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A grant of nearly $238,750 from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will enable construction of toilets and a wetland viewing platform on the Lansdowne Trail, near the new mountain bike park, currently under construction.

Masterton District Council applied for the funding, announced by the Minister of Tourism, as part of grants made to mark the first Matariki public holiday.

Criteria for the grants included infrastructure to support the delivery and management of Matariki events.

The Lansdowne wetland viewing platform will offer a sheltered space for stargazing, as well as acting as a hide for viewing birds.

The Council will provide 30 per cent of the funding (around $100,000) for the project, which will come from the Reserves Contributions (made up of contributions from developers as part of subdivision development).

Detailed design work will now be carried out with construction work likely to take place in 2023.

The designs will incorporate dry-chamber toilets, in keeping with the environment. This type of toilet is designed for wilderness areas and is used throughout New Zealand.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson was delighted with the news of the grant.

“Development of this part of the Lansdowne Trail is making it increasingly attractive for a broad range of community, and these new facilities will add to its appeal.

“It is also wonderful that we will be able to mark the first Matariki holiday with tangible benefits to our people.”