Avid mountain-biker and Rotorua businessman Ray Cook has donated the use of a new digger to the Rotorua Trails Trust, a move trustees say is a "game-changer" for forest users.

Mr Cook, of R & B Consultants, said his company would retain ownership of the digger but it would be made "exclusively available" to the trust.

Another Rotorua-based businessman, Paul Pedersen of Lumbercube, also assisted with the project by helping source the Cat 301.7D CR mini hydraulic excavator for Mr Cook.

"I think those trails - mountain biking, walking and horse trails - are a very important part of Rotorua and need to be kept at a high standard. I hope this is going to help this happen," Mr Cook said.


"I enjoy the trails myself as a keen mountain biker and wanted to put something back into the forest. I'm pretty passionate about the forest and I really hope it helps the trust maintain what is a great forest network for all users."

Rotorua Trails Trust chairman Gregg Brown said it would totally change the way the trust dealt with trail maintenance and building.

The trust builds and maintains forest trails for mountain bikers, runners, walkers and horse riders.

"It's hard to judge right now, but we imagine it would at least halve our trail-building costs. We think that every hour on the digger will save about four man-hours on a shovel.

"It's a game changer for us, we are just stoked and very happy with what Ray and Paul have done."

He said trail maintenance was a huge part of keeping the forest trails at a high level in terms of safety and quality for all users.