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On Saturday 21 January the intrepid 'Team Tarawera' set off from the DOC car park in Sala Street with our leader – Ken Raureti in a series of 4 WD vehicles including a bus for the car park on the mountaintop. A very cold southerly was blowing and the mist had come down you could only see a few metres ahead of you.

Ken led us through a karakia (prayer) explaining we were about to set foot on their maunga tapu (sacred mountain). After a Hongi and sporting our hi vis vests off we tramp to the summit of Ruawahia, the first stop was the craters edge, Ken told us of the loss of lives and the devastation on that fateful night 10 June 1886 when Mt Tarawera erupted. Onwards and upwards in single file up the rock face, it was a tough climb but we made it as we stood for a 'team photo' at the trig station the mist cleared briefly for a wonderful view of Lake Tarawera and the surrounding lakes. We shared our stories of previous visits to the summit with family and friends, before descending to the Fan. This is what we had come for, to pull those pesky pines, Lodgepole or Contorta Pine.

It was an expansive area that we covered and we worked in lines so as not to miss a single pine. The particular area we were working had not been covered for four years so some of the pines were large and needed to be cut rather than pulled. You pull and you pull, the roots go on forever, but it is so satisfying when you look behind you and see the result of everyone's hard work. Lunch was a very welcome rest but it was not long before we were up and at it again our mission to clear this area as best we could. The rain came down but we were not deterred and carried on by 3.30 pm we had pulled many thousands of these pines and it was time to head back to the car park.

One of our party had dropped his cell-phone somewhere along the way after lunch, we thought the chances of finding it would be remote, however with Apple's great technology and where is my cell-phone app it was located under some scoria.

A steep descent down to the car park, this day is not for the faint hearted, it was described by one of the group as 'the Tongariro Crossing on steroids'.

Hot coffee and Ken's wife's home baking greeted us - what a treat.

Time to depart the mountain but before so Phil Cooper gave a poroporaki (a farewell speech) which was exceptional and certainly conveyed the thoughts of all of us who spent the day with Ken, Paul Cashmore from DOC , Kane and Rana from Kaitiaki Tours. Thank you so much we all left with a greater depth of knowledge on the history of our mountain.

Rubbish collection

Welcome to my first blog for our new website.

Firstly a huge thank you to Pete Fahey for the tremendous work he has done on putting the Tarawera website together.

For those of you who have not been to Tarawera for sometime there have been some major changes.

Transfer Station: We now have a 'state of the art transfer station', all the bins for rubbish and the container for recycling are now under cover and the area all sealed which will make it much easier to keep clean and tidy. There is a one-way drive through with two lanes. The drop off for rubbish and recycling is open 24/7, drop off for garden waste and additional rubbish is open on Thursdays and Sundays from 1.00 pm and 4.30 pm. Les Noa who works for the new contractors Smart Environmental is on site between those times and is happy to help you with your rubbish bags and recycling.

Important: There are two large skips at the end of the recycling container for cardboard only, please ensure that all cartons are flattened before they are put into the container. Any packaging that comes with the cardboard, please dispose of in the skips for rubbish, if there is any plastic wrapping or polystyrene packaging in with the cardboard it can not be recycled.

If you are renting your house would you please advise all your tenants that there is no kerbside collection and would all tenants please take their rubbish to the transfer station in council rubbish bags?

We wish to maintain Tarawera's beautiful environment so please make sure you leave the transfer station clean and tidy.

Reserves: For visitors to Tarawera we now have a trio of attractive looking bins for rubbish, glass and recycling on Stoney Point Reserve and The Landing. At Boatshed Bay there are two wheelie bins and a large skip for rubbish. Please do not put your household rubbish or your council bags in these bins or skips. Over summer these bins will be emptied daily.

The LTRA Committee look forward to catching up with you at the AGM on Sunday 15 January 2017 at 10.00 am at Stoney Point, please bring a chair.

Wishing you all, a very happy and safe Christmas and very best wishes for 2017.


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