Kaikōura aims for the Great Walks map

Local authorities and iwi in north Canterbury have applied to have popular walkways around Kaikōura elevated to ‘Great Walks’ status.

The Kaikōura and Hurunui district councils see it as another chance to boost the area’s recovery from the 2016 earthquake.

There are currently nine premier tracks, or Great Walks, around the country.

The Department of Conservation has called for expressions of interest from communities about which other walks in their region could be enhanced.

Kaikōura community stalwart Gina Solomon said the aim of getting the tracks official status was to help boost the recovery of small towns like Waiau, Mt Lyford, Ward, Seddon and Hanmer, and reinvigorate an element of iwi history in the area.

“We were a race of people who were great walkers – we need to get back to that and get back on the land,” she said.

“This is very much in the line of healthy people, healthy places, healthy nature.”

It was now a matter of getting past the initial hurdle to see if their application would proceed to the next stage, Ms Solomon said.