2005 Chairperson's Report


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Waihi Walkways Annual Report


As Acting Chairperson, since December 2004, I wish to acknowledge the contribution that our Chairman, Charlie Cooper, made until his death at that time. Charlie was our Chairperson for two and a half years and over that time he took every opportunity to promote the vision of Waihi Walkways to the various groups and people he associated with. Walkways will be honouring Charlie by planting a tree and we are currently working with his family to put in an hexagonal seating structure, which doubles as a table, with a small memorial plaque. The family have kindly offered to donate this in memory of Charlie. It will be sited on the "Cabbage patch" area of Mill Stream, one of his favourite places on our walkway.

I am very happy to acknowledge the ongoing enthusiasm and commitment of our whole committee. Also, we have had some new committee members over the past few months join us, and it has been a great boon to the momentum of the Walkways. Our Secretary, Annette Bowater, continues to staunchly continue with the minutes, and John Vinson, our Treasurer, produces reports, organizes the cash book, and continues to invest any funds in a most reliable manner, thank you both. Eric Lens continues with the planning and research that provides a comprehensive framework on which our walks are able to be built, thank you for your continuing dedication to that process, and for the work done to provide Walkways with a website that is a source of information and inspiration.

Some highlights and significant items from this past year include:

* Mill Stream Walkway – benefiting from the voluntary work of Beulah and Beryl, weeding and tending various parts.

* Environment Waikato, Department of Conservation and Sel Baker, Waihi Ward, and many walkers expressing similar sentiments regarding the resounding success of Mill Stream… it is regarded as most special and delightful area to be in. A formal evaluation of Mill Stream confirms this walkway as a significant community amenity. This evaluation is in the completion stages, and will be available in due course.

* A people counter installed on Mill Stream walkway, donated by Department of Conservation, has shown 564 counts for July and such a good number serves to confirm Charlie’s assertion that the Mill Stream is enjoyed frequently. We will be most interested to see what numbers show as the weather improves.

* Riverbank Terrace and Coffey’s Walk, downstream from Gilmour Reserve have a planting design, donated by Carlene Moloney, student landscape designer. We are appreciative of Carlene assisting the students with the "Enviro" schools project also (on Mill Stream). We have public access for Riverbank Terrace as the heavy stock are now fenced out. The overall "flavour" of that walk will, be maintained as an open area with trees providing an autumn show of colour. There will be some riparian planting in selected areas. Consultation process for Coffey’s Walk has commenced, with support from Waihi Ward, Environment Waikato and neighbours contacted to date.

* The WCV (Waihi Community Vision) process has evaluated a number of wide-ranging projects, and the Ohinemuri River Heritage Walk from Waihi to Waikino was rated highly; not only in fulfilling community values, but also in terms of the economic benefits it will bring to Waihi. The same process endorses the notion of Union Hill as a significant heritage area. This independent evaluation process is another measure of the value which Waihi Walkways brings to the community as it creates walkways for community health and well-being, access to our river, engages in community education, environmental enhancement, and provides a means of identifying and engaging with our heritage.

* As Waihi Walkways continues to discover heritage features at almost every turn, we have the opportunity this year to embark on a related project which is to bring the Ohinemuri Regional History Journals into digital format. They will be systematically scanned, and typed up as necessary, complete with the old images and then made available on a website. This project has the blessing of the Paeroa and Waihi Historical Societies, and will enable this most valuable resource to be easily viewed and utilised by the community.


Walkways, environmental enhancement, educational opportunities, and all those positive contributions to the community don’t happen without funders and without supporters. It is the vision that engages us in a long process such as this, and it is the passion and support that sustains us. We are finding increasing community support for the concept of walkways in our district and are gratified by the enthusiasm expressed in a variety of ways.

Also, we continue to receive good support from a variety of funding sources, and this year I wish to thank and acknowledge:

NZ Lotteries Environment and Heritage

Department of Conservation

Jim Say Foundation

Valder Ohinemuri Charitable Trust

Trust Waikato

Waihi Ward

Thanks to everyone for contributing to the health and well-being of our community.

Ruth Ordish

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

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