The first meeting to discuss a proposed cycling and walking trail was held in 2015, with a further 7 years vision and commitment by many to see the project to fruition. Without the enthusiastic group which brought their individual knowledge and skills to the table, the Trail wouldn’t be where it is today.
One such contributor is Evan Morris, who after taking what he describes as a back-seat role at meetings over the years, is now responsible for maintenance along the Omau Section of the Trail. His work and experience with KiwiRail sets him in good stead checking for blocked culverts, washouts, and scrub encroaching on the Trail.
We caught up with Evan to find out more about his connection to the community and his involvement with the Trail.
Photo: Evan Morris
What do you love most about your role with the Kawatiri Coastal Trail?
I’m really enjoying giving back to the community, and talking to the Trail users who love to stop for a bit of a yarn. There are a great number of locals and visitors enjoying the Trail, and everyone has something positive to say.
Tell us about your work on the Trail
As a volunteer, I’m mostly out during evenings and weekends to help out where I can. There are a couple of guys who ride every day who give me a heads up if something needs doing. I’ve got a four-wheeler and can access the Trail at three or four spots. I’ve lived most of my life at Cape Foulwind, but it’s been incredible experiencing the native bush you would never experience from the road.
Do you have additional help keeping Omau in tip top condition?
Absolutely. There are a few locals from Tauranga Bay who use the Trail daily, and carry secateurs so they can trim things back if they’re of concern. There’s also a few retirees around Cape Foulwind village, who have put up their hand to help out with a wee bit of spraying which is great.
Photo: Omau Section
Have you enjoyed the Trail on foot or by bike?
I’m mainly a walker and have walked the Sections that have opened many times.
What are you looking forward to most once the Trail is complete?
I’ll be looking forward to seeing the people who are out using the Trail, and enjoying new country in the district which they wouldn’t otherwise have experienced. It’s been great seeing locals biking from town to Carters Beach for lunch and back, and families getting out together for a ride.
If you would like to volunteer, get in touch with us to learn about a variety of voluntary roles. Please contact Trudy Harrington, Project Administrator on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 0292 2296.