Spoke Magazine

Pureora Forest Park in danger from mining!

Posted by Caleb Smith on Wednesday May 7 2014

Lester Perry, John Oldale, Rod Bardsley and Hoz Barclay, Pureora Forest

Lester Perry, John Oldale, Rod Bardsley and Hoz Barclay, Pureora Forest

So I’m not massively political and I definitely don’t condone the use of this website to push political party agendas, but I couldn’t not post up this bulk email from Green party leader Rusty Norman, about the future of Pureora Forest park. Spoke has done a tonne of riding in the forest and ignoring the cycle trail, it’s a fricken amazing place to ride. So read on and get submitting, we can not let this happen!

Kia ora

I wish you could have been with me last week when I visited Pureora Forest Park so that you could have experienced the awe of standing beneath an ancient totara dripping with moss and vines.

Pureora Forest Park is under threat from mining activity, and needs your urgent help.

We have until May 8 to save these majestic totara which are so ancient, they were centuries old even before Maori first stepped foot in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Energy Minister Simon Bridges has proposed mineral exploration permits over 8,040 km2 of the central North Island, including 96 percent of Pureora Forest Park. If permits are granted in Pureora, the sound of drilling rigs could drown out the haunting call of the endangered kokako that live there.

If you don’t want to see drilling rigs in Pureora, send an email to the Minister of Energy now.

Since I wasn’t able to take you with me to Pureora, I’ve made this video to bring you the flittering fantails and the skittering robins which live amongst the towering totara. I hope the history and beauty of Pureora inspire you to take action to save it.

On May 9, Simon Bridges will announce the permits he has granted. Help make sure none are in Pureora Forest Park.

Thank you,

Russel Norman


  • Hoz

    And there’s a tonne more riding to do in there bro’. We’ve just scratched the surface on our previous trips. Better bring the Buzz LH Hike-a-bike shoes though. Under the revised 10 year Management Plan it now looks like MTB’ers will have trial access to all existing (and some proposed new) trails and tramping routes. This is great news for us back-country adventure riders. Some great extended adventures to be had in the deep Pureora woods. And the Waihaha Track will finally become fully legal (after some MTB-led maintenance). It’s taken a lot of lobbying but we finally seem to be getting the legal access we want.

    So (the Green’s’ PR machine aside) make a submission and help make sure this ‘potential’ mining nonsense doesn’t have adverse impacts on this amazing forest and our access to ride within it. More supportive voices equals more riding options and a more natural environment for the the future. Get off your buzzword-focused ass and go do it.

    • Kevin K

      MTB Maintenance on the Waihaha track! why? I say keep rough and let it remain a challenge. Too many tacks are being dumbed down.

      • Hoz

        As a jungle rider myself, I get what you are saying. Tech track sections rock! However the Waihaha Track is part of a bigger picture in the Pureora Forest Park. This track has NEVER been authorised for MTB, even though we have spent years lobbying Doc to classify it for multiple-use. But it is now part of a proposal to link the Great Lake Trail through to the Timber Trail, and will become officially multiple-use when maintenance is done via the new community partnership framework. There are several key sections that will be targeted for maintenance/trail re-routing. One of those is the step section climb just after the swing-bridge. Walking and biking traffic has had major impacts there, so it definitely needs attention.

        Thanks to all the MTB community lobbying on the Draft CMS 10-year plan, we are now getting opportunities for further trail development south of Piropiro Flats through to the head of the Mangakahu Valley. There is plenty of tech riding options in this area if you know where to look. And the big swing-bridges on the Timber Trail now make this area way more accessible for day trips than it used to be.

        Plus Doc are going to trial MTB access on all tramping tracks in the Park, apart from those on Mt Pureora and Mt Titiraupenga (apart from the Timber Trail, which climbs, traverses and descends from Mt Pureora for about 15km). So that is a MAJOR WIN, provided us jungle riders don’t shred the tramping tracks. Need to to ‘tread lightly’ so we can ensure permanent access to the tramping routes. The take-home message is this: The Waihaha Track is only one small part of the Pureora puzzle. Don’t despair about proposed maintenance on the Waihaha Track. There is a huge amount of jungle-tech good times waiting to be ridden in the rest of the Park, and we now have the permission to ride it!

  • Hoz

    Latest from Rusty is…we knocked the bastard off. The proposal for Pureora mining that is, not the Hon. Minister Mr Bridges. Whether a real or imagined threat, still worth the effort of making a submission. Cheers to those who did.

  • Doug Hamilton

    Nice one Hoz. When the email came through from Russel Norman I immediately thought of you and all the work you have been doing up that way. Good to keep those mining/money hungry pricks out of our forests.

    • Hoz

      Cheers Doug, sounds like you are still livin’ the life man. Be great to have a decent catch up some time. Looks like things are going sweet!

  • goldy

    any news on what happened? i sent an email for sure!