Great news! The Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, John Key has promised $50 million dollars over three years for the New Zealand Cycleway Project.
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Living Streets Aotearoa news release: National Cycleway will benefit walkers too
Media releases from 19 May
Prime Minister John Key is welcoming the Green Party's agreement to work with National on the New Zealand Cycleway Project.
The cycleway has been added to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines the policy initiatives both parties have agreed to collaborate on.
"When we first signed the MOU with the Green Party in April, I said there would be other important policy areas where we had common ground, and the cycleway certainly fits the criteria."
The MOU now covers four common areas; home insulation, energy efficiency, the regulation of natural health products, and the cycleway.
John Key, as Minister of Tourism, will now work together with the Green Party's spokesperson on Tourism, Sport and Recreation, and Cycling and Active Transport, Kevin Hague, on the development of the cycleway project.
"While the Greens and National will always have policy differences, it is increasingly clear that in an MMP environment this should never stand in the way of working together when we share the same policy objectives.
"I look forward to the valuable input the Greens will have into this project."
The Green Party has extended its agreement with National to include the New Zealand Cycleway Project.
"The cycleway can benefit the economy and the environment at the same time, and we strongly support this type of Green New Deal spending," said Green Party Tourism spokesperson Kevin Hague. "We look forward to working with the Prime Minister to see a network of cycleways spread across the country."
The agreement to support the cycleway initiative has been added to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties. Signed in April, the MOU committed National and the Green Party to working on policy initiatives in areas of common interest that include a home insulation programme, energy efficiency standards and the regulation of natural health products.
Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman said more initiatives may be added: "We will keep looking for common ground where we can construct good policy with National. At the same time we'll vigorously critique the Government in the areas where we don't agree."
Mr Hague said the cycling community had helped formulate a sound plan for the Cycleway Project and the key work would be on funding and implementing the Project. The Otago Rail Trail was a good example of the potential economic benefits of the nationwide project, Mr Hague said. Last year, nearly 80,000 people rode the trail while Ministry of Tourism figures estimate international cycle tourists spent $199 million during their stay in New Zealand
A link to the Cabinet Paper
A summary of the key points:
- John Key wants to initially create a series of 'Great Rides' of New Zealand, longer term these will link into a national network (para 3)
- The Ministry of Tourism is being allocated $50 million over the next 3 years. (para 5)
- $47.5 million is for "The National Cycleway Fund" and will be allocated by way of grants to third parties to assist with specific cycleway projects (para 5 & 27)
- Cycleway proposals put forward to the National Cycleway Fund must demonstrate regional engagement (para 28)
- Priority will be given to projects that are co-funded (para 6)
- $2.5 million of the $50 million is for the Ministry of Tourism to spend on managing the National Cycleway ("Departmental appropriations", para 5)
- An Advisory Group will be established (para 7) to be funded from the $2.5 million (para 29)
- In order to maintain momentum, specific projects are going to be announced by 30 June 2009 (para 9), they are working on these "immediatie projects" but this information is currently being withheld (para 31)
- Work is underway on an inventory of future potential trails (para 19)
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