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Region’s Chunuk Bair, but prettier

Bill Maunsell. PHOTOS/KAREN COLTMAN

KAREN COLTMAN
[email protected]

Tinui in te reo Maori means ‘many cabbage trees’, and these, and other native trees, is what the Tinui Parish Anzac Trust wants loads more of surrounding the walking track up to the Anzac Memorial Cross on the summit at Tinui Taipo.

Long-time farmer Bill Maunsell has, over the past few years, been getting rid of huge, gnarly, and hated pines on the land block the walking track and quadbike track is on.

To kill the pines, many were poisoned by helicopter drops, and others sawed into with poisoned chains.

The result was native trees taking their place, and the rocky landscape revealed.

Wairarapa wind is helpfully blowing seeds into the ground, and birds are scattering more.

The trust is complementing this natural regeneration with additional planting and aims to raise more than $11,000 to continue with the work.

But trust chairman Alan Emerson said the planting project had become a “massive job” and was beyond the resources of the Tinui community.

“The aim is to get rid of all pine trees so the natives can fully regenerate,” Emerson said.

“The cost has been estimated at $11,500, and we are going to fundraise locally to raise the money to eliminate the pines.”

Chainsaw volunteers from Forest Management Ltd have spent many days cutting down the wilding pines.

Members of the New Zealand Army have also helped.

They are sawing through pines with sprawling branches encroaching over the quad bike track that takes elderly and equipment up to the cross.

Sections of the rockface around the path have been carved off with a 20-tonne excavator.

New dam created at the top of the track.

While the machine was up near the cross, Maunsell directed the digging of a large pit for a natural lake.

“Yeah, I’ve had a dip, it was shallow though so I just lay on my belly and paddled about, I reckon when it gets deeper, it would be a great place for a swim after a walk,” Maunsell said.

“It is peaceful up here and a great place to soak up the expansive views of the east coast and take time to appreciate life.

“It is also a place of hope, and so I named the lake, ‘Hope’.”

Maunsell was focused on how to improve the newly formed lake’s ability to retain water.

The environmental work by the Anzac Parish Trust was making the journey to the Tinui memorial cross a special place of beauty, which was in great contrast to the steep, dry and barren climb up the rockface from the beach at Ari Burnu [Anzac Cove] in Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.

And this enhanced Wairarapa native bush walk was what the New Zealand soldiers sacrificed their lives to protect.

The 3km walking track to the Anzac Memorial cross is open until April 25.

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