Comments (15)

Raramai 24 Nov 2015

Paulette from WCRC was due here sometime this week to take photos from a drone, and will then suggest some options we can look at. Weather is a factor in using the drone and may be delaying things. Tim emailed her some notes (the same ones that were emailed out to the ksm group for comment a few weeks ago). Tim is the contact she will notify when she is coming, and I believe he will let others know that are interested such as Gary who willl explain more to her about the Maori occupation and any other impacting factors she may not know yet. Until then I am not sure what we can do. Just thought to mention at the meeting with WCRC I had told them about our flax planting there, and they commented that it is unlikely that this will help that area. Their words, not mine, but just passing it on as it is likely to come back in the feedback from them after the photos are taken. Wish I had something more positive to say at this stage, but hopefully Paulette's visit will provide some clearer options.

Mary Bell 24 Nov 2015

Great you guys are seeking some help. We really need to preserve this magic place. Please make sure you let us all know Email would be ideal to gather as much support for this as possible ( the thread is limited )  SO we call all help and support you guys!! funding applications, petitions etc..... Please let us all know so we can try and help as much as we can. The reserve needs a lot of help. Well done to those who have put up their hands. I will do what I can if you need some sort of hand........

dguppy 25 Nov 2015

cool as Mary, I am unexperienced with e mail list sendings.......certainly a reciever and a replyer......sure its not to difficult but certainly want to record it all here so people not on lists, new to town, historically connected etc..... have a chance to get the full story simply by being directed to this page.

Maybe we can even get the engineer or a council rep to register and post updates

Thanks for the support and certainly will post/ mail/ tweet/twerp or text ( maybe even the ole fashioned phone call or call round for a cuppa) if theres a chance to update/ action something

Ra, thanks for explaining where we are at with the council, look forward to hearing more


Raramai 25 Nov 2015

Just heard from Paulette in an email that also went to Tim and Gary (who I believe are plannng to meet with her)

"I’ll be up in Karamea Thurs/Fri morn and will check out the erosion, maybe late Thurs. I’m looking at a few areas with Hamish McBeth after lunch tomorrow and will have a better idea of time then. Our drone has gone back in for repairs so any aerial shots will be at a later date.

Regards, Paulette Birchfield"

I am looking forward to hearing the feedback after her visit so we can make a plan. I am hopeful she will get an idea of what's happening even if she can't take aerial photos this week. In the meantime, I'm sure Tim and Gary will represent the Oparara well and help her with the information she needs to see the big picture.

Just want to say Bravo to us all for taking these positive steps for the reserve. It's evident how much we love this place and value the awesome times spent there. Thank you Mary Bell for your words of support for the Reserve - indeed it does need a lot of help. We will keep people posted via email, and input from those of you with experience in funding and applications will be invaluable...Cheers <3.

Mary Bell 25 Nov 2015

Awesome Ra for the update. I am thinking with Maori historical value, Craigs seed project and the festival there must be some very clever way to unify the big picture and get some kick arse funding to see the reserve protected. Its all about wording . cultural significance  and finding the right place to ask for the funds.. I dont know a whole lot but there is a free funds search at the Westport library in which you type in the revelant words and it spits out all of the trusts in which you can  be eligible to apply...... Love that reserve it is hard to see the small patch of bush falling off in to the river. Kia Kaha Karamea !

shona 26 Nov 2015

Have just been chatting with Tim, who has had a chat with Hamish this morning regarding Paulette's visit up to Karamea. Hamish is meeting Paulette today at midday and will pass on relevant phone numbers so she can contact us when she is free to head on over to the reserve afterwards.

Tim- Wharf Road 26 Nov 2015

Hi everyone, apologies in advance for the super-long message..............Gary and I met Paulette Birchfield at the Oparara Reserve this arvo (Thursday 26th November) and had a good, open discussion with her about the site and the erosion problems which have become so evident in the past 2 years. Gary found some great photos showing the old island in the river and the point on the true left bank of the river, just up from the Tribal Zone, which is bearing the brunt of the wave action. Paulette outlined a couple of options as to how we might mitigate the erosion.

Gary and I then hatched an outline plan which is as follows:

Firstly, sand-bagging to slow up in the interim between points 2 and 3 below. Sandbags are available from the Buller District Council and we figure we'd need to fill around 40 cubic metres of bags to cover the worst affected area just near the Tribal Zone. This would go along way towards stopping the erosion from coming into the block of bush from the west (as well as from the south (river side) as it is now).  We could- and Gary and I feel we should- begin this project virtually straight away. There are several reasons why, mainly that the situation at our beautiful Reserve is not going to get any better without us doing something and this is the most obvious thing which we can do without resource consent and without spending much money! We had the idea that we could have a 'training day' (everyone needs to know how to use a shovel right?) sometime over the next couple of weekends, after which the remaining empty sandbags would be left at the Reserve and anyone with time and inclination to go out and fill a few could do so. The bulk of the filling would be done by the PD Crew (there are 3 available/possible Saturdays for this to happen before Christmas- December 5th, 12th and 19th) with further work possibly being done by wwoofers/pre-Festival volunteers and potentially another effort from the PD Crew from mid-January onwards. In the ideal scenario we'd have the 40 sq/m3 in place, back filled and planted with flaxes by the time Resonance rolls around.

Another big advantage of getting this underway asap would have to be that we'd be SEEN to be doing something. Even if the sandbagging option doesn't turn out to be the ultimate/best solution, we would at least be able to go to Council/Regional Council etc with proof that we care enough to have a go.

Everything Paulette told us indicated that we'd be quite okay with just going ahead and starting the sandbagging project off our own bat without needing to jump through hoops or engage with the outside  world at all really. And that's gotta be a good thing right?!

Secondly we look at going through the official channels of getting a resource consent to undertake more significant earthworks. But all of this would take time (6-12 months probably) and, of course, money. Paulette suggested that making too big a deal of the pre-European usage of the Reserve was possibly more of a hindrance than a help as it might mean things get bogged down in more bureaucratic ping-pong than just saying nothing. And at this point the old Maori oven/midden areas are a long way from being impacted.

The third stage would be to look at council, government, corporate, funding agencies or other buy-in with the possibility of funding coming from one or more of those bodies. As such a track record of community investment and efforts to 'go through the right channels' will stand us in good stead.

So, where do we start? Gary is going to Westport on Friday (27th November) so will check in with Council on the price/availability/size of the sandbags, and visit the Dept. of Corrections to investigate the availability of the PD Crew. Assuming a supply (of sandbags) is available we could source some in time for one of the Saturdays before Christmas and get the PD boys involved. After we get an idea of how many person-hours all this is likely to take we'll be able to work out if and how many wwoofers etc we might need to get it finished before February 11th.

Looking forward to any feedback!


dguppy 26 Nov 2015

Thanks Tim for the informative post and both you and Gary for representing and sorting sandbags.
That's as good as an outcome as we could hope for at this stage, especially getting around the money/ resource consent issue.
The protection would certainly  look better done in natural rocks and sandbags can age badly and get shabby but the fact that something can happen straight away is great.
This weekend is not ideal for me but could look at next weekend (5th/6th Dec), the one after that I am away.
Have been involved in a few bag/sack/fadge filling mission at work, prepping them for flying and have utilised machinery and customised chutes made from plywood or such ie a small digger/loader shovelling sand into a chute that fills the sacks.
If we could get a small digger, I would be happy to operate it and help figure out some sort of system.
If not I will come armed with a shovel.
The other option if we have a few dollars or can talk nicely to a digger/truck driver is to arrange somehow for a pile to be dumped in the tribal zone area ( might be a bit tight for a truck) so we have easy shovelling from a handy pile rather than trying to lug it out of the river. Cant recall what material is in the riverbed there sand/gravel? and what its like at low tide......might be wise not to dig up a big hole right at the base of the erosion site.
David Monteith has a small bobcat and possibly a small truck?
Really enjoy a good honest bit of shovelling with a good crew but if there is a lot to do and machinery is available......I am more than happy to take advantage.

dguppy 28 Nov 2015

Thoughts on the sandabagging mission.

- A 4wd and trailer/ute are parked out on the newly accreted sand out from the carpark/turnaround spot

- bags are filled on trailer with keen shovellers or a little digger

- trailer is backed down to tribal zone

- full bags are unloaded into place.

would be more efficient with two trailer rigs

If using a digger, a suitable length of culvert/pipe is placed snugly inside a bag with a chute/funnel at the top so a digger can take a scoop and drop it into the chute and while it turns to grab abother scoop the pipe and funnel are jimmied out and placed into the next open bag.

I am happy to try and track down a digger, have a couple of options, not sure if anyone else out there knows of one we could ask to borrow?

Maybe people are keen just to shovel it?

A lot of man power will be required at the other end of the chain, getting the full bags into place so labour saved on the shovelling could be put to use down there.

My two cents.... any other ideas?

dguppy 29 Nov 2015

Was down at the reserve this morning looking at things from a sandbagging perspective. Plenty of good material in river bed out from bank and low tide is at midday next saturday making it a good run from 9am till 3pm. Will hold off asking about any machinery until there is a good indication of whether Saturday will be a working be day. At any rate it may be simpler just to shovel and stack onsite, still bearing in mind that it might be good to avoid creating a hole at the base of the erosion.  Could still maybe track a wee digger round to the site to try and save back power, all dependant on whether one is available of course.

See what happens



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