This article that appeared in the Ruapehu Bulletin on the 19th June is a bit dated but still relevant. It is an indication of the community support for our activities. The full text is reproduced below to make it easier to read.
Friends of the Mangapurua are gearing up for a charity auction later in the year and want your stuff.
The group is looking for donations of goods and services that can be auctioned. They will also accept items to be sold on behalf, taking a commission for the fundaising effort.
The friends group is now an incorporated society, with plans for the Mangapurua Valley, which was the site of a failed post-World War One settlement plan.
Their aim is to look after the historical, cultural and aesthetic aspects of the Valleys and also cater for the present day users – cyclists and walkers. They would also like to help improve cell phone coverage in the area.
They plan to install information signs in the Valley on the track down to the Bridge to Nowhere, telling the story of the settlers who eventually abandoned their dreams to farm the area.
The Society wants to place information boards at various settlement sites, explaining the story of each family in those difficult years. Starting with the sites such as Aislabie’s, Johnson’s and Bettjeman’s, they hope to eventually have information boards at as many sites as possible.
They’re also raising funds to build an accommodation block at Johnson’s clearing, which is half way down the valley.
To build the hut – in a National Park – firstly involves gaining approval from all parties associated with the land: Iwi, the Department of Conservation and Council. The Society also says the ambitious project “will have all sorts of hurdles even just with the location and transport of goods to and fro”.
“The processes associated with consents, planning, and funding are long and elaborate,” writes the Society on its website.
Another project is to help finance a film about the valleys and the settlements.
Anyone with items they’d like to donate are asked to contact Chris Bright 027-446-2072, Gavin Brown 027-410- 9606, or Phil Parkes 027-440-7167.