MP & Mayor Get On Their Bikes


The first on-road leg of the New Zealand Cycle Trail opens this weekend, running from Taumarunui to New Plymouth on the Forgotten Highway taking cyclists through some of the North Island’s most spectacular scenery.

Green Party MP and avid cyclist Kevin Hague will join cycling champion Sarah Ulmer and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in celebrating its opening by riding the 180 kilometre route from Taumarunui to New Plymouth.

Mr Hague said the new on-road route would give a glimpse of what’s going to be rolled out all around the country as a part of the $50 million Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) project.

“This weekend’s launch gives New Zealanders a first glimpse of what our Cycle Trail network will eventually look like, with outstanding backcountry road rides joining our network of Great Rides off road and integrating with the urban cycling infrastructure in places like New Plymouth,” said Mr Hague.

It’s exciting and a powerful message about the importance of cycling in New Zealand.”

Mr Hague said the Cycle Trail network is not only good for people and the planet but it also makes great economic sense.  “These new Cycle Trail routes will bring huge economic benefits to Taumarunui, New Plymouth and beyond, adding resilience to their local economies.  The cost-to-benefit equation of these kinds of small investments in sustainable infrastructure is very favourable.”

Mr Hague said the long-term vision for the project was for a network of cycling routes and tracks throughout the country that could be used by tourists, recreational riders, people riding to work or the supermarket, and kids riding to school.  “This is a boom time for cyclists and the high standards set by the NZCT for on-road trails will enhance the safety of cyclists.  “We’re looking forward to all regions being able to have their great local road rides included in the New Zealand Cycle Trail.




  1. Stranded on the North Shore says:

    That’s great, but I can’t even find this route on their website… or is it the one from Taumarunui to Whanganui?
    Are there any maps to show us where the route actually goes? Marketing hype forgetting the critical details…

  2. greenwelly says:

    I think the key phrase here is in Paragraph 3 “Mr Hague said the new on-road route ”

    They are simply cycling down highway 43 (The forgotten highway) through the Whangamomonas

    The cynic in me says they have chosen to raise the profile of the Taumaranui to N.P route route to lay the ground work for the process of the cycleway taking over the rail line in the future..

  3. millsy says:

    If you have seem highway 43, you will know that it take a brave person to ride a bike on it.

  4. KarlHansen says:

    Folks - these are the extended network routes, not the “Great Rides”. They are intended for people who are reasonably comfortable with riding on-road, and in the short term, will have only small-scale works done on them. Like the Sustrans network in England which I understand also contains sections which are on-road.

    The key here is that they selected routes that have little traffic volumes and fulfill other minimum criteria. They aren’t up to spec with the “Great Rides” (and nobody claims so). But they are a first step to link up the “Great Rides” with each other, and will allow local politicians, cyclists and tourism groups to lobby for improvements like pinch points, bridge upgrades, safety signs & markings etc…

    Also, near New Plymouth itself, a larger section of the new route is off-road.

    Millsy - I don’t know SH43 in practice, but it is already being recommended in various cycling route guides as far as I know, and certainly, a couple hundred cars a day will be a lot more pleasant than a couple (tens) of thousands…

  5. KarlHansen says:

    Also not sure why the “there’s no map” complaint. Took me all of 10 seconds to find it…

  6. KarlHansen says:

    “The cynic in me says they have chosen to raise the profile of the Taumaranui to N.P route route to lay the ground work for the process of the cycleway taking over the rail line in the future.”

    Yes, that is your cynic. But, hey, feel free casting suspicions on one of the few positive transport projects this government came up with on their own, until National realise that maybe they should have spent the $50 million on motorways instead.

    The whole “they are building the cycleways as an excuse to close railway lines” strikes me as a very transport-specific “Black helicopter conspiracy” theory to me.

  7. Stranded on the North Shore says:

    @KarlHansen: Thank you very much. It’s there now. I swear it wasn’t there at the time of my post ;-) )) thanks!!! Also, I now see clearly that this is “on-road” trail… aha. Not all of it is SH43, so ***probably*** some sections are gravel… I’ve driven on SH43 before. It’s fantastic, but very windy. A bit dangerous for biking I’d say… but I still think this is “progress”…


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