A wonderful day to open the new Purple Peak Curry Reserve

The Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and the Hinewai team are buzzing after a wonderful official opening of the Purple Peak Curry Reserve with our new whānau the New Zealand Native Forest Restoration Trust (NZNFRT) on the weekend.P1030600

The Purple Peak Curry Reserve was purchased by the NZNFRT, with financial support from the RDBPT and the Christchurch City Council, and will be managed by the fabulous team from the adjacent Hinewai Reserve. The Reserve is on land previously farmed by the Curry family and includes mature mataī, kahikatea, lowland tōtara and the rare raukawa and Akaroa’s water catchment.

The celebrations began on Friday with a walk through the Reserve to Heritage Park so the North Island-based NZNFRT trustees and staff could view first-hand the rich flora and fauna. Along with the beautiful mature podocarps and abundant bird and insect-life the walkers were thrilled to spot a rare jeweled gecko with NZNFRT ecologist Sharen saying “I never thought I’d see one in the wild”. The walk was followed by a convivial dinner at the Hinewai Lodge so the Hinewai team, NZRFT trustees and staff, RDBPT trustees and staff could get to know each other.

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Saturday dawned hot and sunny and the marquee pitched at the Purple Peak Curry Reserve carpark off Brocheries Road provided welcome shade. Ōnuku and Wairewa kaumatua James Robinson opened proceedings with a karakia for Te Piki o Te Ake (Purple Peak) and a beautiful rendition of “He Honore” sung to Te Piki o Te Ake by James and his cousin Meri Robinson. Over 120 people attended the opening, with the majority being locals, thus demonstrating the local support for the reserve.

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After speeches by NZNFRT trustees, RDBPT Trustees, the QEII Trust area manager James Guild, Banks Peninsula Councilor Andrew Turner and Hinewai’s Hugh Wilson, guests participated in one of three walks. The shortest was a walk up to the summit and back, with magnificent views over Akaroa Harbour. The middle-distance walkers carried on down the hill from the summit through to Heritage Park and the long-distance walkers finished back down in Akaroa. Everyone was hot but happy after their walks through the beautiful new reserve on this blistering summer day.

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And here’s a link to the NZNFRT website with their take on the day: http://www.nfrt.org.nz/news/purple-peak-curry-reserve-opening

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