Cycle trail trust aims for ‘shared vision’

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On track . . . Sarah Davie-Nitis is forming a trust to create a shared vision to develop cycle tracks and trails around Dunedin. PHOTO: THE STAR

A new trust aims to create a shared vision to develop cycle tracks and trails around Dunedin.

Members of the trust, which is still in formation, have created a submission which will be presented to the Dunedin City Council by spokeswoman Sarah Davie-Nitis.

It was made by a group of seven residents.

Ms Davie-Nitis said the aim was to see if the council was interested in partnering to create a shared vision and strategy for the development of tracks and trails around Dunedin.

“There’s all these potential trails and all these different groups that are working in silos without any kind of shared direction,” she said.

The trust is the latest project for Ms Davie-Nitis, a former Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board chairwoman, who ran unsuccessfully for the Dunedin City Council in last year’s local government elections.

The trust would support local groups and share knowledge and resources between them, she said.

“We would try and share information, stumbling blocks or good stories that they are encountering.”

These groups had local knowledge, know-how and access to the community but would benefit from council direction, she said.

The trust was “trying to get everyone to come together to that one shared vision of a network of trails across the city”.

A partnership with the council would also give these groups access to funding that might not have been available otherwise.

It would also be easier when it came to approaching other stakeholders such as the Otago Regional Council, NZ Transport Agency or Department of Conservation.

It would prevent multiple groups from different areas, all trying to achieve the same thing, reaching out to them at the same time.

“If they can all be aware of what each other are doing and where that fits in with a citywide vision and strategy, then . . .they’re all on the same page.”

Also, realistically, there were limited resources and the council could not “press go” on all the trails ratepayers might like.

A strategy would allow the trails to be part of a network and “bigger picture”.

Ms Davie-Nitis said the idea was exciting.

“It will be interesting to see how councillors receive the submission and whether that shared vision and strategy is something they want to develop in the near future, and if partnering with a citywide trust is appealing.”