Cycle Gisborne
Photo by Tairāwhiti Gisborne Image Library

Tairāwhiti Project

Tapuwae Tairāwhiti Trails Trust launched a new tracks and trails website for te Tairāwhiti. It hopes that eventually, all the tracks and trails in te Tairāwhiti will be included (for walking, cycling, scooting, wheelchair accessibility, commuting, running, mountain biking, road cycling, cultural and heritage trails, nature and education trails, and horse riding) and this will be a valuable resource for residents and visitors, and encourage people to be more active.

Note, the Tairāwhiti project has been paused as of mid-2023. This is partly due to the local government’s focus on cyclone recovery.

Dozens of communities, small and large, make up the Tairāwhiti region.

People from Gisborne around the East Cape to Opotiki want a network of tracks and trails that connect their communities, provide healthy, active recreation and create economic opportunities. Most importantly, they want to be able to connect to their whenua.

Herenga ā Nuku is supporting a regional project that weaves an array of initiatives. Our contribution to that project is:

  • strategy and long-term planning
  • public access mapping
  • networking between groups
  • influencing council policy and plans
  • our easement instrument
  • clarifying public access provision
  • general help and advice

We’re connecting with mana whenua, working to revitalise ancestral trails and enable journeys to significant places.

Our plan is to support local people to connect to the whenua and link communities through a regional network of tracks, trails and public access.

We've worked with Tapuwae Tairāwhiti Trails Trust to form a network of small communities, ahuwhenua land block managers, diverse mana whenua interests, Gisborne cycling commuters, cycle touring and walking advocates, the Gisborne District Council, Waka Kotahi, DOC, and Sport Gisborne-Tairawhiti.

The Tairāwhiti project focuses on their vision for the region:

  • connecting people to te taiao
  • re-vitalising whakapapa links through ancestral journeys
  • improving whanau health and well-being through outdoor recreation and active transport
  • connecting communities that have been isolated from each other except by car
  • providing safe transport options for tamariki to walk, bike and play
  • creating opportunities for people to explore the whenua and learn the stories of the land through those trails
  • sharing access to local mātauranga and places of significance, and
  • creating sustainable tourism opportunities.

We have collaborated with Gisborne District Council and Trust Tairāwhiti to fund a Trails Manager for Tapuwae Tairāwhiti Trails Trust. With their on-the-ground expertise, the community has made tangible improvements to their access to the outdoors:

  • They are shaping Gisborne District Council’s urban walking and cycling strategy
  • They have successfully applied for funding to create cycle and walkway connections in Uawa (Tolaga Bay)
  • They have instigated repairs to the Caves/ Matokitoki Loop trail
  • The Trails manager was in discussions with trail enthusiasts across the region, offering practical help, connecting to potential funding, and creating a mutual support network within Te Tairāwhiti.


Wainui Beach, Gisborne

Tairāwhiti Gisborne Image Library