The Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board supports the proposed extension to the mountain bike season on the Heaphy Track.
The board considered a proposed amendment to the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan and decided to recommend to the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA), an extension to cover May 1 to November 30.
Board chairman Bob Dickinson said the board supported a two-month extension to the end of the season to promote more use of the Heaphy Track, and to provide mountain bikers with more opportunity to ride the track outside winter months.
The board did not support a proposed extension to the beginning of the season, due to higher walker numbers in April. That meant walker-only access would remain through Easter and the April school holidays, Mr Dickinson said.
The board also requested that the Department of Conservation print the Mountain Bikers Code onto the hut booking receipt for bikers, and continue to promote shared use track etiquette on the Heaphy Track.
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Mr Dickinson said there was also merit in clarifying that electric bikes are not allowed on the Heaphy Track.
The NZCA makes the final decision on the plan amendment, and will consider the board's recommendations at its February meeting.
Until the NZCA makes a decision it will only be possible to book mountain bikes on the Heaphy Track during the May to September season in 2017.
- Westport News