Council-community partnership leads to Makara Peak extension

4 May 2018

Working in partnership with community group Makara Peak Supporters, Wellington City Council plans to help fund and build a series of new tracks at Wellington’s premier mountain biking destination, Makara Peak.

Councillor Andy Foster and Makara Peak Supporters spokesperson Iain Feist on their bikes at Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park.

Councillor Andy Foster (left) and Makara Peak Supporters spokesperson Iain Feist inspecting the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park’s tracks

The Council-community collaboration will see 16km of new track added to the current 40km over the next decade. Because of the park’s growing popularity for mountain biking, jogging and walking, the Council is also funding an extensive upgrade to the park’s main entrance and parking options on South Karori Road.

See a map of the proposed tracks (1.2MB PDF)

Councillor Andy Foster, a foundation member of Makara Peak Supporters, says the park’s success is a testament to the value of Council and community’s positive and constructive working relationship.

“Makara Peak Supporters are a trusted and skilled partner who are leaders in their field. Since Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park was created in 1998, Makara Peak Supporters have worked with Council’s support to create an internationally recognised MTB destination, which is hugely popular with Wellingtonians. 

“That’s involved countless volunteer hours with picks and shovels. It’s also involved helping regeneration of forest with at least one tree planted for every metre of new track. 

“The Supporters are also actively involved in pest control under the title of Katch 22, and do trapping in all the reserves surrounding Karori. Now the Supporter’s involvement in the park’s future design and decision making means we’ve ended up with a really solid user-focused plan.”

Makara Peak Supporters spokesperson Iain Feist says mountain biking is booming.

“It's one of the fastest growing recreational activities in New Zealand, and Makara Peak has some of the best tracks, terrain, native bush and views on offer. 

“For 20 years we've had a great partnership with the Council and their officers, working together with a huge number of volunteers to build a world class mountain bike park in re-established native bush. 

“This level of investment will make a big difference and will help keep Wellington on a par with other centres like Nelson, Rotorua, Taupo and Otago who are investing heavily in mountain biking facilities for the benefit of the whole community and to attract tourists. For the Supporters, this means we can continue to build track, plant trees and trap pests with confidence that the Council is committed to the park,” he says.

Work started on initial new tracks earlier this year and further work on the park will take place over the next decade. 

In its draft 10-Year Plan, Wellington City Council has proposed $1 million of funding for the park’s new tracks and entrance developments. It is proposed to increase parking for up to 36 cars as well as providing additional space for overflow parking. The design will also allow for space between bikers and cars for improved safety. The new entrance may include larger toilet and bike wash facilities.

The park relies heavily on volunteer labour, donations and grants to build and maintain tracks and carry out extensive conservation work. Over 3,500 volunteer hours are spent developing and maintaining the park each year.

Since it was established in 1998, the Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park has grown to become the region’s most significant mountain bike destination.  The award-winning park attracts 100,000 visits a year.

People can read the Council’s 10-Year Plan and have their say about the city’s future via www.10yearplan.wellington.govt.nz or through social media using the hashtag #WgtnPlan. Public consultation is open until 15 May.