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Last month, the Southland District Council approved the formation of a trust for the trail, a 186km journey which is one of 22 certified Great Rides in New Zealand. It goes from Walter Peak to Kingston and attracted more than 3000 cyclists last summer.
The foundation trustees are Rex Carter, Andrew Cameron, Gene Marsh and Garth Milicich, who are joined by Southland district councillor Christine Menzies and Great South appointment Nicola Wills.
Trail manager Susan Mackenzie said the formation of a trust would ensure the trail continued to evolve and reach its potential.
"It’s great to have such high-calibre people on the trust who bring a range of skills and experience," she said.
"They include legal and governance experience, a local farmer whose property boundary is the cycle trail and a cycle trail operator who provides bike hire, transport and bike tours.
"Great South’s involvement will bring marketing and regional development expertise. Together with their enthusiasm for cycling and the trail, it will be another cog in the wheel to get things cranking."
Under the trust structure the council retains ownership of the asset and all associated intellectual property, together with responsibility for asset management and maintenance.
Responsibilities of the trust will be focused on the user experience, partnership with commercial operators, marketing and new project development.
The trust initiative was first mooted following a visit from the New Zealand Cycle Trails board in September last year.
"Successful trails throughout New Zealand operate with a trust established for governance, which has improved the user experience and resulted in greater involvement from the community," Ms Mackenzie said.
"It also unlocks additional funding streams not available to councils, which could have a positive impact on the development of the trail itself and ultimately the communities along it as a flow-on effect."