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Public feedback invited for Upper Clutha Track Network Strategy

Public feedback invited for Upper Clutha Track Network Strategy


A strategy to ensure a coordinated approach to walking and biking on local tracks – and future development and maintenance of trails – is being launched this week.

The Upper Clutha Track Network Strategy will be launched online on Thursday, March 26, and the steering group behind it is calling for public feedback before an action plan is produced. The strategy and survey can be accessed here.

The strategy is intented to guide the development and maintenance of the Upper Clutha track network for the next 10 years, till 2025, Upper Clutha Track Network steering group chair and Councillor Ella Lawton says.

“The Upper Clutha’s track network reflects the needs of a connected and active community and provides a viable alternative to vehicle transport. The track network provides recreation and economic opportunities in a stunning environment,” Cllr Lawton says.

“Some likely components of the action plan will be better signage across the track network and guidance to those organisations who issue track concessions on how the tracks should be used by commercial operators,” she adds.

The steering group comprises the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Department of Conservation, Bike Wanaka and Lake Wanaka Tourism. It has also had the input from the Makarora, Luggate, Hawea, Wanaka and Cardrona Residents Associations and interested groups including bike rental operators, the Wanaka Walkers and the Upper Clutha Tramping Club.

“We have been exploring ways and means of progressing a coordinated, efficient and effective direction for the future of the Upper Clutha track network. The five key components of the strategy vision are ‘connected Upper Clutha communities’, ‘enable walking and biking’, ‘needs of an active community’, ‘development and maintenance’ and ‘collaborative planning’,” Cllr Lawton says.

Cllr Lawton was prompted to set up the steering group after getting elected as a Wanaka ward councillor, with some locals suggesting there were “increasing pressures on the beloved track network and some collective planning was needed to ensure everyone was on the same page going forward”, she explains.

The steering group’s draft vision is almost unchanged from the initial 2006 Walking and Cylcing Strategy.

In June 2014, QLDC provided the steering group with a $10,000 grant in order employ an Upper Clutha Tracks coordinator. Ruth Harrison was employed and has spent a considerable amount of time meeting with a range community groups and members who are involved in the track network, including community associations, recreational groups, walkers, horse riders as well as those with commercial interests like bike rental operators.

Pictured (from left): Ella Lawton and Ruth Harrison.


For more information, please contact:
Upper Clutha Track Network steering group chair Ella Lawton: 021 735 981



Celia Crosbie
Written by Celia Crosbie
Celia is an award-winning former journalist who has worked for newspapers and radio stations in New Zealand and magazines in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public relations in both NZ and London. Celia also specialises in digital media strategy and website copywriting for SEO.