Newsletter - December 2011

Update: Upper Clutha Trails
The Luggate Creek Track was opened on Sunday 30th May, 2011, at 10am in Luggate. This track connects the Luggate Township into the track network. The track also provides access to Luggate Creek and limited access to the Devil’s Nook.  The Upper Clutha Tracks Trust (UCTT) hopes to be able to improve access to the Devils Nook later in the year as a further phase of this project.

It is now possible to walk or cycle between Luggate, Wanaka, Albert Town and Lake Hawea completely off road.

The UCTT have recently added the small community at John’s Creek to the network, and are also looking at options to fully connect to Hawea Flat. In the longer term, the goal is to create a track all the way down to Cromwell and Clyde to connect with the Otago Central Rail Trail and the Roxburgh Gorge Track.

Update: Cromwell-Pisa Track
The outcome from the latest meeting of the Lake Dunstan Management group was that the track can now proceed with funding approved. A track will be contrusted from the Deadman’s Point Bridge to the Lowburn Collie Dog club, and poled route only will be marked from the Pisa Footbridge to the boundary of Parkburn Quarry, following the foreshore all the way.

Update: Roxburgh Gorge Trail
Construction has begun on the first 10kms of the 34km trail on the true right from Alexandra. The contractor J. Sutton has started on a short section of trail near Alexandra. Additional consents have been applied for from ORC & CODC covering all aspects of construction, including blasting. Final signage and safety measures are now being implemented prior to progressing with excavation & blasting.

A Marginal Strip boundary survey by the Roxburgh Gorge Trail Trust (RGTT) has been rejected by a landowner, who has carried out an independent survey which determined a different boundary. This will make trail construction more difficult in some areas.

A Commercial Workshop for trail groups is planned for mid-December involving various trail users and other bodies.

Update: Clutha Gold Trail
Stage One from Roxburgh Dam to Teviot Bridge at Roxburgh has been let to Harliwich Ltd of Roxburgh, who plan to make a start before Christmas. Stage Two from Teviot Bridge to Wright road (a short distance of roadside work, close by Roxburgh Bridge) is almost ready to call tenders. Stage Three from Wright Road to Minzion Creek (start of Millenium Track), thr tenders are in and being evaluated. Stage Four from the Millenium Track to Beaumont, the tenders have been called. Stage Five from Beaumont to Lawrence, the route is being finalised around the Tunnel.

Update: Luggate Native Restoration
Almost all of the 600 native seedlings planted in two native restoration projects along the Clutha Mata-Au River corridor at Luggate last year are doing well. The projects were jointly undertaken by Central Otago Lakes Forest & Bird, Te Kakano Nursery, the Luggate Community Association, and the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group.

The first site is at the Luggate end of the Reko's Point trail, and the second site is on the true right of the river at the Luggate Red Bridge. Volunteers are continuing to plant seedlings and tend the established plants.

Clutha River Forum Seminars
In October, the Clutha River Forum (originally set up with the support of the Clutha Mata-Au River Parkway Group) hosted a seminar in Alexandra, on 'Adapting To Our Rapidly Changing World'. The seminar attracted people from throughout the lower South Island, from Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka and Timaru. All were keen to examine the critical issues facing humanity at all levels of society, internationally and locally.

Organisers introduced the seminar with an enlightening YouTube video “Who Killed Economic Growth” by acclaimed author Richard Heinberg.

Guest speakers were David Beach (Neptune Power) on energy, Kennedy Graham (Green Part) on economics, and Dr Steve Earnshaw (Transition Towns and Timaru District Councillor) with Dugald MacTavish (Hampden Community Energy) on community sustainability.

During the presentations, the speakers tackled oil decline and alternative energies, climate change and biosphere collapse, economic breakdown caused by exponential debt, and how local communities can adapt in positive ways by becoming more self reliant and locally supportive.

Later discussion focused on Neptune Power’s innovative marine turbine project off Cape Terawhiti near Wellington, before examining the core issues behind perpetual economic growth and rising debt, which according to official figures is US$211 trillion in the US alone, or fourteen times the GDP of the US.

It was suggested that money was created as debt and that “interest ruins the medium of exchange”. Verduyn said:

“The interest component of debt invokes the exponential function, requiring a perpetually growing economy to repay debt. But the natural capital needed for this repayment does not grow exponentially. Inevitably, the debt will grow to be greater than the available natural capital. A monetary system designed to be ever expanding is not only unsustainable, it is illogical and ultimately suicidal.”

“The New Zealand government only creates 2 percent of its money interest free, and the rest is borrowed from private central banks or the bond market. Why do governments choose to borrow money at interest when a government can create all the interest-free money it needs itself?”

“This vicious mechanism of debt growth is responsible for the society we have and for our collapsing biosphere. Somehow, we need to reintegrate our monetary system with a belief system that promotes life, not destruction. Such interest-free banking systems already exist.”

A similar seminar with the same theme ‘Fronting Up to Our Deteriorating World’, was held in Dunedin on 13 October, in the Castle 1 Lecture Theatre, University of Otago.

'Friends of the Clutha Parkway'
We are facing many challenges and need all the 'Friends' we can get. You can help by becoming a 'Friend of the Clutha Parkway.' Simply complete our 'Friends Membership Form' and return it to us.


Mighty Clutha

Clutha River Guardian

Save The Clutha