Fiordland trail opens following community backing

Meridian Energy congratulates Fiordland Trails Trust on the opening of the Te Anau to Queens Reach trail at the weekend.

Steve Hoskins + family 1b

The much anticipated first two legs of stage one of the trail for walkers, runners and cyclists has been built on the left side of the Waiau River covering a distance of 10km between Lake Te Anau and Queens Reach.

Meridian has contributed $97,000 to the development of the trail through its Manapouri Community Fund.

Fund chair, Meridian’s Mat Bayliss, says it’s pleasing to see a valuable community project well and truly underway.

“We are proud to support the development of the Te Anau to Queens Reach trail. It’s a real asset to the community and will be enjoyed by locals and visitors for many years to come.”

“It makes sense for Meridian to be part of this project, given the first leg of the trail connects with the Te Anau Lake Control structure which is an integral part of the Manapouri power station and the gateway to the Kepler Track”.

Once completed, the grade two cycle trail will cover 28km from Lake Te Anau to Lake Manapouri. It will follow the Waiau River, which is part of Meridian’s catchment for the Manapouri Power Scheme, New Zealand’s largest hydro station.

Chairman of the Fiordland Trails Trust Dr Stephen Hoskin described Meridian’s support as being an anchor for the whole project.

Steve H speaking 1b

“Effectively the Meridian funds cover all of leg one of this first stage along the beautiful Lake Te Anau foreshore. To have such key support early on in our project was a huge boost to the success of the project, and the increased grant from Meridian has also enabled us to cater for people with mobility issues on this section of the track. We are incredibly grateful to have Meridian on board as a major sponsor.”

As well as the $97,000 Meridian grant, funding has come from the Community Trust of Southland ($150,000), Mararoa-Waimea Ward reserves ($50,000), Kepler Challenge Committee ($35,000), Te Anau Community Board ($50,000), $35,000 from the Transpower Community Fund and a variety of local businesses & individuals (including Mitre10, Fresh Choice, Greaney Group,Willans Family) have also contributed funding.

Meridian’s community funds support local projects in the areas near our generation assets. It’s one way we can recognise the importance of local communities to our hydro and wind operations.

To find out more about the Meridian community funds visit https://www.meridianenergy.co.nz/about-us/community-support/community-funds.

Cliff + Irene Barnes 1b