|Pauanui Tairua Trail||
|Pauanui Tairua Trail||
Sadly this year’s progress on the trail has been non-existent.
The Trail Committee has continued to meet monthly and have continued to maintain the trail to a very high standard. They have had an excellent tree planting programme under the guidance of Kim, Jeanette and Anne.
Peter and Linda Millen have been very diligent with their pest eradication programme and we are seeing a vast increase of birdlife because of their efforts.
The trust is most fortunate to have Bill Witt who keeps the finances in control. We are truly grateful for his work.
Peter Millen and John Mackenzie have had very productive year selling firewood. I commend them and their team of willing workers.
Storm Waters has joined the trail team as our track construction expert. He has been doing this job for the last six years and is a valuable addition to our committee.
Terry Kingham from Tairua has offered to take on the role of fund raising. I believe he will do an excellent job. The presence of someone from Tairua is also very important.
Once again I’m grateful for the many hours of pro bono work that is done by Tim Hart. Thank you so much for your wise council and support.
Work to progress Stage 3 of the Trail is currently stalled by a DoC decision which does not allow the construction along the Marginal Strip as detailed in our Resource Consent.
We feel they have been unduly influenced by Iwi and a small group of locals who form the Hikuai Liaison Group. This group has put their support behind the property owners at 403 & 345 Hikuai Settlement Road who opposes the consented trail route along the DoC administered public land between their properties and the river.
Doc has stated that this Marginal Strip is pristine wetland and needs protection. The irony of this is that stock has grazed this land for many years. This practice continues unabated.
DOC and Iwi have been frustrating to deal with and seem to be showing a lack of concern for the very thing they say they wish to protect.
The trail committee feel that, with the eventual completion of the trail, we will be able to encourage the protection and restoration of the natural environment of this area as outlined in Docs own publication - “Magical Places – 40 Wetlands to visit in New Zealand”
Recent Mediation arranged by TCDC between the affected parties has failed to find any agreement on an alternative route.
We are still hopeful a way forward will be found.
To try and remove some of the tension surrounding this stalemate I resigned as Chairman of the Trail Committee. I believed that new blood was needed. Gary Prince agreed to step up and was duly elected as the new Chairman. I’m really impressed with the way Gary has approached his new role.
Chairman of the Hikuai District Trust