Local tourism guides facing job uncertainty have been taken under the Rotorua Lakes Council's wing.

The group has been redeployed from their current jobs for a few weeks to carry out maintenance for Rotorua Trails Trust.

The trust works on behalf of Rotorua Lakes Council, developing and maintaining walking, riding and horse trekking trails throughout the Rotorua region.

RiverRats operations manager Anthony Churches said it was a positive experience to be in lockdown, spending time with family and completing DIY projects, but thought a lot about the future of tourism as a whole.


"We got the wage subsidy which has been great but there's other things that need topping up.

"Being in a management role, I can see a lot of money going out that hasn't been coming in."

He said the work with the Trails Trust was a "helping hand" and being able to give back to the forest that he enjoyed so much was a plus.

Mountain Bike Rotorua guide Wade Garmson also saw the work as a great way to give back.

"This has been a pretty cool opportunity. I've been riding in the forest for a few years, since they first allowed mountain biking in the forest, so it's a great way of just giving back and staying outdoors."

Rotorua Lakes Council's Manahautū Mahi Jocelyn Mikaere said these types of opportunities were what the council would be looking for to deliver the Build Back Better economic recovery strategy.

"We are going to need partnerships with local businesses, organisations and other groups to deliver this strategy.

"We are going to need to be innovative and look for opportunities to build on the work that council is already doing and see where we can extend that further into our community."


The work with the Trails Trust would be ongoing for about six weeks and the team will be carrying out work on more than 200km of trails.

They will be trimming vegetation and clearing tracks, maintaining and enhancing drainage in particularly boggy areas to improve the surface for all users, and maintaining and repairing stairs in the steeper areas.

It was an opportunity with Government support, with its recent 2020 Budget announcement that included an investment of $1.1 billion into environment related employment opportunities.