A karearea comes home to roost at Rameka

Rameka was once home to the native falcon of Aotearoa, karearea. Locals can still recall the fearsome flyers chittering as they hurtled down from the bluffs along the escarpment.

karearea landing on tree branch
Karearea 80 photograph by Kurien Yohannan

Such sightings are long gone though, with clearance of native vegetation reducing the bird’s habitat and pigs, possums, cats and mustelids decimating both chicks and adults. But at Project Rameka, we’ve just reintroduced our very own karearea – one made from stone by local sculptor Jocelynne Bacci.

Sculptor Jocelynne Bacci

The sculpture is made from local Takaka marble. She weighs a tonne … well, at least 40 kg. And of course, we hadn’t chosen the easiest site to sit her on. It was going to take some planning to get her on site without serious mishap. Nicole helped out with the dummy run …

Nicole being pushed on the sack barrow by Jonathan.
Jonathan transported Nicole to site on the sack barrow first. We figured Nicole wouldn’t break so easily if she fell off.

Once we were comfortable our method could work, it was time to load up and wheel down to site first the plinth and then the marble sculpture.

Jonathan wheels down the sack barrow with Richard holding a rope from behind to act as a break.
When it came time to carry down the plinth and finally the sculpture, we used the same technique. Jonathan wheeled, and Richard acted as a brake from behind.
A rope and a safety rope helped haul the sculpture up to its final site.
We used a rope and a safety rope to help haul the sculpture up to its final site.

Jonathan and Richard held the karearea in place while Jocelynne guided her onto her spot on the plinth.

Jonathan and Richard hold the karearea in place while Jocelynne guides her onto her spot on the plinth.
Jocelynne guides our karearea to her new home.
Jocelynne and Bronnie sit behind the installed karearea.
Jocelynne and Bronnie take a breather after safely installing the sculpture beside the historic Rameka Track.
Mountain biker riding past the karearea sculpture
Wendy was the first person to ride past the karearea sculpture.

The next time you ride or walk down the historic Rameka track, remember to keep an eye out for our lovely sculpture – we hope she’ll be calling home more karearea to join her at the Rameka Carbon Forest.

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