Lake to Pirongia cycleway planned

A proposed cycleway from Lake Ngaroto to Pirongia could showcase some of Waipā’s most important natural and historical attractions.

The cycling connection is highlighted in Waipā District Council’s draft Long-Term Plan as the second stage of a bigger 21.4km cycling route. Work on stage one of the route, from Te Awamutu to Lake Ngaroto has started.

The council is working to secure agreements with landowners.

Three potential routes for the second stage are identified in the draft Long-Term Plan, now open for public comment. Council’s preferred route has more path off-road than the other two options. It would see cyclists riding 13.1 kilometres from Lake Ngaroto, along Sing Road, Paterangi Road, Mackay Access Road, Waiare Road, Bird Road and across the Mangapiko Stream into Pirongia.

Cyclists would have views of Mt Pirongia and the Waiari Pa and pass the military memorial on Bird Road. The cycleway would connect to Pirongia close to the entrance of Matakitaki Pa.

Group manager, service delivery Dawn Inglis said the proposed route ticks a number of criteria, including the opportunity for Waipā to show cultural and heritage sites. It would help connect two key Waipā communities and provide health and social wellbeing benefits Waipā people say are important.

If the route goes ahead, most of it would be on a purpose-built cycle path on publicly owned road reserve. However, just under 4km of the proposed route would cross private property.

“We would have to negotiate access to that privately-owned land, and we have only had very preliminary discussions with a couple of landowners. So there is a lot of work to do in the space but we’re hopeful of being able to reach solutions that work for everyone,” Inglis said.

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