live half an hours drive west from Waitakere City. Four streams make up
the Karekare catchment. Beginning high in the Waitakere Ranges, the streams
flow to the west through steep sided valleys of regenerating native bush.
In planning speak it's called a Bush living environment; that means
we can't clear bush and must build carefully.
We live in sheltered valleys under giant puriri with nesting kereru;
on windswept ridges with plunging views of bush and beach; on bush fringes
slopes with grass for a pony and some hens.
Near the beach, three streams converge and drop to sea level in a spectacular
series of cascades and waterfalls. On the beach black sand is always on
the move. Dunes and stream relocate in response to weather patterns. High
buttresses of rock extend into the sea, amplifying the wild surf. The
beach is our meeting place, our community centre.
Families are hardy and resourceful here; there are no shops, no public
transport and no health centre. All roads out are steep and winding but
we are always surprised when people say the community in inaccessible.
It's not always easy but we like it this way.
by Robin Binsley.