Through the eyes of a kiwi mountain biker perhaps, but not necessarily to the undefined 'international cycle tourist'.
Northland's main tourism assetts are its (especially eastern) coastal areas.
The North Auckland line runs nowhere near either of them.
While improvements in cycling infrastructure for transport and tourism within and between our cities and towns are desperately needed, destroying what is an essential component of our transport infrastructure network to satisfy an immediate to short term recreational desire is strategically extremely unwise.
Reducing our transport options negatively affects our economic competitiveness, sustainability and resilience in the longer term and further increases our dependence on -and vulnerability to, the price and availability of imported fossil fuels.
Ensuring the security of a nation is THE fundamental responsibility of 'government'.
This National government continues to ignore our obligations to reduce our carbon emissions as agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and a Parliamentary Research paper on the likely effects of the inevitable and inexorable rise of the price of the oil on which New Zealand's economy and society are completely dependant. ( i.e. Peak Oil - google> "The Next Oil Shock" )
The money about to be wasted on the Puhoi-Wellsford Motorway extension would be more appropriately invested in developing tourism ( including cycle-based) routes and facilities
through coastal regions e.g. Warkworth>Matakana>Leigh>Pakiri>Tomorata>Te Arai >Mangawhai>Langs Beach>Waipu>Whangarei - which are currently under-utilised by both domestic and international tourists and where there are some fantastic opportunities for 'Rides Of National Significance'.
Alan Preston, Mangawhai, Northland.NZ