NZWAC recognises Dunedin’s Andrew Lonie for mountain biking contribution
Dunedin City Council staff member Andrew Lonie has been recognised by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission for the positive contribution he has made towards mountain biking activities in the Otago region.
Mr Lonie, a recreation planning officer, played a pivotal part in establishing a Heads of Agreement between the Dunedin City Council and Mountain Biking Otago, a club that aims to encourage and develop all aspects of recreational and competitive mountain biking in the region.
Chris Arbuckle, the Commission’s regional field advisor for Otago, Waitaki and the Catlins, said the agreement has made a major contribution towards facilitating access discussions between the Council and the mountain biking community.
“It’s a pivotal document that establishes a relationship of trust between the two parties, and also helps start a conversation with new people,” Mr Arbuckle said.
Mr Lonie was nominated by Mountain Biking Otago. The club’s mission is to work with local authorities to maintain and build a network of tracks in the region. In its nomination, the club noted the council’s ongoing support, as well as Mr Lonie’s personable and proactive style.
“Andrew Lonie is one of these people who knows how to build and form relationships with volunteers. He’s really focused on community outcomes,” Mr Arbuckle said.
“Community groups like Mountain Biking Otago can only accomplish their objectives with the support of their local council. This is where people like Andrew make a big difference.”
Mountain bikers have access to about 100 kilometres of tracks in Dunedin. While the agreement supports the club’s volunteers to get on with the job of maintaining and building tracks in Dunedin’s Signal Hill Reserve, it also provides a useful guide for the club’s activities elsewhere in the city and has led to further Service Level Agreements for track maintenance and development between the club and the council.
“This is a good example of how local government can build trusting, productive relationships with community organisations, for everyone’s benefit,” Mr Arbuckle said.
Mr Lonie received his award today at a meeting of the Dunedin City Council.