Whether we’re hitting the trails on foot or by bike, most of us are focused on fun, fitness and fresh air. A great ride or run is all about the now, shaping a fun weekend, or squeezed in between work or family commitments.
But like all great things, there’s a hive of activity and incredible team behind it that we don’t see. Never a truer word was spoken for Kawatiri Coastal Trail. We’re in awe of the amazing people doing great things for the Trail, and look forward to introducing to them.
Meet Jeff Richards – Trustee & Maintenance Man extraordinaire
Jeff is an integral, yet modest member of the Kawatiri Team, describing himself as a small cog in a big wheel, compared to other volunteers who have contributed many thousands of hours.
Whilst he’s been involved for many years with the Carters Beach Domain Board, Jeff’s time with Kawatiri is less. That said, he’s always on hand to receive updates and carry out the necessary work along the Pūwaha section of the Trail.
Now armed with his trusty No.2, Richard Dellaca, the pair can be seen controlling gorse and blackberries, or cutting back trees which encroach on the Trail. As the Trail continues to grow, Jeff tells us there any many hands being raised to join the team.
We asked Jeff which section of the Trail he looks forward to riding most, and having spent 46 years working at the Quarry, it will be the Omau Section from Cape Foulwind to Tauranga Bay. Despite this particular affection, Jeff reminds us that with so much intrigue, history and variety of bush, there is something for everyone along the Trail.
Meet Stu Henley – Trustee and Project Team member
Most people will tell you Stu is easily the hardest working Trustee and project team member. For five years Stu has been heavily involved with planning, feasibility, landowner access, stakeholder liaison, and provides specialist geological and historical input.
With over 40 years continuous experience as a Geologist in the district, he is also a passionate heritage specialist with excellent knowledge of local Māori and European history. Stu has notched a whopping 4,500 voluntary hours, and the Trail Trust is incredibly fortunate to benefit from his vast knowledge, skills and experience.
We asked Stu what his tino (favourite) section of the Trail will be. He told us the Pūwaha Boardwalk through the beautiful wetland forest, because you find yourself hidden in a pristine environment just 1.5 km across from Westport.