In Time for Christmas Fun

Richard heaves another load of gravel to tidy up the muddy bits and …


Jack rakes it out so that everyone can enjoy a dab-free ride!


People are getting ready for their Christmas trip away, and what trip is complete with mountain bike in tow!
We’ve been fielding a few questions about where the new track is and what’s open for public consumption, so here’s a bit of a low-down.
Great Expectations is open for all to use and enjoy – it’s a two-way track, so if you’re getting into the zone and swooping along down, just be prepared to drop the speed a little on the blind corners and give a yodel or two to announce your imminent arrival … but you all know the drill, right?
It is a fantastic extension to the Rameka Track. You’ll head out from the forest of the Rameka Track and follow the gravel road down a short distance before following the Project Rameka sign up a small rise to your left. Then its through the cattle stop and Bob’s your uncle, you are on it!
If you enjoy it so much that you want to try it again, feel free!
If you get really hooked, pop in to The Quiet Revolution Cycle Shop in Takaka and talk to the goodly folk there about how you can help work off some festive food by joining a Project Rameka work party or contribute in other ways to the project.
What ever the case, enjoy – just make sure you leave it in good enough condition for others to enjoy, too.

Great Expectations Scrapbook

Here’s a wee bit of a visual overview of Great Expectations for those of you who haven’t yet had the luck to try it out.
Guy Robertson runs his dad Mike through his paces along the track – at the age of five, we think that’s not bad going. Way to go Guy … way to go Mike!


Beth leads a bunch of wobbly walkers (Corina, Albie, Fil, Simon, Bronnie, Marie)


The Murray family starting out:


Ricky Ward – more than happy to have finished with opening speeches and to be getting on with the business of riding:


Comment on Nelson Mail article

Comment on Nelson Mail article
By Jonathan Kennett

Earlier this week the Nelson Mail printed an article about Project Rameka that was titled “Tree planters slate farmers”. This was completely incorrect, and the journalist, Hayley Gale has since phoned up and apologised. We can only presume that the Editor or sub-editor of the Nelson Mail felt it would generate more sales to have a sensationalist, although incorrect heading, than a true one. Newspapers probably do this all the time.

To set the record straight, I’ve decided to expand on the contents of Hayley Gale’s article here, because those contents were essentially correct, even if the title wasn’t.

We did not slate farmers. Quite the opposite. We pointed out that the farmers around Project Rameka have been supportive. I would like to give a few solid examples.

Dave Edmondson: We bought the project land off Dave. He has been very good at removing stray stock from Project Rameka.

Robert and Myra Fulton: In 2008, Robert and Myra supported the project by buying native trees, and allowing us to dig Totara seedlings from their garden. They have never failed to be welcoming to us and Myra has spent a lot of time writing up the history of the Rameka Valley, which she dearly loves.

Ricky Page: When Gary has call to run stock up the Ramaka Road, he does it as fast as possible so that the cattle don’t stray off the road, and chomp our trees.

Fill and Albie Burgess: The list of help and the amount of friendship from these two farmers is great indeed. Planting trees, providing wholesome food at work parties, cheerful conversation and a welcome bed for the night during storms. Fill and Albie also have 50 ha of regenerating forest at the back of their farm.

You might understand now that Simon Johnson, Bronnie Wall and myself were far from impressed when we saw the title saying we slated farmers.

However, to perfectly clear, we did slate the advocacy organisation Federated Farmers and in particular its leader Don Nicholson. The following quotes will explain why.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand Submission
“Farmer opposition to government efforts on climate change policy has been consistent over the years.”

And another quote, this time from their website.

“Federated Farmers opposed the government’s 2002 ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and remains opposed to it.

Federated Farmers opposes the inclusion of agriculture in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.”
Fedrated Farmers website (uploaded Dec 2009)

It is clear that Federated Farmers – the organisation – has been opposed to any practical moves to tackle climate change by reducing emissions. Don Nicholson has said that it is not worth trying to reduce emissions because population growth makes this impossible. This is completely counter to the advice coming from every reputable scientific organisation in the world. That advice is, that we reduce emissions urgently.

However, it is also clear that there are individual farmers who chose to make their own minds up. And many, whether it is for climate change reasons or not, are taking actions that are good for the environment they are leaving for their children and grandchildren. Good on them!

Expecting Great Things

It was all go on Sunday 22 November 2009 as people amassed for the big opening of Great Expectations, the first track on Project Rameka.
Happenings commenced at 10 a.m. sharp with some track titivation. Many thanks to Ryan, Martin, Andy, Marie, Richard, (and around the corner out of view) Albie, Fil, Ricky, Corina, Patrick, Brent, James, Bronnie, Simon, and Jonathan.
A special mention must go to Seamus’ dog Harry, who kept a sharp eye on all proceedings and made sure the workers kept their noses to the grindstone. Thanks for sending in the delegation Seamus.



By noon, everyone was feeling peckish. Time for the barbeque! Rough Guide New Zealand author Paul Whitfield brought all his investigative skills to bear and managed to find the project in time to join in with the opening, despite being told by the information centre that he needed to go back to the top of Takaka Hill and travel along to Canaan Downs to find it – “I think”! Not to be deterred (he’d just driven past Canaan as he drove over the hill from Mot), Paul put his bloodhound nose to work and sniffed out the barbeque and the speeches. (Paul stayed on to help with more track tidying in the afternoon before trying out the primo flow of Great Expectations in both directions with Jonathan – Good on ya Paul.)


Thanks to Ricky Ward’s most excellent speech outlining the fundamentals of this brilliant track no more needs to be written about it in this blog – Ricky’s speech says it all, so here is that speech:
And what Project Rameka event could be complete without … chocolate cake!! Thanks Marie, you are the most brilliant star of a cook, we’re sure everyone who got to sample the cake would agree.

Ricky and Corina Ward managed to keep four eyes covering all the action at the track opening:


And the track itself? Great Expecations is sweet as a lolly. It flows like a small child down a luge at the water park, or if you prefer, like a diamond ring down the bathroom sink hole – but who are we to say? Come along some time and try it out for yourselves.
Phil Castle and Patrick Ward give it a whirl on Great Expecations: