Wednesday, 8 July 2009

News from NZ and Groundeffect clothing group

For those who enjoy riding in the rough-stuff, and in New Zealand's impressive countryside, this came from clothing manufacturer Groundeffect, recently.

From: Guy Wynn-Williams

Subject: Heaphy Draft Plan Released

The Heaphy Track is reckoned by many to be the best long distance singletrack ride in New Zealand. And the Department of Conservation has just (as in today) released its Draft Partial Review of the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan. The Plan proposes to trial seasonal access for mountain bikes on the Heaphy from 1 May to 1 October each year. And general access for mountain bikes on the Kill Devil and Flora Saddle-Barron Flat tracks.

This is great news and the 'rules of engagement' detailed in the plan are consistent with what Mountain Bike NZ has lobbied for over the past 15 years.

There is wide spread support for this change. In 2005 the NZ Conservation Authority changed the General Policy for National Parks to allow for mountain bike access on selected tracks in National Parks. This decision was backed by an overwhelming majority of submissions. Of the 1305 received, 1106 supported the change while just 22 opposed. Support came from organisations with a wide variety of interests including many Conservation Boards and tramping clubs.

Support included:
• Federated Mountain Clubs
• the Nelson/Marlborough, West Coast, Waikato and Southland Conservation Boards
• the Tasman, Buller and Nelson Councils
• the Golden Bay, Motueka and Waimea Tramping Clubs
• NZ Alpine Club
• and Mountain Bike NZ.

The Cycleway Project led by our Prime Minister and vocal support for bikes on the Heaphy from Nelson MP Nick Smith all add political clout. But there are plenty of individuals and groups who oppose the change. So it's vital that mountain bikers and others who support seasonal access to the Heaphy make submissions in quantity and quality.

To get more information, including MTBNZ's submission template rush to

Submissions close on Friday 4 September 2009

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