Only one submission on company

A proposal to run the new Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail through a company owned by the Waitaki and Mackenzie district councils has attracted very little public opposition in the Waitaki district.

The 314km trail, which is being developed with a $2.75 million grant from the Government, is a joint venture between the two councils, the Mackenzie Tourism and Development Trust and the New Zealand Cycle Trail project.

It is being promoted as a major tourist attraction with the potential to significantly boost the economies of the townships it passes through.

To operate, maintain and promote the trail, the two councils are setting up a council-controlled organisation (company) called A2O Limited, but before doing that they have to consult the public.

The Waitaki council has received a submission from the Duntroon District Association supporting the company but making several suggestions.

That submission will be heard by the council on May 19, with a decision being made on May 31.

The two councils chose a company structure for the Alps 2 Ocean trail in contrast to the Central Otago rail trail which is run by a charitable trust.

Several options for managing the trail were investigated, but the company structure was chosen because there would be no long-term financial recourse to ratepayers and it would be business-like and professional; accountable, representative of the community and stakeholders; able to sign access agreements, attract investment and carry on business; and it would be free from political bias, triennial uncertainty and excessive conservatism.

Both councils strongly believe the cycle trail is a significant project that will provide vast economic and social benefits to the two districts.

"This proposal [the company] represents the best way forward to maximise these benefits with as little as possible imposition on ratepayers," they said.

 

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter