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On the job: Workforce Alliance workers building the bike trail near Lake Hayes Estate

By GUY WILLIAMS

Tourism workers are getting stuck into building a new mountain bike trail near Lakes Hayes Estate.

The 1.2km loop track, the brainchild of Lake Hayes Estate and Shotover Country Community Association committee members Debbie Townsend and Jenny Carter, is taking shape on council land between the Widgeon Place cul-de-sac and the riverside Queenstown Trail.

Work on the trail started on September 7 and is expected to be completed by the end of next week.

City Hall comms man Jack Barlow says the grunt work’s being provided by the Workforce Alliance, a post-Covid initiative that’s employing 20 staff from AJ Hackett, Go Orange, Canyon Swing, Ngai Tahu Tourism and Skyline to work on eight conservation or recreation projects throughout the Wakatipu.

The alliance is being funded by the Department of Conservation’s ‘Jobs for Nature’ programme, and managed by City Hall’s parks and reserves team, Barlow says.

Townsend says she and Carter began talking about the potential for a bike track on the site a couple of years ago, aware parents in the suburb wanted more activities for their kids.

A subsequent residents’ survey backed up their thinking, putting a bike track at the top of
their wishlist.

She says the track’s a relatively gentle grade two, suitable for all ages, which in one section
wends its way through trees near the Queenstown Trail.

The association’s also got plans for a ‘‘skills park’’ nearby that would be more suitable for teenaged riders.

‘‘We’ve got an area in mind, and it’s our ultimate goal.’’

The community’s ‘‘so lucky’’ to be getting the work done by the Workforce Alliance, she says.

‘‘Covid’s been a really horrible time for so many reasons, but this is one of the positive
things that’ve been able to happen because of it.’’

Barlow says the Workforce Alliance team’s also working on a 1.3km mountain bike track in
Kelvin Heights’ Jardine Park (Mountain Scene, July 2), planting nearly 2000 natives in the same park and the Kingston Cemetery, and clearing weeds on Lake Wakatipu’s Pigeon Island.

guy.williams@scene.co.nz