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Geocaching To Feature In New Zealand Government Budget

In a move expected to reassure the New Zealand public that economic revival is imminent the Finance Minister, Bill English, will shortly announce the introduction of a geocaching initiative to stimulate the economy. Geocaching, a hobby that uses GPS to find hidden containers, has grown rapidly in the last 10 years, something Mr English believes New Zealand can cash in on. “With over 2 million registered users and 1.3 million geocaches worldwide geocaching is a vast untapped market that we can take advantage of” Mr English is reported to have said.

An artists interpretation of the proposed New Zealand Power Trail

With a focus on attracting geocaching tourists from around the world the initiative is expected to involve the establishment of the worlds largest ‘power trail’, a path with a large number of traditional geocaches placed every 161m. In commenting on the initiative Mr English stated that the “plan is to establish a geocaching tourist power trail that will be irresistible to the committed geocacher and attract them to come and visit New Zealand.”

It is understood the Finance Minister intends to establish a power trail running the length of New Zealand that would contain over 10,000 geocaches placed 161m apart. A ministry insider, who declined to be named, says Mr English is using the success of a similar initiative in the US as justification for this extreme measure. “He keeps raving about the ET Highway power trail and the impact it had on the local economy. He’s asked the treasury to run the numbers and on the basis of those he believes this is the stimulus the New Zealand economy needs to close the gap with Australia”

In response to the initiative the Green Party have released a statement seriously questioning the environmental sustainability of the power trail. Their main concern involves the impact on roadside rat population. “With vehicles stopping every 161m it will be impossible for our rat population to establish nests and breed adequately along the power trail route. This destructive initiative could see the extinction of this valuable species.”

But while the Green Party have ridiculed the plan others have shown support for the initiative. Dr Don Brash, recently self-elected as Act Party Leader, stated that bold moves like the power trail were needed to close the gap with Australia. “I think Bill English has finally shown the strength and leadership this country needs in a Finance Minister” he said. “I just hope the cheapest eclipse tins are sourced for this endeavour and that no extra funding is given to any ethnically orientated geo-thingys.”

Some online commentators have even suggested this could be the beginning of a National Party leadership bid by Bill English. Pointing to Prime Minister John Key’s largely unpopular cycle trail initiative they have suggested the superior numbers in the English Power Trail could overshadow the PM, who has been criticised in some circles for not having a greater impact on the community.

And there has been a mixed response from members of the New Zealand Recreational GPS society, the countries largest group of geocachers. North Island society president and maintainer of the New Zealand Geocaching Leaderboard, Radionut50, has suggested that while some members love the idea it is an unwelcome addition from others. “The introduction of this power trail will make the already interesting three way between Moneydork, TheWonderStuff and ADV even more exciting” he commented. “But there is concern over the workload that the volunteer geocaching.com reviewers will face in reviewing and approving over 10,000 new placements. The GPS.org.nz forums are already running a sweepstake on when Zero Gravitas will retire and whether it will be the result of severe OOS or clinical insanity.”

The new power trail is expected to be in place by the end of July.

 

 

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  1. De broekies

    We are planning to come to New Zealand in December this year. But definitely NOT to do a powertrail! Actually, we avoid those kind of caches. So, as a Dutch tourist, coming all the way to New Zealand, which caches could you recommend to us? Are there any favourite ‘Must do’ caches over there?

    1. Cumbyrocks

      I don’t really like power trails either, though I am fond of the idea of a power trail along a walking track. Yet to do one though. Fortunately the power trail mentioned in the post is complete work of fiction.

      I can’t really comment on caches outside of the Dunedin region but there are some excellent caches here to do. I’d start with some of our earlier caches (GCAF, GCB0, GCB2) will take to some excellent hilltops or places in Dunedin. If you are staying overnight I’d highly recommend doing GCKF0Q (Spooky Hollow), a fantastic night cache set in one of our historic cemeteries. Just about anything along the Otago Peninsula is fantastic but I can highly recommend the first two in the Coastal Rambles series if you are feeling a little bit adventurous – even if the weather doesn’t allow you to do the caches the views from these spots is amazing. If you do pass through Dunedin feel free to put out an event cache – the locals would love to meet you!

  2. AndrewRJ

    This had me rolling and in tears, but on a slightly serious thought, I wonder what the economic impact of something like that would actually be. I know that I would go and hit a trail like that. Probibly it would take a few weeks. Thats a lot of money in the economy.

    1. Cumbyrocks

      There are lots of variations on the idea that could potentially be useful for increasing tourism. One idea would be to set up power trails along the great walks (Routeburn etc) or perhaps the lesser known trails (the environmentally preferable option). I would also think rural centres could set up power trails that either run through them or to them. Imagine a trail leading over the Rimutake ranges from Upper Hutt, through Featherston, out to Martinborough along backs roads to Greytown, along the main highway to Carterton and through to Masterton. That would be quite a trail and attract quite a few people. But none of the ideas sits well with me. Ultimately I think there would be too much damage.

      1. AndrewRJ

        Well I will just say that I had to pull up a map as I am from the States. Hiking trail power trails works for me as well.

        I agree that the idea really is in antithisis to what a lot of people think of caching. That said, I think that the real problem as far as damage is a direct result of people trying to set records on these runs. Having them on hiking trails would certainly slow that down. You can’t really set a record while hiking.

        I recently did the Route 66 PT in California with a friend. I was quite surprized at how little damage was done in a desert environment where every footprint shows up very well. We took it slow and still found over 600 in the hours of daylight. We even stopped and ate lunch for a half hour. I know that the climate of NZ is varied, but I would have to imagine that the vegetation repairs itself quite quickly if it is antthing like up here in Washington State.

        To each their own however. I can understand both sides of the discussion. Love your site.

  3. Zero Gravitas

    Please note that a number of well-informed people would argue that becoming a reviewer already proves insanity.

    1. Cumbyrocks

      Modification needed:

      Please note that a number of well-informed people would argue that staying a reviewer proves insanity.

  4. robnzh

    I hate to tell you but it’s all off owing to the Budget.
    They misheard and approved a cashing trail where money will be collected from people on the trails and there will be cashing stations 161 metres apart.

    1. Cumbyrocks

      ROFL. Classic!

  5. Ola

    I would seriously consider taking the trip to New Zealand for a 10000 caches strong powertrail. Too bad this is a joke 🙁

    Go to NZ to see the sheep? Fjords? Mountains? Naaaah, got those in Norway.

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