The Ministry of Tourism says the Government's latest comments on new cycle routes do not amount to a backward step.
The fully linked cycleway was scaled back in May's budget in favour of a cheaper 'Great Rides' concept which could be linked at a later date.
Prime Minister John Key, who is also Tourism Minister, has likened the project to a 'patchwork quilt'.
The Ministry says it is progressing well on what can be built with the $50 million budget.
Chief executive Ray Salter expects some routes to be identified in the next two months and some trails completed by 2012.
Mr Salter says the ministry is taking forward the 'Great Rides' concept and the latest comments do not mean a further change in position.
Government figures show building cycle tracks could cost as much as $100,000 a kilometre on moderate terrain.