Labour: $1m funding for West Coast trails

Old Ghost Road cycle trail would receive up to $643k funding from Labour if it is elected. Image: Old Ghost Road

The Labour Party says it wants to build on the West Coast’s strengths in tourism and engineering in its development plan for the region.

Its regional development plan for the West Coast announced yesterday could provide more than $1m of funding for cycle trails in the region.

One of the West Coast’s greatest strengths is its tourism, said Labour leader Jacinda Ardern in a statement.

“We’ll grow this critical industry by supporting the funding of the upgrade and development of two cycle trails, the Old Ghost Road and the West Coast Wilderness Trail.”

Labour would commit to gap funding the upgrading and completion of the Old Ghost Road – Nga Haerenga NZ Cycle Trail. The trail, between Seddonville and Lyall, consists of a number of huts, cycling paths, and camping grounds.

Labour said it would also gap fund the upgrading of the West Coast Wilderness Trail, which is two years overdue for completion. The trail runs between Greymouth and Ross.

The upgraded cycle trails would encourage new tourism opportunities for tramping and mountain cycling.

The Ghost Road would cost $400,000 to $500,000 for the first stage, and much smaller contributions – $69,000, $60,000 and $14,000 – in following successive phases. The West Coast Wilderness Trail would cost $400,000 to deliver. These will both be funded from Labour’s $200m Regional Development Fund

These will both be funded from Labour’s $200m Regional Development Fund.

Labour would also deliver an upgrade to the Buller Hospital, said Ardern.

“We will invest in the health services the West Coast needs, committing to the redevelopment of Buller Hospital on the existing site, with all of the expected $20m funding coming from the Crown, rather than a Public Private Partnership that slows the process down too much.”

The party said it would also add value to West Coast exports and build on its historical strengths by making industrial engineering exports a key focus of the Tai Poutini West Coast Economic Development Action Plan.

Tourism Ticker begins its full Election 2017 coverage on Monday.

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