Walking is often the ‘forgotten’ transport choice, yet we all walk or use the footpath on a daily basis. It is also one of the first things we learn to do and that we are able to maintain throughout our lives.
The role of walking is becoming more significant particularly as our population is living longer. Therefore having a plan in place how the districts' footpaths are maintained and developed is critical to foster this healthy way of transport.
The Buller District has a total of 86.5km of footpaths (2019), which reflects the low population in our rural part of New Zealand. 61% of footpaths are located in Westport, 9% are in Reefton, 6% are in Carters Beach, and the remaining 24% are in Northern Buller, Punakaiki, Ikamatua and Inangahua Junction.
In conversation with the community Council created an action plan through a series of public workshops in 2019 how this network of walking connections will be developed over the 10-years from 2019.
The Action Plan was created out of an assets and need assessment for all footpaths in Buller, followed by in depth public workshops with the community. The outcome of the plan was a schedule of improvements to footpaths between 2019 and 2029. These upgrades are mainly funded through the National Land Transport Fund.
In short the Walking Action Plan 2019 has informed what footpath repair has been done, where and when since 2019.