Posted by on 16/06/2014
The Hauraki Rail Trail has secured Hauraki District Council (HDC) a spot as a finalist in the inaugural Local Government Excellence Awards.
The judges selected three finalists, including HDC for the Excellence Award for local economic contribution.
Built in association with Matamata-Piako and Thames Coromandel District Councils, the trail has exceeded all predicted benefits to communities along its path. The trailâ€™s construction, followed by the hospitality infrastructure needed to host trail users, has brought in much-needed dollars to the area, which is below New Zealandâ€™s socio-economic average.
Estimates at the start of the project put the income from the trail at between eight and $16 million over the trailâ€™s first five years. But a survey earlier this year estimated trail users spent around $4.5 million in a single year (March 2013 - February 2014). Judges said the councils showed great leadership and vision in pushing ahead to find the funding and finish the trail in stages.
All will be revealed at an awards dinner being held during Local Government New Zealandâ€™s conference at Nelson from 20-22 July.
Good luck HDC!