by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Upper Hutt Leader : July 27th 2011
45 UPPER HUTT LEADER, JULY 27, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Cross-country trail the completion of a dream Going up:A section of track on the historical Tora Station. Photo: MIKE HEYDON A slice of historical coastal south Wairarapa farmland will be opened to the public from this spring, thanks to a new tourism venture. ToraTora is a new mountainbike experience found on the historical Tora Station, located 30 minutes from the wine village of Martinborough and a11G2 hour drive northeast of Welling- ton. Professionally designed and purpose-built, the 14-kilometre cross- country mountainbike trail weaves its way through 375 acres of spectacular native bush, via meandering creeks and breathtaking ridge-tops that dominate the skyline above the Tora coastline. ToraTora also offers visitors sophis- ticated rural hospitality through its well appointed historical accommo- dation, and an opportunity to enjoy delicious regional wine and food. ToraTora has been created by Tom and Kathryn Elworthy, who farm the 962-hectare sheep and beef farm. They say ToraTora is the culmi- nation of a five-year dream of diversifying their existing business by creating a new venture that reflects their family s passion for the outdoors. Like many Kiwi farmers, we ve been marred by drought and difficult seasons over the last few years, Tom says. But [we] have always known we could diversify our business by cre- ating a world-class, private mountain- bike track on the farm using existing walking trails, forestry trails and bushman trails. After employing professional track builder Graeme Morgan, we ve spent months creating a top-notch track that takes in some of the country s most spectacular scenery. Visitors are in for a treat. ToraTora s 14 kilometres of wide single track feature exciting berms, table tops, moderate hill climbs, switchbacks and downhills that suit a variety of rider levels. The track is smooth and firm and takes an average mountainbiker with moderate fitness levels 11G2 hours to complete, says Tom. There s an additional 4km ridge- top coastal track running over undulating farmland that eventually opens out to a wide ridge top, where stunning coastal views can be found. Kathryn says this type of experience is new to Wairarapa. Alongside Morgs, we ve developed and established an experience unlike anything currently offered in New Zealand, she says. At ToraTora, visitors can experi- ence firsthand the unique characteristics that make up this coastal area, which is so close to Wel- lington. Sitting alongside the new mountain- bike trail are two separate walking trails. One is a 13km walk from the Tora Outstation, a 100-year-old musterers hut, to the coast. The walk weaves through native bush and over farmland. The other trail is an easy 6km coastal walk via Manurewa Point s seal colony to the Opua shipwreck. Rural tourism is nothing new to Kathryn. In 2009, the mother-of-four was the joint recipient of the first Enterprising Rural Business Women Award, hosted by Rural Women New Zealand, following her work with the Tora Walk. Now, after raising her family and renovating the property and the 100-year-old Tora Outstation, which can accommodate up to 18 guests, she is committed to ToraTora. The couple believe ToraTora is one of the country s first private mountainbike tracks, and the only one in the country that offers on-site accommodation. ToraTora opens on September 1. For more information on the track or the accommodation visit: toratora.co.nz. Council on shaky ground with loans By REBECCA THOMSON An $88 million leaky homes bill could mean that Wel- lington City Council is unlikely to back a proposal to help fund the strengthening of earthquake-prone buildings. Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson has proposed the council and the Government jointly set up a loans facility to allow building owners to fund strengthening work. Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the idea warranted investigation, but the council was limited in its ability to become involved in a loans scheme. We don t have the capacity to act as a financier to the commercial property sector, said Ms Wade- Brown. The council still has to deal with the financial costs associated with the leaky homes. With estimates for our assistance in that matter at around $88m, we d need to increase our borrowings. Under a $1 billion government package, announced earlier this month, leaky homes owners may be entitled to compensation, with 25 per cent contribu- tions from the Government and their local council. Mr Robertson said the scheme needed serious con- sideration. Everyone seems to think the idea is a good one. The next step is to take it up with the Government. All we can do is ask, he said. Mr Robertson said he was unsure how much a loans scheme would cost, but it would be worth it. He also said even though earthquake-strengthening was a national issue, it is a specific problem in Wel- lington, because of our earthquake vulnerability . Ms Wade-Brown said the Government was in a bet- ter position to address the proposal. The idea of involving the Earthquake Commission is a good one. It s in the commission s interest for property owners to be more resilient in the event of future earthquakes, she said. Mr Robertson agreed the commission should be involved with a loans scheme. I m not expecting much response from them at the moment, though, he said. However, he said he would write to Finance Minis- ter Bill English with his proposal. Ms Wade-Brown said there were other ways the council was helping property owners, including pro- viding grants to assist with engineering assessment and design work.
July 20th 2011
August 3rd 2011