Editorial: Joyriders destroying a treasure

By Andrew Austin

I will never forget the first time I went up Te Mata Peak. The view was breathtaking.

It was early one Saturday morning and the fog had all but cleared. The sun was starting to make an impact and a gentle breeze was blowing.

It is one of those places where you can spend hours soaking up the peace and quiet - finding solace in the magnificent beauty.

I am living in Havelock North and no matter what time of the day or night I drive home, I always find my eyes straying upwards to that familiar peak. It is strangely comforting - an indicator that everything will be all right.

Even though I am relatively new to Hawke's Bay, I do find myself being fairly possessive about Te Mata Peak. It is something that belongs to us and should be treated with respect.

In today's Hawke's Bay Today, there is a story about a car found crashed down a bank on Saturday after access gates to Te Mata Peak had been cut and tracks driven through gardens. Obviously some hoon had decided to go for a bit of a joy ride and did not think of the consequences. The consequences could have been fatal - they could have died.

As it was, the result is still pretty bad - 31 trees were snapped off at the ground and destroyed. The trees, which were planted about four years ago, were 23 cabbage trees up to 1.75m tall, four manuka trees 1.5m tall and 4 eucalypts up to 5m tall.

Reading the story made my blood boil and if this action can make an average Joe like me angry, imagine how it has affected the Friends of Te Mata Peak.

These people dedicate their time and effort to raising funds to plant trees to ensure the natural habitat is maintained.

It must be heartbreaking for them to see their hard work undone.

It is incredible how some youngsters (and some oldies too) go through life without thinking about the impact their actions will have on others and on the surroundings they live in. Frankly, they do not deserve to enjoy the scenery.

It is up to us to preserve areas like Te Mata Peak and to ensure that the actions of a minority of idiots do not ruin it for everyone.

It is up to us to protect our natural resources, and groups like the Friends of Te Mata Peak ensure that future generations will get the same pleasure we do from living near our mountain.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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