New Collaboration and public events top of mind for new Te Araroa Auckland Trusts Article
07 Sep 2020
Day walks, volunteer initiatives and efforts to bring Auckland’s outdoor community together are on the agenda for a new regional trust tasked with enhancing the scenic stretch of Te Araroa trail that passes through the Auckland region.
Chaired by experienced businessman Clayton Wakefield, the new Te Araroa Auckland Trust will work closely with Te Araroa Trust’s national board and executive director to strengthen connections and enhance the walking experience. The regional trust’s focus will be on the more than 200 km of the national trail that passes through Auckland on its way down the country from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
The other appointments to the Auckland trust are film freelancer Stacey Ngawhika, accountant Rob Hargrave, police sergeant Spencer Matthews, school principal Chris Bradbeer, change manager Liz Corin, outdoorsman Nigel Corey-Wright, and trail angel Denis Stanton.
Te Araroa Trust executive director Mark Weatherall said the appointment of the Auckland trust was part of a national effort to re-invigorate Te Araroa’s regional trusts across New Zealand.
“We have some incredibly talented and passionate people on the new Auckland trust and I’ve no doubt they will do an outstanding job of advocating for and developing the trail locally. Many of our appointments have walked the whole trail or sections of it in the past, so they have an intimate understanding of what makes Te Araroa so special.”
Mr Wakefield said he and his fellow Auckland trust members were looking forward to championing the national trail locally. Final steps were underway to formalise the trust’s legal structure and they would then be fully operational, he said.
“The trail in Auckland takes in everything from our remote beaches through to our wonderful parks, ancient volcanoes, and even Queen Street as it passes through the country’s largest city. It crosses New Zealand from east coast to west coast and includes a crossing of the Waitemata harbour – where else in the world do you get such an interesting walk?”
Mr Wakefield said the Auckland regional trust’s focus over the coming year would be on expanding the number of volunteers working to enhance the trail and strengthening links with the many councils, walking groups, iwi and businesses the trail touches. The trust would also encourage more Aucklanders to explore the trail and was already planning a series of public day walks on local trail sections over the summer, he said.
"Many Aucklanders already walk parts of it today without really knowing it. It's New Zealand's national walking trail – now internationally recognised as one of the great trails of the world – and it goes right through Aucklanders’ backyards."
The full Te Araroa trail stretches 3,000 km, taking in some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, more than 20 towns and cities, and many significant cultural sites such as the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Whanganui River.