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Stuart Smith, National MP for Kaikōura, is very pleased with the Walking Access Commission’s recognition of Marlborough’s Rod Eatwell and the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trust.

Mr Eatwell and the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trust were recognised as Walking Access Champions at an awards ceremony at Parliament on March 7.

“Rod is the largest private landowner on the Queen Charlotte Track,” Mr Smith says. “At 88, he’s still working hard to maintain his section of the track and make sure Kiwis have the opportunity to take in the beauty of the Marlborough Sounds.

“Without Rod, one of the most stunning parts of the track, Eatwell’s Lookout, wouldn’t exist. It’s fantastic to see his dedication and hard work recognised by the Walking Access Commission.

“The Queen Charlotte Track brings so many visitors into Marlborough and people like Rod Eatwell ensure it stays a drawcard for people from around the world and his generosity makes it possible for all Kiwis to visit this pristine location.

“Over the past seven years, the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust has also worked tirelessly to improve public access in our region. Their award is well-deserved and their contribution to tourism and public access in the region is huge.

“The Trust has developed the 38km Dun Mountain Trail and the 100km Great Taste Trail. These tracks provide access for walking and cycling over a large area, some of which was not previously open to the public.

“Marlborough, Nelson and the greater Kaikōura electorate are full of Kiwis committed to enriching and promoting our local environment. It’s great to see a couple of them acknowledged for their work.”

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