Blow for QEII fitness trail

Residents want to save the fitness trail at QEII.

An appeal to save the community-built QE II Park fitness trail has failed – but campaigners fighting for it are not giving up yet.

The fitness trail currently runs around the park, with 17 fitness stations set up around the 2km track.

But about half the track is set to be removed when Shirley Boys and Avonside Girls’ high schools are built there.

The Coastal-Burwood Community Board wrote to the Ministry of Education last week asking it to reconsider its decision to remove that portion of the fitness trail.

But the ministry has refused to reconsider.

Ministry education infrastructure service deputy head Rob Giller said keeping the trail would “compromise the safety and security of the school”.

“That’s because if public access was granted over the schools’ land, its boards of trustees would not be able to trespass members of the public causing menace,” he said.

He said the school site had already been reduced to meet city council requirements, and keeping the trail would reduce it further.

Community board chairwoman Kim Money said she accepted that, and believed there was nothing more the board could do.

She said she would now work with the city council to create a shorter loop off the school grounds.

North New Brighton resident Dan O’Sullivan, who has been campaigning to save the trail, said that was not good enough.

He said he would now look at organising a letter or petition from residents to keep it. “Of course there’s a way around it, it’s just they don’t want to,” he said.

He believed keeping the trail would make the school more secure, as residents walking there on weekends or after hours could keep an eye out for vandalism or problems happening at the school.