Te Araroa Trail Update
[from Rob Wakelin, Cheif Executive Te Araroa Trail, via Hans Everts]
I hope all is going well with you, and the community.
Just wanted to update you on a few things and wonder if you can pass word to Puhoi folk:
- Works re new motorway – some geotech works for the new motorway have taken place which has seen Watson/Cook Rds used by some heavy trucks. I met with the motorway people who thought they could simply close the track – no way!! What we agreed is that the short stretch where the track route uses Cook Rd would have a 10km/h limit for their vehicles however people walking the track should be aware and look both ways when entering Cook Rd in either direction. If/when the motorway gets the go-ahead we will look at a safer, longterm solution for this short stretch.
- Maintenance – we will be getting some people in to do some maintenance on the track, mainly around controlling the vegetation regrowth. There is a patch of ginger at the western end of the track and some gorse and pampas sprouting, these will all be addressed. There wont be much more growth over winter so we have this planned for August so its looking great for next summer. Within the next couple of months there will be more planting done at either end of the swingbridge to keep it looking nice and not give the weeds as much chance to find space to grow. The domain/farm stretch is due to be grazed shortly so once that’s eaten down we’ll see if anything further is required.
- Kauri dieback – given this got a little topical a few weeks back we just want to let the community know that when the track was constructed, special methods (a geotextile base underneath aggregate surfacing) was used in all areas within 30m of identified kauri on the route. At the completion of construction the track was inspected by MPI and determined no further measures were necessary – including any cleaning stations – as the track had been constructed to such a high standard. Cleaning stations in particular have been raised with me often but despite seeing them around a lot, they are not universal. Signage was installed adjacent to the swingbridge and where the track passes from the Domain land to the DOC bush block and anyone walking should follow those guidelines of washing footwear thoroughly after walking in any kauri area. The kauri issue remains an ongoing topic in our relationship with DOC and we’ll be kept abreast of any changes in the science and advice around it.
- Feedback – I continue to get great feedback from people about how enjoyable a day in Puhoi is walking the track and taking advantage of the Puhoi hospitality. Our thanks as always to the community who continue to make people feel so welcome and provide such a great environment for people to visit. I make it up roughly monthly and always try to support the local businesses with a beer/cuppa/cold drink.
- Puhoi Scouts – Heston from the scouts was in touch and the scout group are going to do some work on the local Puhoi routes – not just the new track but also the track down from Moirs Hill Rd, and across the old Dunn property. We really appreciate that and want the community to know they are chipping in to help look after this community asset.
- We are still working through the finer details but are looking at having a “conference” of all our nationwide people in Puhoi in July. We want to show off the track and how it fits into what somewhere like Puhoi offers visitors. The NZ Recreation Association also had a day in Puhoi recently which ended with me taking them over the track – which they were all raving about afterwards.
Thanks Hans for all the ongoing support.
Best regards, Rob