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Ed Sheeran

Cycle trails could bring cash to marae

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Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell is encouraging rural marae to think of ways they can benefit from the network of cycle trails being built around the country.

The Government has announced it will spend a further $400,000 from its Great Rides maintenance fund on six projects, including fixing storm damage to three of the trails.

Tourism Minister John Key says latest data shows about 125,000 people used the New Zealand Cycle Trail in January, up almost 30,000 on January 2014.

Mr Flavell says tourism is important to the Maori economy, but Maori operators need to think beyond poi and haka.

"Those cycle trails are really starting to get some momentum, bringing people here who need accommodations. Especially some of those rural marae out in the countryside that might want an income stream off some of those cycleways, they’ve got to start thinking about that because other people are cashing in, like some of these little bed and breakfast places," he says.

Mr Flavell says there could be debate about whether tourist accommodation is an appropriate use for marae, but the bills have to be paid.
 

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