The Cycleway History
The story so far
Back in the beginning of 2009 the New Zealand Government organised the 'Job Summit" - an effort to produce projects within the country to provide employment opportunites.
New Zealand Prime Minister (and Minister of Tourism) in 2009 John Key
One of the propoals made during this Job Summit - in fact one pushed with enthusiasm by the Prime Minister John Key (who was also the Minister of Tourism) - was the idea of a cycleway the length of the country.
The agrument put forward by Mr Key and his supporters was that such a project tied in with New Zealand's outdoor adventure image whilst create employment opportunites for some 4000 people.
Whilst these figures were questioned there has been no doubt that the creation of such a cycleway would benefit the nation both from a tourism perspective and just as importantly, providing a catalyst for getting New Zealanders out there improving their health and fitness: something that is becoming more and more important in the modern age of obesity.
As early as March of 2009, the government had indicated that the concept of a single track from top to bottom of the country was probably not going to be realised and so the concept was tweaked to be a network of trails throughout the country, utilising existing trails and taking the form of individual project to expand the network.
By May of that same year it was becoming clear that the focus was be on a number of promising links, using a combination of existing railway corridor reserves, paper roads or existing cycle trails where they existed.
Being forever positive, Prime Minister John Key stated in mid 2010 that he expected 2000km of cycleway to be completed by the end of 2011.