The Pouakai Crossing is to get a new name as part of its multi-million dollar spruce-up.
A $3.4 million investment in the Taranaki tourist attraction was announced last week, as part of a $76m DOC tourism infrastructure package released through Budget 2017.
And on Wednesday Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges, and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry revealed more about how the money would be spent.
Barry said the finer details were still to be worked through with iwi and hapu, but the broader plan for the 'Taranaki Crossing' involved upgrading existing tracks, adding new bridges, toilets, signage and interpretation at an estimated cost of $1.8 million.
A further estimated $1.6 million will be required for on-going operating and maintenance, and other associated costs, she said.
The work is expected to be completed over a two to three-year period.
"The Government's announcement of $3.4 million towards enhancing the infrastructure on this crossing will support the development of what will be a truly world class experience in Taranaki," Barry said.
"We are developing a network of Great Short Walks and Great Day Walks because of increasing demand for activities that can be done in a day or less.
"The DOC estate is our biggest and best-known tourism asset and the new walks networks will ensure we can maximise the tourism benefits for biodiversity and threatened species protection.
"Overseas visitor numbers are set to reach 4.5 million in just five years and we need to be ready."
Bridges said the funding was is part of Taranaki's economic action plan and the government's regional growth programme.
The 'Make Way for Taranaki' project launched this week would help prepare an economic strategy and plan of action for Taranaki for the next 10 years.
"This [crossing funding] is the first step in working towards an economic action plan for the Taranaki region," Bridges said.
New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young said he welcomed the investment as a great step forward in establishing the crossing as a world class one-day walk.
He said he had supported improving the crossing since 2014, an idea he said was initially promoted by Taranaki mountain guide Rob Needs.
"This was all before Taranaki was in the international spotlight and poised for tourism growth. We believed in the project and now the crossing will be one of the centre-pieces of Taranaki's attraction."
A crossing project team was formed towards the end of 2014, which included the Department of Conservation, New Plymouth District Council, iwi leaders, Venture Taranaki and other individuals who presented the business case to the Government.
"It was a combined effort and great to see the 'Team Taranaki' approach we are proudly known for," Young said.
The Taranaki Crossing will help to ease the pressure on the immensely popular Tongariro Crossing and could be considered as part of a suite of Great Day walks on offer in central North Island, he added.
This post has been edited by the author on 17 May 2017 at 20:04.
Did it even have an old name? I'd generally figured that 'Pouakai Crossing' was just what a few random people had used for referring to an approximate line on a map.
I find this adventure-in-a-box approach unsettling, but it seems to be what's being demanded these days. Apparently.
I see the new name is the Taranaki Crossing, somewhat deceiving as the track doesn't actually cross Mt Taranaki.
They should've gone the whole way and called it the Taranaki Alpine Crossing so the TAC would match the other TAC...
Some of the local tourism businesses have been campaigning for this for a few years now. A few years ago the Kiwi Outdoors Centre (now Top Guides/Taranaki Shuttle?) was already doing drop-off and collection between North Egmont and Mangorei Road, and was pushing to have the facilities improved -- especially at the Mangorei Road end.
eg. From late 2014, but then they were only asking for $400k, and that included re-cutting the track down to Pukeiti. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/255945/new-track-to-rival-tongariro-crossing
They'll be rapt about this comparatively massive dump of money.
they'd have to be upgrading carparks to cope with the surge in vehicles. yet to be seen what is going to be done on the tongariro crossing, ie they are talking about banning cars from parking along the road, not sure what they are doing about that carpark whether cars will still be allowed to park there and it might just be a park and ride.
I don't want millions spent on individual track and hut upgrades. I just want regular track clearance on all usable tracks around the country fixing slips. Remarking and Trimming windfall and vegetation growth. A lick of paint here and there on huts, and a bit of rot and rust repair.
I don't want tracks for all. I want minimal tracks and huts for those who can.
I want millions spent on forest protection and regeneration. I want millions spent on pest control and protection of endemic species.
I don't want any more great walks. I want access points maintained. I want more park rangers and less paper pushers.
I really hate this government and the ignorant attitude of the genral kiwi to our conservation state and what it is there for.
If it keeps getting worse I'd be happy to say no humans anymore except for those involved with conservation of what's left