Tales from the Trail
A Man Of Many Hats

As sections of the Trail are completed, maintenance and enhancement become an ongoing focus. Peter Coburn is one of several volunteers who spend a considerable amount of time maintaining the Trail. Peter also goes the extra mile, to remove gorse and plant his own native trees and shrubs, to enhance the trail user experience.

Photo: Peter Coburn at work along the Tauranga Section of the Trail

Peter has been involved in a small way since the outset, accompanying Project Manager Stu Henley on initial route-finding expeditions, as well as contributing a number of photographs used in early promotional documents.

It was during these exploratory trips, that the numerous encounters they had with Fernbirds, prompted him to produce a book about the birds. Found in many locations along the entire length of the Trail, they present an interesting challenge for observers with their ‘hide and seek’ behaviour.

Photo Credit: Peter Coburn – Fernbird (Mātātā)

Once complete, Peter believes the Trail will bring huge benefits to local communities, both in terms of economic activity and individual well-being. He told us “almost everyone who passes me while I’m working on the Trail have big smiles on their faces. Visitors especially express how much they’re enjoying their walk or ride, and their appreciation of what has been provided.”

Photo Credit: Peter Coburn – Waitakere Nile River Bridge

Peter says it is especially rewarding to see such initiatives develop. During his time working as Private Secretary for Rural Affairs, he helped oversee the Walking Access Legislation through Parliament. He is presently on the Board of the Walking Access Commission, which he fits in amongst cutting grass and gorse between Martin’s Creek and Packer’s Point and other key spots along the Trail. He is also a member of the Kawatiri Coastal Trail Governance Group.

Peter hopes more people who have the time will offer to adopt small sections of the Trail, to maintain and enhance. Something, he says is “extremely rewarding and enjoyable.”

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