Mountainbike track under way
Porirua toasts success
It was ceremonial, but more than a spade of earth has already been turned on Colonial Knob’s mountainbike track.
On April 21, representatives of Mana Cycle Group, the Department of Conservation, Ngati Toa and Porirua City Council came together to launch the volunteerbuilt trail, called Rehab.
Ngati Toa kaumatua Taku Parai led proceedings with a karakia.
The Rehab trail is an intermediate- grade track and links the Colonial Knob Scenic Reserve with the Raiha St walkway.
It was removed from the fourwheel drive track used by walkers, runners and vehicles, Mana Cycle Group president Rob MacIntyre said.
‘‘There’s been a seven-year process to get to this point and a few of us were pinching ourselves during the ceremony,’’ he said.
‘‘A lot of work has already been done by a dedicated group of people, and there’s more to go.
‘‘ We’re proud to be the only group doing this in the country that has involved local iwi.’’
Having two councils, the Department of Conservation and Ngati Toa involved made the pro- cess more protracted, but it was important to do things right, MacIntyre said.
The project fitted with Porirua City Council’s desire to engage with young people and attract visitors to the city, he said.
Porirua stood out as a gap in Wellington’s busy mountainbiking community, but Rehab and two more contractor- built trails should be completed by the end of the year. There would then be more than six kilometres of trails in the area.
Parai said Ngati Toa were supportive of Mana Cycle Group.
‘‘We see this as an opportunity for more members of this community to actively engage with Rangituhi [Colonial Knob],’’ he said.
‘‘In particular we look forward to participating in the naming of the tracks [that] will likely reflect traditional place names.’’
The Department of Conservation’s Paul McArthur said improved trails for community use were a win-win for everyone.
Porirua City Council granted $40,000 towards the project, and an additional $60,000 was raised through other sources, including Hutt Mana Charitable Trust, Mana Community Grants Foundation and Trail Fund New Zealand. Porirua Central Toastmasters enjoyed double success at the recent area J4 speech contests.
In the evaluation contest, entrants listened to the same test speech.
They then had five minutes to prepare for an evaluation of up to three minutes.
The test speaker gave a humorous discourse on ‘‘ The Perils of Gardening’’.
Neville Isherwood of Porirua Central won the section, followed by Jocelyn Syme, also of Porirua Central, and Caroline Otton of Kapi-Mana.
In the international prepared speech, speakers prepare and deliver an original seven-minute speech on a topic of their choice. There were seven speeches ranging from ‘‘ The Boy who Changed my Life’’, to ‘‘Letting Go’’.
Roger Hynd of Porirua Central won, followed by Tania Sales of Porirua Central, and Megan Kloppenburg of Spinnaker.
From left, at the front of the picture, Taku Parai from Ngati Toa, Rob MacIntyre from Mana Cycle Group, Jennie Smeaton from Ngati Toa and John Callahan from Porirua City Council, at the karakia for the opening of the Rehab trail on Colonial Knob.