2009 Chairperson's Report


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Waihi Walkways Annual Report


Good evening & welcome to members, volunteers and supporters.

In my first year as Waihi Walkways chairperson, I have been overwhelmed by the dedication & commitment from a great bunch of people, giving an impressive more than 1300 hours of their time as Volunteers, Committee Members, or quite often as both, putting forward ideas & skills to create the wonderful walkways which I hope all present have wandered and explored.

I would like to introduce Committee Members: Secretary Annette Bowater, Treasurer Beryl George, Isabel Chester, Beulah Flay, Roger Pearce, Brett Wisheart and Dennis Speir, together with our main contractors Ruth Ordish & Eric Lens, two people who research, plan, inspire and hold a vision for current & future projects.

A big thankyou to all of you for your support and friendship throughout the year.

Join me now on a walk through with a very brief summary of works completed throughout the past year beginning at Speaks Quarry. In Sept 2008 we celebrated "Clean Up NZ" & "Conservation Week" with members of Forest & Bird. The rock faces were cleared of invasive weed, rubbish bagged, grasses, raupo & indigenous trees planted. A great achievement & the hard work reflects in the amount of people who visit the area.

Wandering down now through Totara Flat & the Meadow, part of Mill Stream Walkway – which we administer on behalf of Department of Conservation. Two storms in Aug 2008 created a clean-up effort, so together with invited members of Rotary, broken branches were chainsawed & mulched and debris cleared. On going weeding & mowing in this area make this a delightful spot.

Walk on through the moody bamboo pathway to Mill Stream bush area. Privet to the left of the path was removed and chipped and native trees planted. Across the opposite side of the stream considerable amount of mulch (laced with chicken manure) was spread & carex, cookianum, toetoe, reveg & grasses were planted with the help of local school children.

In Pylon Paddock (behind the scout den) privet was cut & chipped also blackberry, passion vine & convolvulus cleared. Goldfields Special School (from Paeroa) participated in planting the wetland area with harakeke.

Cabbage Tree Flat had fallen wattle removed & is now a lovely mown area with Charlie’s Seat a welcome stop. To the right, before crossing the bridge, an original piece of pylon once used to support power lines from Horahora Power Station was exposed.

Over the bridge on either side of the walkway an avenue of kowhai trees were planted, generously donated by a local resident.

Research & interpretation of all the heritage features to be found in the vicinity of Mill Stream walkway has been completed. A summary, with interactive maps, is available on our website wwww.waihiwalkways.org.nz under the Heritage section. A brochure is soon to be published.

Under Coronation Bridge to Riverbank Terrace with its open pasture & grazing sheep. Here toetoe & cookianum were planted, scrub-barring done, a fence shifted & 3 metre gate installed to allow access for the ride-on mower.

Following the path to Coffey’s Walk we once again dealt to privet & Japanese Walnut, & Brett & Roger built & installed a kissing gate at the southern end.

Victoria Bridge Reserve is at present a work in progress. Six Totara trees were planted last season & are doing well. Department of Corrections community service teams have put in some good work here with initial clearance. Brett has spent hours scrub-barring the area & a working bee with the help once again from Rotarians was organized to rake the cut grass & blackberry into a heap, remove rocks & stumps, cut Japanese Walnut, remove rubbish & level off humps to allow the mower in. Recently mulching & planting have been completed. We look forward to a beautiful mown area with river views & a seat under shade trees.

To enable us to do this work we were able to purchase the ride-on mower, a scrub bar & a chipper & I wish to acknowledge & thank our funders: Valder Ohinemuri Charitable Trust – Trust Waikato – Jim Say Foundation – NZ Lottery Grants – BOC Where There’s Water – Power Co – Lion Foundation – Environment Waikato – Creation Spirituality Group & Honda Tree Fund. Hauraki District Council has also supported our efforts and thanks to various local businesses for their support.

To AgriSea NZ our heartfelt thanks for your support & generosity for the sponsorship of our coordinator’s contract.

During the year we successfully amended our Constitution to comply with the Charities Act; attended workshops on Sustainable Funding, Marketing Promotion & Sponsorship, Pest Management, First Aid & Managing Successful Meetings have involved various members. Community Waikato facilitated our workshop on Governance and Management.

Walkways is not all work & no play! A Xmas breakup picnic was held on a mild warm Dec afternoon in the Meadow. A trip to Te Puna Quarry Park, a cruise on the Waihou River aboard paddleboat "Otunui" and more recently a mid-year dinner have all been enjoyed by members.

Looking to the future: Development of Silverton Walkway which includes the historic battery site is underway as is a new logo, signage for our Mill Stream Walkway and a predator control programme for Union Hill.

In closing I would encourage you all to keep walking and enjoying the beautiful tracks already created & come join us if you would like to participate in future projects. Thank you.

Carol Speir – July 2009

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

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