVATION and the WAITANGI MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK TEAM team gathered to welcome members of the SOUTHSTAR TRAILS team. It was a momentous and moving occasion as all groups spoke about the project in respect of their connection to it.

NGATI KAWA TAITUHA offered karakia with a stone from the whenua which became the central focus throughout the blessing.  In Māori culture it is referred to as a Mauri Stone, it is a talisman similar to a good luck charm. The power of the karakia and the collective thoughts that those gathered shared that day, is now stored within the heart of it, and it will radiate a healing energy bringing positive vibrations and safety to all who come within its sphere of influence. It is to be treated with respect, treated like you would a great ancestor that you revere, it has a life force and is now fully alive and conscious. Tiff Holland was given the special responsibility of protecting the Mauri Stone/life force of the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park Project. It is now somewhere safe, located where it will be able to perform its kaitiakitanga or guardianship role. More that just a stone, it’s a magical and mystical Mauri Stone which carries ancient spiritual values, HE TAONGA TUKU IHO.

A significant moment, respectively shared. Exciting times alright.Then the diggers rolled up the hill… Yahoooooooo…

TRAIL CREW ACCOMMODATION

There has been fantastic support from local accommodation providers.  Thank you to CENTABAY, THE BOUNTY MOTEL, BREAKWATER MOTEL, OUTRIGGER MOTEL, HARURU FALLS RESORT, ADMIRALS VIEW LODGE, BAYVIEW MOTEL, CAPTAIN BOBS BACKPACKERS and THE ALAMOANA MOTEL who are each providing 2 weeks of accommodation for the Southstar crew free of charge! This is a significant contribution and is very gratefully received. Thank you to all of these businesses for supporting the WMBP in this integral way.

FUNDING

The drive continues canvasing local businesses, who will be the immediate beneficiaries of the economic impacts of the Park. Huge thanks goes again to KAREN YOUNGER who has hand delivered numerous WMPB info packs around the district over the past 2 months, also for working on the many follow up calls, allowing the rest of the team to concentrate on corporate sponsorship and funding applications.

THE KEEP IT UP CLUB

Please pledge now and pay at the end of January! The Mountain Bike Park is charitable so you will get 33.333% back from the IRD. Huge thanks to all those who those who have already contributed or sent in the form pledging to do so… EDGEWATER PALMS MANAGEMENT, ALOHA SEAVIEW RESORT MOTEL, BAYVIEW MEDICAL CENTRE, BAY OF ISLANDS HOME HOLIDAYS, SWISS CHALET LODGE MOTEL, BAY OF ISLANDS CAMPERVAN PARK, BAYSTAY BED & BREAKFAST, BLUE PACIFIC APARTMENTS, SEABEDS BACKPACKERS, ADMIRALS VIEW LODGE, AVERILL COURT MOTELand  ALLEGRA HOUSE. See links below to the Economic Benefits Presentation and Funding Form.

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