Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails
Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails include the Great Rides, Heartland Rides and some of the cycle trails in the Urban Cycling Network.
About the cycle trails
Each year nearly 2 million people use the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails (NZCT).
As well as offering a world-class visitor experience, the trails create ongoing job opportunities and economic, recreational and health benefits for New Zealanders.
Building the cycle trail
In 2009 the National Cycleway Fund received $50 million in funding from the New Zealand Government. The funds were used to create a network of cycle trails across the country — Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails.
Around $30 million of co-funding from local stakeholders was contributed towards construction of the Great Rides.
About the network
The New Zealand Cycle Trail network is made up of the:
- Great Rides
- Heartland Rides, and
- some urban cycle trails.
The Great Rides of the New Zealand Cycle Trail network are predominantly off-road trails. They showcase the best of New Zealand's landscapes, environment, culture and heritage. The trails are located around the country from Northland to Southland.
Government and local communities co-fund the Great Rides, which provide a healthy and enjoyable way for New Zealanders and international visitors to see the country.
Through the Network Expansion Project, a series of on-road cycle touring routes were added to the New Zealand Cycle Trail network. These are known as the Heartland Rides.
The Heartland Rides link the Great Rides with urban centres, transport hubs and other key tourist attractions. They encourage cyclists to use scenic back-country roads where they can experience heartland New Zealand.
Urban Cycling Network
Through its Urban Cycleway Programme, the New Zealand Transport Agency has co-funded the building of a number of on-road and off-road cycleways. The cycleways make it easier and safer for cyclists to move through our urban centres.
Positive outcomes from the project
The main aims of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project are to:
- create jobs through the design, building and maintenance of the cycle network
- create a high-quality tourism asset that increases New Zealand’s competitiveness as a tourism destination
- provide ongoing job and economic development opportunities for regional economies
- maximise opportunities for events, and a range of recreational and health benefits for New Zealanders.
The number of trips across the 22 Great Rides was shown to have increased by nearly 700,000 trips in the 2019/20 season over the 2016 data.
A 2016 evaluation of the 22 Great Rides of the New Zealand Cycle Trail shows the project produces many positive economic and social outcomes.
Funding to enhance and extend the network
In 2016, the government approved $25 million in project funding over 4 years to help improve and extend the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Consolidation of NZCT funding
In February 2020, the Government agreed to combine the National Cycleway Fund and the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund (MGR) into an annual appropriation of $8 million for the maintenance, development and promotion of NZCT. The new appropriation will be known as the Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail Fund (NZCT Fund). Up to $1 million per annum of the NZCT Fund is ring-fenced to co-fund the employment of trail managers and meet some operational costs of the Great Rides. The new allocation will make available up to $45,000 annually for each Great Ride to help co-fund trail managers and operational expenses for three years, thereby ensuring there is a dedicated trail manager working for at least 20 hours per week to look after each trail.
The first round of applications for MGR operational funding was opened in March 2020 and closed in April 2020. All twenty-two Great Rides applied for and have been approved a grant of $135,000 each (i.e. $45,000 a year for three years) to fund the cost of trail manager and other operational costs, conditional on annual reporting and other requirements specific to each Great Ride.
In this section
The New Zealand Cycle Trail Enhancement and Extension Fund provides up to $6 million each year to support projects that improve and extend the Great Rides.
The Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund provides $2 million each year to support projects that improve and maintain the quality of the Great Rides.
An evaluation of the counter data of the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga New Zealand Cycle Trails was conducted over 12 months from 1 March 2019 to 28 February 2020.