A walkway and cycleway from Te Puke to Maketu is planned.

The Te Ara Kahikatea Society is aiming to establish the route in stages over the next few years.

It is envisaged it will be about 15km when finished.

Beginning at the southern end of Lawrence Oliver Park, the intended route for the first stage of about 2.5km will loop through McLoughlin Park, cross Landscape Rd, continue through the cemetery, follow State Highway 2 to Waiari Stream, carry on down under the Railway Bridge past the wastewater plant, then head back up to the end of Station Rd to the northern end of Lawrence Oliver Park.

"We intend to continue the track along the banks of the Waiari Stream and Kaituna River," society chairman Julian Fitter said.


The informal committee of about "12 keen members who are interested in mucking in" is to meet at the end of the month where more planning will be done.

"We'll get things moving. The start is the trickiest, getting people to meetings as many are also involved in other projects, and hopefully we will see progress by the end of the year," Mr Fitter said.

Already landowners who will be affected by the walkway have been identified.

"There is a lot more work to be done. It's a long process to get it done properly and it's key that we get it right. The most important thing is to get landowners and the community onside," Mr Fitter said.

The members, who have a long-term vision for the project, are working with the Te Puke Economic Development Group in trying to develop the walk and cycleway as another attraction for the area.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council has helped get the group started and Mr Fitter said there were a number of organisations in the area they could go to for funding.

Work will be carried out by a combination of volunteers and contractors who will be brought in when required.

Environmental, historical and natural history factors are being taken into account and will be incorporated into the walkway.