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E-bike revolution is a hit in regional parks as council plans for the future

http://www.gw.govt.nz/e-bike-revolution-is-a-hit-in-regional-parks-as-council-plans-for-the-future

E-bike revolution is a hit in regional parks as council plans for the future

Wellington Electric Bikes Limited’s Cushla Donovan and Cliff Randall discuss e-biking routes in Belmont Regional Park with Park Ranger Jeremy Paterson. Cliff Randall says sales are doubling annually as trails open up and e-bikes bring a broader range of people into cycling.

Greater Wellington Regional Council is reviewing its management plan for regional parks and the welcome mat is out for e-bikes which offer a great way to access and enjoy our huge network of roads and tracks.

“Consultation on our future focussed Parks Network Plan provides an opportunity for people to have their say about how we should manage facilities such as  tracks and trails to make them better for park visitors,” says Greater Wellington Parks Portfolio Leader Cllr Prue Lamason.

“Our current management plan is six years old and over this time e-bikes, drones and other new recreation technology has emerged in parks. As we move towards developing our new plan we want to promote access to parks and if technology encourages outdoor exercise and recreation, we’re all for it.

“Many other agencies are pondering how to handle the rise and rise of e-bikes, especially for mountain biking, but we have already seen them integrate naturally into our region’s growing cycling scene. Many more will come, but we believe that as long as normal track courtesy and people ‘share with care’ on trails everyone will continue to get along just fine.”

How to best share trails for running, dog walking, walking and cycling  is just one of the issues and opportunities facing our nine regional parks and forests, which include favourites Kaitoke, Queen Elizabeth and Belmont Regional Parks.  

“A recent report on tourism in Wellington noted the capital region is short on attractions. Our regional parks can help bring people in through providing camping facilities, linked trails for pedestrians, mountain biking and horse riding, and supporting varied events. They are valuable assets in many ways which canhelp drive regional economic growth and community wellbeing. We want the public to contribute to a discussion on how we can achieve this, and they can do so through commenting on how what we should consider in the development of a new management plan,” says Cllr Lamason.   

Cr Lamason says “we have prepared consultation material as ‘food for thought’ for discussion and suggestions.”

This material raises a range of key questions such as:

  • How we can we better support the array of friends groups and volunteers who work on parks such as supporting conservation and recreation facilities?
  • How and where should we have use storytelling to reveal the history of parks, people and places so as to enrich peoples’ visiting experience? Do we use a broad range of digital and conventional park story telling panels, or perhaps art works or sculpture? 
  • How should our parks respond to impacts of climate change such as increasing coastal erosion, more frequent severe weather events and periods of drought?
  • What are our options for more habitat restoration?
  • How do we support, protecting and enhance freshwater in the streams and wetlands of our parks?
  • How can we accommodate increasing visitor numbers to iconic places such as the Baring Head Lighthouse complex, Rivendell in Kaitoke Regional Park and the Remutaka Rail Trail?
  • How can we sustainably manage the growth of camping, which has doubled in number over the last five years?

“Our Parks Network Plan discussion document includes a number of proposals on which we seek feedback on. I urge anyone with an interest in the great outdoors in the region to give us their suggestions and comments about how we can make our parks even better. All you have to do is answer six questions on the site –it’s easy,” says Cllr Lamason.

For more information on the plan, get your copy at http://www.gw.govt.nz/parks-network-plan/

For information on the release, call the Greater Wellington mediaphone – 021 914 266

 

 

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