Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Waitaks: NZ's Greatest Park for the People?

I have got used to the back of Labour now. I'm not going to miss Helen Clarks humour or Michael Cullens humility. I'm looking forward to change and the increased and more widely based political debate this may bring. National has some good ideas, but at least one is a lemon. National proposes to investigate making the Waitaks a National Park. The grumpy Brian Rudman rails against it here

I remember my first visit to the Waitaks, the boys called it the adventure run, now part of the well-known Wild Turkey running race. An hour or so up the Paraha gorge, big pools, rock scrambles, beautiful native bush. I have returned there many times often introducing new people to the area. I have also explored several of the other valleys, with others and alone. Crazy waterfalls and gorges, sometimes open, sometimes choked with boulders. You can run hard for a day in these places and see no one, while just over the hill lies New Zealands big, beautiful city.

The park has been amazingly well preserved. From Muriwai and its Gannets in the North to the rugged windswept landscapes of Huia in the south. Its a great example of an area with a very strong environmentally conscious community, perhaps if anything too close minded to change. The work Rudman mentions to remove predators from a part of the park is a more recent development I look forward to benefitting from in the future. Small government only changes things when they need changing, why is National contemplating fiddling with this success story?


Bob McKerrow said...


Good to seeing you getting steamed up over politics. I can see no need for the Waitaks to become a national park. Your correct, it is a great place. Those hills where Arthur Lydiard perfected his 100 mile a week schedules experiementing with later gold medalists Snell and Halberg.

I remember when I lived in Auckland in 89-90 (Editor of NZ Adventure magazine) I walked a lot ib the Waitaks. Let's watch National and see if the can fawk the country up compltely. Phil Goff is a tough leader of the opposition. I know him quite well. I travelled with him in India after the 2001 earthquake. Solid and honest as a rock.

See ya one day. Bob

Jamie said...

Hey Bob,

Missed this comment at the time, yeah I hope they leave the Waitaks alone.

Have to say my impression of John Key has improved much since he has been Prime Minister. He definitely seems to be building bridges rather than dams at the moment though the latter may come!

Will give you a ring when you've had some time to get over your operation, hope it all went well! I got a bit tied up early this week trying to sort things out at the outdoor centre I am running for a while.

Interesting to hear you were Adventure Magazine editor during that time (I was a young fella then and can remember being hugely inspired by the magazine which we used to get regularly). I hope you haven't been too gutted by what the magazine has become, or is that too harsh?

Take care