The opening of the Pukorokoro-Miranda to Thames section of the Hauraki Rail Trail has been postponed due to the forecast poor weather for tomorrow, Saturday.
A provisional new date for the opening has been set for November 18, to enable ministerial special guests to attend post-election.
Associate Tourism Minister Nicky Wagner has approved Grade 1 Great Ride status for this latest section of the Hauraki Rail Trail, meaning the ride is suitable for all ages and abilities.
The Hauraki Rail Trail is a joint project between Hauraki, Thames-Coromandel, and Matamata-Piako District councils.
The new section runs mostly along the top of the stop banks beside the Firth of Thames, bordering one of the most important areas for shorebirds in the country. It is a joint project between Thames Coromandel District Council and Hauraki District Council who contributed $1 million each to the project.
The New Zealand Transport Agency also contributed $1 million for the construction of a `clip-on' cycle lane attached to the downstream side of the Piako Bridge, which spans the Piako River on State Highway 25, to provide a safe crossing for Rail Trail users and road cyclists.
Pukorokoro-Miranda is recognised as an internationally significant habitat for migratory birds by the Wetlands Convention, established at Ramsar in Iran in 1971. Its mudflats and shell banks are a seasonal home for around 40 species of shorebirds including bar-tailed godwits and red knots, which breed in Alaska and Siberia.
These birds fly from Pukorokoro-Miranda to their breeding sites and back again every year, with a stopover in China.