Footpath: What About The River Routes?

Prompted by questions at the public footpath consultation meetings, we are here summarising the various considerations and developments with regards to route options along the rivers:


For several years, the Moutere Hills Residents Association (MHRA) had been investigating the possibility to create a pathway between Kelling Road and Supplejack Valley Road alongside the Moutere River, or alternatively along the NZ Company Ditch to the East of the village.

As is the case for the highway route options, public land availability has always been a major limiting factor. Some sections of the river route had been available for the pathway at different times, but at no time was a complete, continuous route available.

See below for all the reasons now supporting the highway route.

Support For The Highway Route

In May 2019 the MHRA committee once again reviewed all the possible options and at that time concluded that a route directly alongside the Moutere Highway would be the most achievable, most feasible, and most useful option - see this article.

Factors influencing this decision were:

  • Total travel distance (the river options would be about twice as long from start to finish)
  • Construction cost (the river routes would be much more expensive to construct to the same standard)
  • Usability (the highway route is simply the most direct route to allow people to travel between the community centre and the village)
  • Possible hazards and damaging events (from washouts, slips, falling trees)
  • Expected future maintenance cost (washouts along the river are steadily increasing, making the chance of interruption of the pathway connection a higher likelihood, and with limited maintenance capability a river route could be effectively severed for significant amounts of time due to a single washout event)

MHRA therefore maintains their support for a pathway route alongside the Moutere Highway.

But Maybe a Recreational Track on the River?

Should a continuous stretch of public land become available along the Moutere River route in the future, then MHRA promotes that this can still be developed as a recreational track. But this could be as a much simpler, secondary track, while the primary connection from MHCC to the village is provided by the shared pathway alongside the Moutere Highway.

A secondary recreational track can be developed to a much simpler construction standard (e.g. similar to a tramping track), greatly reducing construction and maintenance cost. With the main all-weather connection being established along the highway, this recreational track would be of a much lower importance, meaning it would be much less problematic in case it gets disconnected by a washout.

Related Articles

Summary of Pathway Priorities Community Survey 2016:

Council Approves Development of New Footpaths 2019: