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Hauraki Rail Trail

Readers may have noticed that I have recently avoided becoming entangled in the increasingly rabid arguments surrounding the business arrangements of the Trust and the Trail management.

Here is the website.

It seems that there may have been some questionable moves made that simply reflect the in-experience of the promoters, and the lack of business acumen - hardly unique in local government. Bruce Oliver certainly touched a few raw nerves with his detailed critique of the whole arrangement, but the fact remains that an extremely ambitious project has been completed roughly on time, and it is generally a credit to all those responsible.

It was just unfortunate that Thames was left out of the loop at the outset in a number a ways - reflected in comments I made at the time. But I think John Tregidga made a valiant effort in the end to sort it out, and attempts to paint him as the devil incarnate are disingenuous to say the least. Even the naive attempt of Mr Fixit - Ben Day to justify termination at Rhodes Park has been reversed, and the completion up as far as Albert Street appears imminent.  

Certainly there are questions about the wisdom of bringing in outside management (based in Queenstown!), but this does not gainsay the fact that we now have a splendid facility that will attract thousands of cyclists - paying and otherwise over the next few years. It is yet to be seen whether it will match the Central Otago Trail, but it should certainly have a longer season. 

I think that the business arrangements should be given time to bed in, and left alone to get on with it. This will not sit well with certain operators who would prefer to see the whole structure thrown out, and rebuilt from the ground up. But that is not going to happen.

We took a ride on the first section from Kopu recently, and it appears to me a winner, though the barriers at all the crossings are a dammed nuisance, and in some cases, badly designed. Otherwise, all that you need is the energy to get from coffee shop to pub, to coffee shop. All good! 




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