mountain biking

Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Way

A Community Project

Treina cycleway

Work and Income is proud to support the cycle way being developed to connect the east and west coasts of Northland.

Much of the work on the trail has been done by Community Max workers, who as well as slashing and building the trail and constructing gates, have also created the carved pou or totem-like poles along the way.

Visiting international cycle trail experts have said that branding the cycle way as a poupou trail will set it apart, and there is no other trail that can present Māori and Pākehā history in that way.

More than 96 young people have worked with the six trusts contracted to contribute to the cycle way. We contracted with local trusts along the trail hoping that they would be able to work with their young people and place them into employment. Work and Income are delighted with the outcomes. Of the young people who have participated, 80 per cent have gone into further employment. Work and Income want to acknowledge the Far North District Council and the trusts:

  • He Iwi Kotahi Tatau Trust
  • Kaikohe Rau Marama Trust
  • Te Kotahitanga E Mahi Kaha Trust
  • Te Rere I Tiria Trust
  • The HUB Charitable Trust
  • Nga Uri Whakatapu O Hokianga Trust.

“Together we have made a dream come true. By uniting and working together we have achieved something that will benefit the wider community for years to come”, David Penny, Project Manager Far North District Council acknowledged. “Very often it requires sacrifice on the one hand, effort on the other and a meeting of minds around what we are trying to achieve, and you have all made this happen”.

The 13.4 kilometre route follows an old rail corridor and is the first section of the Twin Coast Cycleway, or Pou Herenga Tai, to near completion. Pou Herenga Tai refers to the joining of two coastlines, or the joining of people. The Far North's cycle trail will ultimately join the east and west coasts from Hokianga to the Bay of Islands.

“The cycleway is a river bringing life through to the people, it is almost like restoring the connections between various hapu, iwi and our oceans”, David Penny said. “Not only are we passing on the beauty of what we have but also showcasing our culture which is rich in this area, honouring European and Māori aspirations in that process”.

“The long term vision is to create locally owned businesses who take up the opportunities that the many visitors bring when they come and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the mid north”, Carol Barnett said. “You have created something tangible, done all the hard work and now have something to take into the future for your families”.

“We come from one of the most beautiful parts of the world and the challenge for us all is to see the potential of what we have”, Ngahau Davis from He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust offered. “Generosity is the glue between people and sometimes we have to look for the greater good and sit down more often and have the conversations”.

The Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Way Community Max projects have been a catalyst for sustainable economic stimulus for the area. Opportunities such as Bed and Breakfasts being established, existing accommodation being extended, telling the story of early Māori and European settlement in the area, increasing the number of transport operators, and growing the visitor attractions already in place are now on the horizon for a community that has proven the true value of working together.

Andrew Young from Far North District Council and Treina Chaplin test the cycleway
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