Archives For East Coast

During the winter months, DOC Ranger Joe Waikari, goes around the East Coast region talking to schools, kohanga, early childhood centres and marae about the need to protect native wildlife from predators.

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By Richard Wagner, Partnerships Ranger based in Te Urewera

The New Zealand Army recently held a two-week exercise training in Te Urewera National Park. After the exercise had finished, the army arranged a day to give back to DOC and the local community.

Looking across Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera National Park.

Te Urewera National Park

Working alongside DOC rangers ten soldiers cut and marked six kilometres of the Whakatakaa Hut Track and another three kilometres was cut and marked by another seven soldiers.

Soldiers from Victor Company, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

Soldiers from Victor Company, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

The Biodiversity Team also had ten soldiers cutting and marking whio traplines and another ten building a new kōwhai ngutukaka / kakabeak enclosure along the Ngamoko Track.

This was a great way for the army to work with DOC. The army were also able to visit the local Te Kura o Waikaremoana School, where the tamariki/children put on kai / food for their manuhiri / visitors.

Children sitting in the Pinzgauer six-wheeler truck.

Having a go in the driver’s seat

The children thoroughly enjoyed the army visit, especially jumping on and in the Pinzgauer six-wheeler truck, looking at the weapons and eating the army ration packs.

Ko enei whakaahua, ko ngaa tamariki harikoa mai Te Kura o Waikaremoana, me nga hoea i awhi mai nga kaimahi a Te Papa Atawhai.

An enthusiastic bunch of Tongan kiwifruit workers learned some new skills and lent a helping hand to a planting project on Motu Trails’ Dunes Trail cycleway recently.

DOC Ranger, Steve Brightwell tells us more…

Tree planting.

Many hands make light work

The Project Crimson tree planting followed a karakia, official speeches, and the unveiling of two six metre pou on a magnificent new section of the Motu Trails’ Dunes Trail cycleway.

The 60 or so people present sheltered from passing showers in a Bay of Plenty Regional Council marquee.

Once the planting was underway it was realised that the size of the task was huge and it became evident reinforcements would be needed to plant the 5,000 trees on hand.

Enter Dave Emslie, Chairman of the Motu Trails Charitable Trust, who also has a finger on the pulse at Opotiki Packing and Coolstores, which processes much of the district’s kiwifruit.

Thinking on his feet, when Dave took a call saying crews had been rained off for the day, he quickly had them into a van and out to Tirohanga, where they were welcomed like the cavalry.

Kiwifruit crew ready for action.

Kiwifruit crew ready for action

After a quick planting lesson with Project Crimson’s Gordon Hosking and Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Land Management Officer, Tim Senior, the kiwifruit crew added some very welcome grunt to the planting project.

OPAC staff get planting instruction from Bay of Plenty Regional Council Land Management Officer Tim Senior.

OPAC staff get planting instruction from Bay of Plenty Regional Council Land Management Officer Tim Senior

DOC Ranger, Pete Livingstone, said the workers arrived at a good time, as many of those who had been there for the 7 am karakia were starting to wilt and there was still plenty to be done.
Project Crimson's Gordon Hosking (bending down) explains the finer points of planting.

Project Crimson’s Gordon Hosking (bending down) explains the finer points of planting

He said although most had only limited English, they enjoyed the opportunity, appreciated the barbecue, and left for their lodgings around mid-afternoon, having given the job a pretty good nudge towards completion.

It was great to see people from all walks of life coming together to help.

The 11 km Dunes Trail runs parallel with the coastline of the Bay of Plenty, starting at the Pakowhai Bridge (Memorial Park Reserve) in the East Coast township of Opotiki.

This is an easy (grade 2) trail that caters for cyclists of all abilities and fitness levels, providing an ideal family day out. The trail has an easy gradient that is enjoyed by walkers, runners and cyclists. The return journey of 22 km can be comfortably ridden in one day from either end – with plenty of time to stop for a swim and a picnic along the way.