Tue 25 Aug 20
OMR Cycle Trail – Te Ara Mangawhero funding application
Council has met with officials from MBIE’s Provincial Development Unit (PDU) to discuss progressing funding approval for the Ohakune Mountain Rd Cycle Trail – Te Ara Mangawhero between Turoa ski area and Ohakune and the link trail to Horopito.
Ruapehu Regional Visitor Development Plan Manager Warren Furner said that with Government having already announced $2m in funding along with completion of environmental, cultural and governance requirements there was high community expectation the remaining funding would have been approved as part of Council’s ‘shovel ready’ project applications for COVID-19 economic recovery.
Disappointment at missing out on the ‘shovel ready’ funding has seen an outpouring of community advocacy in support of the project that has helped put it back on table.
The advocacy has highlighted that there is significant support for this project and that it remains a regional priority which hasn’t gone unnoticed by ministers and officials,” he said.
Mr Furner said that ministers returning to Parliament due to the delay in the election date has provided a small window of opportunity for new project funding approvals to be considered.
“The Provincial Development Unit is working hard to have ministers consider the funding request before Parliament is dissolved for the election.
Because of the short timeframes if the ministerial response is positive we would expect to know in the next few weeks.
If ministers do not approve the funding at this time it is important to recognise that this is not a reflection on the value of the project.
It does not mean that that the project is dead in the water only that the available funding has all been fully allocated at this time,” he said.
Mr Furner added that if we do not get approval Council would continue to seek other funding opportunities as well as continuing with the work to enable construction to begin quickly when we are able.
We want to be ‘shovel ready’ and in a position to deliver employment, training and other opportunities almost immediately whenever funding comes through.”