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  • Writer's pictureLara Thorne

Waitangi Mountain Bike Park November Update


The SOUTHSTAR TRAILS team have being working flat out in the WAITANGI ENDOWMENT FOREST. Their work is a credit to them. They are getting those little diggers into some very tricky places to create amazing rides for us. For those that have seen the trails currently under construction there is much excitement and it is easy to visualise the fun in the months and years to come. Already local (and some not so local) mountain biking experts and enthusiasts have been up to take a look at the work of Southstar first hand and given their seal of approval. There is no doubt that we have the best crew with Southstar Trails, respected masters of their craft. After years of talking and planning, now on the ground they continue to prove their prowess and continue to be fantastic to work with. Thank you SOUTHSTAR – JEFF CARTER, ROHAN ALTON, LLOYD JENKS, SCOTT TAYLOR, RYAN LOVETT, JOHNNY CASH, THOMAS LINDUP. A special mention of thanks to CHARLES PARKER and FULLERS GREAT SIGHTS for donating a trip out on the Bay for the whole Southstar Team. Most of the trail crew have not been here before so it was great for them to get a better understanding of the Bay and also to enjoy a day out after working so hard all week on the hill.

So, two tracks are almost finished – a Grade 2 track and  a Grade 4 track. Work continues next on a connector track from the end of these to the Carpark/Trail Hub and also on a fun Cross Country Family Loop track. The pictures are just a taste of what is to come. Please note that the tracks shown above and below are NOT COMPLETE, with compaction, manicuring and fine tuning to be done… but it gives you a good idea.


We are delighted to announce the support of the NZ DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. Over a year of discussions and planning between ROBIN HOLLAND and BEN WHITAKER, Manager of Industries atNORTHLAND REGIONAL CORRECTIONS FACILITY, has resulted in spectacular support for the WMBP project. Corrections have now officially adopted the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park as on ongoing project for prisoners who are able to work outside of the prison. They have already been helping us in the Forest over the past few weekends but as of this week they are working 5 days a week, 7:30am – 1pm. Amazing support! The Corrections crew are working closely with the Southstar team, scrub clearing ahead of the diggers and also hand digging sections of trail that go through pockets of native trees. This support is greatly recieved and it will ensure that our trail building dollars go significantly further. Huge thanks to BEN for the immense amount of organisation and paper work this takes and also to Prison Director, DAVID PATTINSON for getting in behind this magnificent community project. The work detail currently stands at 5 prisoners but the aim is to get it up to 9. This commitment from David, Ben, the Corrections Officers that oversee the men in the field and of course the prisoners is a huge asset to this project. The prisoners are enjoying the work. The Waitangi Endowment Forest is a great place to be. After release we’ll certainly get them back to ride, to enjoy the fruits of their efforts, which are appreciated by all of us. Thank you NORTHLAND REGIONAL CORRECTIONS FACILITY. You guys rock!


We have been working closely with members of the DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION for a number of years now. It is important to acknowledge the significant time and efforts that the local DOC team put in, working with us, to ensure the success of this project. Thank you to ALICE HOSTED, ADRIAN WALKER, STEVE MCMANUS and CHRIS CHARLES for all of their guidance and support. Your time given and commitment shown to the project is highly valued and appreciated.


kiwi flow

FLOW THE KIWI DOG daily clears the path ahead for the diggers, under the capable and trusty guidance of her owner STEVE MCMANUS. Steve has been a kiwi safe expert for over 18 years with Flow, a 5 year old strong eye heading dog, now 4 years into her specialised career. Steve been involved with kiwi safe practices during harvest in the Waitangi Endowment Forest for the past 12 years. It is vital that we take all measures to protect the kiwi and all biodiversity elements within the Endowment Forest, so we are grateful to be working with such an experienced team. Huge thanks to Steve for his expertise and guidance, not only with Flow, but also with a number of issues over the past month.


A request came from Southstar for a truck load of microwave sized rocks for use with some drainage and trail features. Not easy things to come by at the drop of a hat. Huge thanks to NEIL CATES and TRANSFIELD QUARRY for supplying the rock free of charge and also to ANDREW YOUNGER CONTRACTING for the free delivery to site. A request done and dusted in less than 24 hours, for free! Astounding! Also thanks to BAY OF ISLANDS ITM who this week supplied and delivered materials for a track feature FOC too. As ever, amazing support from these three local companies that always get right behind our community. So remember to get behind them. Shop local! It is the support from our community that is making this worthwhile project possible – really making it happen! Love our town.


The crew are now daily operating in the forest, Monday to Friday, 7am-5pm, with some weekend work possible, weather dependant. They are working mainly in the valleys to the east and west of  Bledisloe Rd, also starting next week along the southern side of Wairoa Rd, from Manuka Rd towards the Quarry. Beware Machinery Operating – Signage is placed on the roadside to indicate if the crews are working ahead. A new page is up on the Focus Paihia website that will be kept up to date with information regarding Waitangi Mountain Bike Park works. Please click HERE to link to the page.


Above is GPS map of the trails that have recently been marked out and are under or soon to be under construction


There is a lot of work yet to be done to create these world class trails, which will also then need settling, curing for the perfect surface. Not to mention all of the park/trail signage requirements, car park development and the overall project due diligence that is required… these elements are essential to the success of the Park from the onset. We are working on all of it. Please be patient. We are volunteers and we are few. We are of course all striving to open as soon as we can, but it will most likely be in the late summer.  All Waitangi Mountain Bike Park trails will remain closed until the Park officially opens. Riding on Waitangi Mountain Bike Park trails, whether they be under construction or complete, is currently strictly prohibited. All are welcome to go up and look at the trails but please DO NOT RIDE THEM.



There has been fantastic support from local accommodation providers.  Thank you to CENTABAY, THE BOUNTY MOTEL, BREAKWATER MOTEL, OUTRIGGER MOTEL, HARURU FALLS RESORT, ADMIRALS VIEW LODGE, BAYVIEW MOTEL, ALAMOANA MOTEL, WAITANGI CAMPGROUND and EDELWEISS MOTEL who are each providing 2 weeks of accommodation for the Southstar crew free of charge! This is a significant contribution and is very gratefully received. Thank you to all of these businesses for supporting the WMBP in this integral way.


There have been some significant donations to the project over the past week. The local branch of the Motel Association of New Zealand, BAY OF ISLANDS MANZ, has contributed $5000. This money has been saved by the group over a long period of time and we are very grateful that they have chosen to put this towards the development of the Park. Magnificent! Also $10,000 has been donated by the Business  Paihia  – Thank you BUSINESS PAIHIA INC! We can not thank all of these groups enough. They are organisations that work together for the betterment of our area. They understandthe initiative and the benefits of this project, proving so by their fantastic contributions. It makes the hard work put in by the volunteer WMBP team, all the more worthwhile, knowing that we have the community behind us. Thank you for this remarkable support.Another amazing donation, was not from an organisation or group, but from local residentsPAUL & SONYA HELLIS, who have personally contributed $10,000 towards the build of the Park. They are keen bikers who also care about seeing our area thrive. Spectacular generosity. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The Keep it Club local funding drive continues, thanks to KAREN YOUNGER. CHRIS WILLIAMS is also working on a number of funding applications. It is hard to put into words the thanks due to ROGER DOLD and SARAH GREENER who have put in endless hours compiling an impressive and significant funding application to NORTHLAND REGIONAL COUNCIL. Thank you to all of the above for your splendid efforts and support.


You can pledge now and pay at the end of January! The Mountain Bike Park is charitable so you will get 33.333% back from the IRD. Huge thanks to all those who those who have already contributed or sent in the form pledging to do so… EDGEWATER PALMS MANAGEMENT, ALOHA SEAVIEW RESORT MOTEL, BAYVIEW MEDICAL CENTRE, BAY OF ISLANDS HOME HOLIDAYS, SWISS CHALET LODGE MOTEL, BAY OF ISLANDS CAMPERVAN PARK, BAYSTAY BED & BREAKFAST, BLUE PACIFIC APARTMENTS, SEABEDS BACKPACKERS, ADMIRALS VIEW LODGE, AVERILL COURT MOTEL, BEACHED AS, BAY CABINZ, OUTRIGGER MOTEL and  ALLEGRA HOUSE. See links below to the Economic Benefits Presentation and Funding Form.


Don’t forget we also have a ‘GIVE  A LITTLE ‘ campaign – Every dollar counts! Visit the Give A Little website online.


The Forestry roads are shared by many recreational users – horse riders, mountain bikers, walkers and hikers. SAFE RIDING ETIQUETTE is a must! STOP STAND SPEAK. Below is a link to the approved Safe Riding Etiquette for the Waitangi Endowment Forest and the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park. If you are currently utilising the Waitangi Endowment Forest for recreation as a horse rider, mountain biker, walker or hiker, then reading this document is a must. Also linked below is ‘”RULES OF THE TRAIL”‘  These are guidelines for trail behaviour that are recognized around the world. The International Mountain Bicycling Association developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. (Shared use trails are the forestry roads in the Waitangi Endowment Forest) It is important to keep all users safe and happy in the Forest.

Dogs, motorbikes and hunting are prohibited in the Waitangi Endowment Forest. #WaitangiMountainBikePark


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