Minister defends no cycle way on her land

Eugenie Sage
Eugenie Sage
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage has quashed rumours rife in Buller that she is blocking plans for the proposed Charleston to Westport cycle trail to cross her private land at Charleston.

Ms Sage, who co-owns an 8ha block of pakihi shrub land on the southern boundary of Charleston township, said she had declined an early request for the cycleway to pass over her land, in order to protect indigenous vegetation, but supported the project.

In November last year, the Kawatiri Coastal Trail received $9.36 million from the Government's provincial growth fund to create a 55km family-friendly walking and cycle trail along the coastline between the old gold town and Westport.

Ms Sage said her land covered historic mine tailing and regenerating bush. The bulk of it was covered by a QE2 covenant.

She said she personally supported the trail being progressed, the Government backed it in November with substantial funding, and the Department of Conservation was also supportive, with 12% of the trail on public conservation land.

Doc had said it would work collaboratively with the cycle trail trust, Ms Sage said.

"As landowners, my partner and I simply declined an early inquiry for the cycle trail to go across our land because of the clearance of indigenous vegetation this would have involved.

"I understand alternative routes are available, including on a nearby unformed public legal road and on other local tracks."



It is not her land, she stole Public (so called Conservation land) by advantage of her position.






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