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Upper Hutt Leader : November 2nd 2011
53 UPPER HUTT LEADER, NOVEMBER 2, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz Kapiti Airport ready for new flights The big day: Kapiti Coast Airport owner Sir Noel Robinson raises his hands in celebration after arriving on the first flight to Monday’s official opening of the upgraded Kapiti Coast Airport, with Kapiti mayor Jenny Rowan and Air Nelson chief executive Grant Kerr, left. The spotlight was on Kapiti Airport on Monday last week as hundreds turned out for official launch celebrations. The event marked the $4 million makeover of the air- port to pave the way for new 18-return services to Auck- land a week. Flights from Auckland and Wellington on Air New Zealand subsidiary Air Nel- son planes touched down in front of a crowd of more than 500 people, delivering the official party to the event. These included airport owner Sir Noel Robinson, MP Nathan Guy and Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan. The official party received a traditional Maori welcome as they made their way to the hangar for speeches. Unusually however, none of the main figures spoke, with speaking duties going instead to children related to each dignitary. In a symbolic gesture requested by Sir Noel and referring to the airport’s visions for the future, his grandchildren, the youngest just six, spoke on his behalf, joined by the mayor’s 13-year-old grandson and Mr Guy’s son, also aged six. Charlotte Robinson, 14, offered particular thanks on behalf of her grandfather to Ms Rowan, Mr Guy and Air Nelson chief executive Grant Kerr, who were all dedicated to the airport redevelopment and plans for adjoining business park. Members of the public and guests were shown through the Air New Zealand Bom- bardier Q300 50-seater planes, followed by a tree- planting in front of the ter- minal, ahead of an informal meet and greet for invited guests. Ms Rowan said she had enjoyed the 70-minute flight from Auckland, com- plete with celebratory champagne. Pauatahanui ‘feeling the love’ Welcome walk: Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve is increasingly being used for recreation not rubbish dumping. A long-standing volunteer says the area is flourishing since being adopted by conscientious users. By KAROLINE TUCKEY Pauatahanui Inlet is getting a lot more love from the community than it used to, a long-standing restoration volunteer is happy to report. Increased public use of Pauatahanui Wildlife Reserve has had the encouraging up side of a noticeable decrease in dumped rubbish and vandalism, Forest and Bird volunteer Wanda Tate says. Mrs Tate, who has been on the reserve’s committee for 17 years, says it is pleasing to now see the reserve flourishing as it is adopted by the public, after so much volun- teer work at the once-badly polluted wetland. The estuary reserve covers about 50 hectares of saltmarsh at the eastern end of the Pauatahanui Inlet, and is home to local and migratory birds like god- wits, royal spoonbills and para- dise shelduck. ‘‘Increasing local interest in the attractiveness of the facilities means we get people who are behaving responsibly when they are visiting the reserve . . . so we are not getting so much senseless damage to the facilities that are there, and not so much rubbish.’’ She suspects the essential change is not in the numbers of people visiting, but the reasons people visit. An increase in the amount of people enjoying the res- erve has driven away those visiting the secluded area for ulterior motives. Since 1984 volunteers have worked to redevelop and replant the reserve from a gorse, blackberry and rubbish covered wasteland, having to contend with regular spates of graffiti and rub- bish dumping at the reserve as well, she says. Break-ins to sheds and damage to facilities such as signs and tool sheds at the reserve have also been a frustrating ongoing prob- lem. ‘‘It goes [in] fits and starts and there are two levels of problems; a background of the fact that access to the area is completely open, and we go through patches where people abuse the freedom of access by leaving behind rubbish by dumping household or personal rubbish around the car parks. ‘‘One year we had an absolute rash of people sticking used nappies into bushes.’’ But now the reserve is known for its scenic and gentle pathways and is especially popular with the elderly and parents bringing chil- dren. ‘‘More and more visitors as well as more and more local people are beginning to appreciate the res- erve, and many of the people who use it, use it very frequently,’’ Mrs Tate says. ‘‘It’s a pleasant, easy place to walk around, it’s nearly always sheltered from the wind, and you’re a long way from traffic. So we have people there throughout the day.’’
October 26th 2011
November 9th 2011