Friday, April 15, 2016

Stone Hut, Stone Hut Stream, Mt Gerald Station, Mackenzie Country

Wed 13.04.16. I parked my car at the end of Lilybank Rd, Mt Gerald Station, 37 km from Lake Tekapo village. My quest: Stone Hut by Stone Hut Stream, Mt Gerald Station. Map ref: BX17 085571. Afterwards I'd trek up an old farm road to a 1350 m spur on glacial terraces overlooking Godley River & Macaulay River confluence. The spur descended the west side of Beuzenberg, forming Stone Hut Stream gorge.

From the carpark I wandered a Macaulay River track (unmarked) past deer fenced, harvested, wheat fields on river terraces. A Claas Harvester was parked by a shed in the wheat fields. The unmarked track sidled NE round the wheat fields. I watched a flock of Canada geese wheel S to Lake Tekapo, over the river confluence, backdropped by Southern Alps ranges.

Beyond the N end of Mt Gerald / Beuzenberg W spur, Stone Hut, unmarked track rose 240 vertical metres eastwards, 3.5 kms, through grassland to Stone Hut by Stone Hut Stream. It took me 1.5 hours to reach Stone Hut, wood & iron construction. I wrote the following in the intentions book:

Wed. 13.4.16. Tea. 10.30. Hut to myself. From Fairlie / Lake Tekapo. Going higher to approx 1350 m then returning to Lilybank Rd carpark this afternoon. Clear day. Magnificent views. Took me 65 years to get here. Ta Serah & Michael. Mark JS Esslemont. S Africa / NZ.

Climbing 350 vertical metres, 2 kms, I followed a steep, old, farm road on the right of Stone Hut Stream to the top of glacial terraces on Beuzenberg W spur, approx 1350 m. Map ref: BX17  092576.

On the steep road, Mt Gerald Station / Te Kahui Kaupeka Park boundary fence blocked my way, so I clambered over a locked deer fence gate. It wasn't the first or last, locked, deer fence gate I clambered over that day. The road continued NE past a fork towards Mt Toby & the W side of Beuzenberg in the distance. The road crossed Stone Hut Stream & doubled back steeply up a SW spur of Mt Toby.

I turned right at the road fork & amidst snow tussock, on the glacial spur, I found an old trig beacon site, 1345 m, a steel pole stump, supported by rocks, Map ref: BX17 096562, similar to what I'd seen last year on the top of Mt Burgess. Current trig beacons were vertical concrete hunks.

360 degree panoramas were seen from the top of Mt Gerald glacial terrace:

Eastwards: Glacial terraces hiding Ribbonwood Stream cachment & top of Mt Gerald, 1551 m.
Southwards: Mt Richmond Range, Mt Ardmore, Mt Hay. Mt Edward, Motuariki Island in Lake Tekapo, Mt John, Ben Ohau Range.
Westwards: Mt Joseph, Hall Range & Mistake Peak over Lake Tekapo. Mt Gerald Station, NE end of Lake Tekapo. Mt Haszard, Pikes Peak, Mt Radove, Taranaki Peak over Godley River Valley.
Nor'westwards: Lilybank Station below Razor Back & Mt Erebus. Mt Sibbald Range.
Northwards: Mt D'Archiac above Macaulay River Valley.

From the old trig beacon on the glacial terrace spur, I made a bee line descent down lateral moraine hummocks to my car at the end of Lilybank Rd:

Distances & times:

Lilybank Rd carpark to Stone Hut: 240 vertical metres, 3.5 kms, 1.5 hours.
Stone Hut to 1350 m spur on Beuzenberg W spur, glacial terrace: 350 vertical metres, 2.5 km, 1.5 hours.
Beuzenberg W spur, glacial terrace descent to Lilybank Rd carpark: 5 kms, 2 hours.

Hill walking fitness, Topo50 map, all weather gear, water, food, permission from Mt Gerald Station owners needed. Cell phone coverage was patchy, only when Lake Tekapo was seen.

Stone Hut was at the mouth of a gorge, Stone Hut Stream meandering down. Beware winter avalanches.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Camp Stream Hut / Mt Gerald Station / Te Kahui Kaupeka Park

Wed 06.04.16. My tramp to Camp Stream Hut, Map ref: BY17 105487. I drove 30 km along Lilybank Rd, Lake Tekapo east shore, past Mt Hay Station, Richmond Station & Round Hill Ski Field turnoff. Further on, in Mt Gerald Station, just beyond Coal River Bridge, the turnoff to the DOC carpark, where the Camp Stream Hut track started, in Te Kahui Kaupeka National Park - Gathering of the waters. The DOC sign board at the carpark was wrong, stating the walk was 6 km to Camp Stream Hut. DOC website stating 9 km one way was more accurate.

From the Coal River carpark the DOC marker poled track followed a farm road beside high deer fencing, passing paddocks & streams in glacial kettle holes till it reached a farm gate at the Mt Gerald Station / National Park boundary. A DOC sign at the border gate stated 3 km Rex Simpson Memorial Hut, 4 km Camp Stream Hut. Wrong again. The rough track, one way distance to Camp Stream Hut was 7 km from the Mt Gerald Station / National Park deer fence.

Following DOC marker poles, through matagouri, then snow tussock, the rough track followed an old fence line up steep, glacial terraces till it reached another farm road with another DOC sign pointing to Rex Simpson Memorial Hut & Camp Stream Hut in opposite directions. The Camp Stream Hut trail followed the old farm road over a Mt Gerald Saddle, Map ref: BY17 096499, about 1400 m height through snow tussock down to meandering Camp Stream in a snow tussock valley between Mt Gerald east side & Mt Braun Elwart west side.

Mt Gerald Saddle gave grand western views of Lake Tekapo, Mt Mistake, Godley River Valley & Alpine Ranges. Mt Gerald Saddle road gave eastern views of Camp Stream going down, past river terraces, to the back of Round Hill & Mt Richmond in the Two Thumbs Range. Camp Stream was bounded by Mt Gerald in the west & Two Thumbs Range in the east. Looking up valley, Mt Gerald east side showed no signs of glacial terracing.

At Camp Stream crossing another DOC sign gave directions, but no km distances to Camp Stream Hut, Rex Simpson Memorial Hut & Stag Saddle on the Te Araroa Trail. (3 000 km trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff). That signage was alarming, as I map estimated the distance from that Camp Stream crossing point to Stag Saddle, about 10 km, 700 vertical metres, a day's hike. With bad distance signs, DOC asked for idiot trampers to get lost in the mountains.

Round a curve on the road on Mt Braun Elwart southern ridge, Camp Stream Hut was on a river terrace below Mt Braun Elwart southern ridge & below another southern ridge terrace of a nameless mt. Mt Richmond, curved northwards past Round Hill, as a great wall of avalanche rock looming above the lot.

Camp Stream Hut was occupied, two campers scoffing in midday sun. I turned back & returned the way I'd come over Mt Gerald Saddle road.

My times: Mt Gerald Station / Coal River DOC carpark, farm road & rough track to the bottom of the glacial terraces: 1 hour.
Rough track, 500 vertical metres climb up Mt Gerald glacial terraces to another farm road: 1 hour.
Farm road over Mt Gerald Saddle to Camp Stream Hut: 1.5 hours.
Return from Camp Stream Hut to Mt Gerald Station / Coal River DOC carpark: 3.5 hours.

Total distance 18 kms. Total 700 vertical metres climbed. A full day's 7 hour walk, excluding pic & scoff times. Hill walking fitness, Topo 50 map, water, food, all weather gear needed. Cell phone coverage - only where Mt John / Lake Tekapo south shore can be seen. No cell phone coverage when surrounded by mts, hollows, or valleys.

Fri 05.05.16. My tramp to Camp Stream Hut from the S: From Lilybank Rd, 25 kms from Lake Tekapo village, I drove 3 kms up Round Hill Ski Field road & parked my car at the DOC carpark by Round Hill Ski Field gate, overlooking Coal River. A DOC sign indicated Richmond Trail 3 kms, Round Hill Ski Field 5 kms.

I went N. By Mt Gerald Station deer fence, I crossed Coal River & climbed the steep N bank by a tributary stream smothered in matagouri. Map ref: BY17 075456. Avoiding matagouri & deep snow tussock to the stream source, I wandered up moraine, N facing hummocks & glacial terraces to the edge of Coal River gorge - about 1 hour's tramp over alpine vegetation, like scab weed, mikimiki & snow tussock.

In snow tussock, sidling the S end of Mt Gerald, Map ref: BY17 108468, I crossed a high tussock valley with views of Mt Erebus NW & Round Hill SE, Mt Richmond behind.

Through tussock land, I tramped Camp Stream river terraces, between Mt Gerald S end & the S end of Mt Braun Elwart towards Camp Stream Hut on a river terrace above Camp Stream. E of Camp Stream Hut, Two Thumbs Range included 2 more mt ridges with the great wall of Richmond Range louring above the lot. A vast panorama, including 5 mt ridges above river terraces & valley streams, on my way to Camp Stream Hut.

I crossed Camp Stream & lunched at Camp Stream Hut. No one else in sight.

Inside: the corrugated iron hut had 3 small windows; 6 bunk beds; a wood burning stove; a wooden bench; kitchen bench; miscellaneous eating / water utensils; candle holders; business cards; intentions book.

Outside: Long drop toilet with a grand view of Round Hill & Richmond Range. Firewood was stored in 2 corrugated iron water cisterns & under corrugated iron sheets. An axe in a wood stump invited chopping. Red deer antlers hung above the wooden door. A sign on the door read:

     Camp Stream Hut
Mackenzie Alpine Trust  

Time: 3 hours from DOC carpark on Round Hill Ski Field road to Camp Stream Hut. Distance: 6 kms.

I returned to my car via the farm road over Mt Gerald Saddle, as above, recrossing Camp Stream & climbing to an old trig beacon, 1421 m on Mt Gerald S ridge. A longer return trek, distance 7 kms, time 4 hours.

Beware: On Mt Gerald, SW facing, moraine slopes there were dangerous, deep holes, formed by hidden streams, covered in tussock land. Using my walking stick, I probed ahead in deep tussock to stop me falling in holes. I saw two wallabies leap out of a hole & disappear into tussocks while bounding away. As I had no Personal Locator Beacon, (PLB costly, no hiring business at Lake Tekapo) if I fell into a hole & broke a limb, it would be a helluva job for LAND SAR finding me. If ever? Safety: I always gave my Topo 50 map ref intentions to family before I tramped the Alps.

Total time: 7 hours, excluding lunch. Total distance: 13 kms. 500 vertical metres climbed. Topo 50 map & tramping gear required, as above,

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Te Araroa Trail

Sunday, April 3, 2016

CERA's Hydra Legacy after 5 years' Canterbury Occupation

Sat 02.04.16. The Weekend Press published a full page CERA notice. The CERA notice avoided mentioning CERA's hydra legacy:

*CERA's 5 years' post quake meddling in Christchurch City Council affairs, like putting a stooge observer into Council meetings & trying to get Council to speed up consents processing.

*CERA trying to force Council to sell its lucrative assets like Lyttelton Port & Christchurch Airport to pay for NZ National govt's / CERA's expensive Blueprint precincts. Council's City Care maintenance company pertained.

*CERA doing nothing about ECAN stooges, NZ National govt appointed commissioners usurping former elected ECAN, causing Canterbury water affairs to go down the gurgler, dairy farmers intensifying on Canterbury Plains, unsuitable for such farming.

*CERA doing nothing about MOE's closures & mergers of post quake Canterbury schools.

*CERA doing nothing about EQC's ineptitude, EQC still fobbing off over cap $100 000 house repairs to insurers, more than 5 years post quakes.

*EQC's ineptitude, 1 000s of faulty under cap $100 000 house repairs, especially house foundation repairs needing to be remedied by EQC's contractors.

*CERA's slow beginning of CERA's Blueprint anchor projects, like Convention Centre, 35 000 seater roofed Stadium. Metro Sports Facility; all of which to date were vast demolition sites, leaving the CERA occupied CBD a fence cordoned mess.

*CERA's bread & circuses in the form of red zone quake walks to ruined Christ Church Cathedral, red zone bus tours, Restart Cashel Mall, revamped Hagley cricket oval, Margaret Mahy Family Playground, new Bus Exchange on Council land.

*CERA's monstrous Blueprint, Justice & Emergency Services bldg between Lichfield St & Tuam St, stuffing cops, courts, corrections, fire & ambulance services & Civil Defence in one precinct.

*Christ Church Cathedral ruin was still fence cordoned in Cathedral Sq. CERA did nothing to stop meddling ex politicians Burdon, Anderton & heritage fanatics from delaying the Anglican diocese rebuild of Christchurch Cathedral.

*Cathedral Sq: Central Library rebuild not done yet. (Completed in 2018). Rydges Hotel & Millennium Hotel (Distinction Hotel) were still closed. Part demolished, asbestos riddled BNZ was still closed & graffiti messed. (Sept 2018. Spark bldg was going up on BNZ demolition site). Novotel for sale. Ibis Hotel, Hereford St, for sale, as CERA's Cathedral Sq was all but abandoned. (Sept 2018. Novotel OK. Ibis Hotel OK, but pestered by hobos sleeping nearby & pestering passersby on Hereford St).

*Insurers' slow claims settlements.

*SCIRT's incompleted & shoddy road repairs.

*CERA's land grab, acquisition or taking of 7 000+ red zone, residential properties & scores of CBD commercial properties for CERA's 20 odd Blueprint projects like the CBD EFrame. To date NZ National govt / CERA had not mentioned what it would do with all the red zone, residential property & red zone, commercial property it had land grabbed. Would a lot of the land end up owned by local Ngai Tahu tribe, bosom buddy of NZ National govt?

Five years post quakes, CERA's legacy not only incl the above mess, but had hydra buds, forming more obscuring bureaucracy, interfering in Christchurch Council affairs. The Weekend Press, CERA notice read:

  Te Mana Haumanu ki Waitaha

                                                 THE CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKE
                                                 RECOVERY AUTHORITY COMES TO AN
                                                 END ON MONDAY 18 APRIL 2016

CERA was established by the Government to lead and coordinate the region's recovery in the wake of the devastating earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011.

This short-term organisation was given a five-year lifespan and will be formally disestablished on Monday 18 April 2016.

In October last year the Transition Recovery Plan was publically released which explained where some of CERA's functions would move to and which ones would be wound down. That transition started in December last year when the first of CERA's functions were taken over by other Government agencies.

The Transition Recovery Plan is published here www.cera, and physical copies are available to read at Christchurch Libraries.

What you need to know

The agencies that inherit CERA's functions will be the contact points of information once CERA office is closed. 

Regenerate Christchurch

Regenerate Christchurch is a new joint Crown-Council entity which will oversee the long term development and enhancement of the central city, Christchurch's residential red zone and New Brighton. It will do this by engaging with communities, stakeholders and decision makers. [Council played second fiddle to Regenerate Christchurch padded with NZ govt stooges].

Otakaro Limited

Otakaro Limited is a new Crown company established to deliver key anchor projects and precincts in Christchurch and manage any potential future sale of Crown owned land in the central city. [Dispose of NZ National govt's / CERA's land grab]. 

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

On 1 December 2015 LINZ inherited the remaining responsibility for:
*Demolitions and clearing of Crown Owned property in the residential red zone.
*Maintenance of Crown owned land in the residential red zone.

LINZ will not be making decisions about the longer-term use of the residential red zone.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

On 1 December 2015 MBIE took over responsibility for:

*The remaining residential rebuild work, including finding solutions for emerging residential rebuild    issues and monitoring the pace and rate of insurance settlements.
*Analysing progress of the rebuild, providing procurement advice, and informing and engaging with    the construction market.

Ministry of Health / Canterbury District Health Board

On 1 December 2015 the Ministry of Health, working closely with the Canterbury DBH, took on some additional leadership responsibilities for coordinating psychosocial health work.

On 1 March 2015 they took responsibility for monitoring and reporting on community well being.    

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

On 1 March 2015 the Greater Christchurch Group, a business unit within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) was established. The Group's responsibilities include:

*Providing policy advice to Ministers and Government on the regeneration of greater Christchurch,
  including the future uses of the Christchurch residential red zone.
*Monitoring and reporting on the overall progress of regeneration.
*Part funding and jointly governing repairs to horizontal infrastructure such as roads and
  underground pipes.          
*Administering the new Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill.

CERA's website will be archived for general reference and can be found through the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's website from 18 April 2016.

However, for all inquiries and up-to-date information please phone the appropriate inheriting agency.

John Ombler
Acting Chief Executive
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority"

Ombler had taken over CERA after former CERA boss Sutton had resigned.

CERA didn't say that most of the CBD rebuild after 5 years & rebuild elsewhere after 5 years (new residential developments, shops & offices) was done by the private sector, not CERA.

After CERA was disestablished on 18.04.16 into the above NZ govt tentacles, CERA documents, websites, internet connections were absorbed into a CERA Document Archive, managed by the Dept of the Prime Minister & Cabinet. So all my CERA links on my blog received a "CERA has been disestablished" link, referring readers to the Dept of the Prime Minister & Cabinet. That was state censorship where former CERA links, like media releases, CERA reports, demolition lists... which had been available on the internet, would henceforth be blocked by state censors, er archivists.

Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Christchurch Our National Disgrace (National Business Review).