Northland's stretch of the 3000km Te Araroa trail has received a boost with the appointment of a new regional trust to help improve the walking experience in the region.
Chaired by financial adviser and adventure racer Shane Knowler, the regional trust will work closely with Te Araroa Trust's national board and chief executive to enhance the 450km section of the trail that passes through the Northland region.
The other appointments to the Northland trust are planning consultant Robin Rawson, Far North District Council iwi liaison officer Rachel Ropiha, DoC ranger Marty Ackroyd, communications consultant Linda Donaldson and trail walkers Joanne Gardner, Kerry Shanta and Mark Williams.
Te Araroa Trust chief executive Mark Weatherall said the appointment of the Northland trust was part of a national effort to re-invigorate Te Araroa's regional trusts across New Zealand.
"It's been more than five years since Northland last had its own trust and we're thrilled to again have a strong local presence to develop and improve relationships and co-ordinate our volunteers in the region," Weatherall said.
Knowler said he and his fellow trust members were energised and looking forward to making a difference.
Final steps were under way to formalise the trust's legal structure and they would then be fully operational, he said.
"The majority of walkers tend to do the trail north to south so Northland is the first stage they experience,'' Knowler said.
''It's got spectacular kauri forests, Ninety Mile Beach and a lot of exposure to Māori culture and we're looking forward to working with people and organisations across our region to make sure the experience is high-quality and remains sustainable for the long term."
The internationally renowned Te Araroa trail stretches from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island.
Along the way it takes in some of New Zealand's most spectacular scenery, more than 20 towns and cities and many significant cultural sites such as the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and Whanganui River.
Last year Ninety Mile Beach was one of six iconic Te Araroa trail locations that have provided the images for a NZ Post stamp series.