The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Grants support adrenaline-packed action at Manawatu Mountain Bike Club

Friday 20 January 2017

While careering down hillsides on a mountain bike isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, it is for a growing number of adrenaline-seeking New Zealanders!

Around 800 devoted riders currently belong to the Manawatu Mountain Bike Club (MMBC), one of the largest and more active clubs in the country.

Thanks to funding from gaming grants, the club has continued to grow and cater for riders of all skill levels.
One project the club has received support with is the building of two new trails at Arapuke Forest Park, just outside Palmerston North.

Though the park already boasts 15 kilometres of mountain bike trails, the two new ones aim to cater for families and less-experienced riders.

Director, Gambling Compliance at the Department of Internal Affairs, Gareth Bostock, says one of the purposes of the New Zealand gambling legislation is to ensure that money from gambling benefits the community.

“It’s a system unique to our country and one which provides grant funding for thousands of good causes. We know that pokies can lead to some people suffering gambling harm. However, the gambling system in New Zealand is set up to ensure some of those harms are mitigated by pokie proceeds returning to the community and being used for good causes,” Gareth says.

The new trails are being professionally built with some funding from Palmerston North City Council, and grants from gaming machine societies: the Lion Foundation, Infinity Foundation, Pub Charity, New Zealand Community Trust, Mainland Foundation as well as public donations.

MMBC Secretary and Funding Officer, Rachel Beaver, says the new trails will increase participation and use of the park by riders of all skill levels – one reason why the club is grateful for the support it has received.

The two new trails are a small part of the club’s plans to create a truly great community facility. Volunteers are working on creating even more trails and by 2020 MMBC plans to have 30 kilometres of trails running through the park to suit all levels of skill, including a national-level downhill trail and skills area.

“This park will be a truly great community facility and the funds we’ve received have certainly been applied for the ‘public good’,” Rachel says.

“The development is very exciting and we hope our funders will be proud of what we’ve achieved with their generous contributions.”