Reinstated Days Track officially opens on Tahunanui Hills at Nelson video

LUZ ZUNIGA/Stuff.co.nz

With the effort of the community, Nelson City Council and private sector, residents of Grenville Terrace celebrated the re-opening of the Days Tracks, damaged during 2011 flooding.

Nearly six years after a slip swept away a section of Days Track on the Tahunanui Hills at Nelson, the reinstated walkway has been officially reopened.

Residents who live near the popular track on Saturday joined Nelson city councillors, staff and contractors as well as extended members of the Day family – after whom the track is named – for a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the rebuilt section between Grenville Tce and Moana Ave.

City council works and infrastructure committee chairman Stuart Walker said the track was the last council project to be completed following the "extreme weather event" in December 2011 that caused hundreds of slips across the region. The track's construction cost came in at $360,000.

Walkers climb the reinstated section of Days Track towards Moana Ave.
LUZ ZUNIGA/STUFF

Walkers climb the reinstated section of Days Track towards Moana Ave.

Walker thanked residents and the Days Track Group for their patience and input into the walkway's reinstatement.

"I think, the reopening of Days Track is a fine example of how partnership with our local community can result in a fantastic asset for all of us to enjoy," he said.

A colourful mosaic "community couch" was also unveiled part way up the track.

Willa McAllister, 4, enjoys the the reopened Days Track with her grandmother, Ruth Allison.
LUZ ZUNIGA/STUFF

Willa McAllister, 4, enjoys the the reopened Days Track with her grandmother, Ruth Allison.

Days Track Group member Ellie Fijn said the idea behind the couch was to "create something positive for others to enjoy and say thank you for reinstating the track".

READ MORE:
Residents counting down the days until track's reinstatement
Nelson council backs Days Track rebuild
Gallery: Nelson floods in 2011

Designed by artist Colleen Dallimore with a "city to sea" theme, the chaise lounge provides track walkers with a colourful spot to sit and enjoy wide views of Tasman Bay and the Western Ranges. "Sofa so good", it says on side of the couch facing people climbing up.

Ellie Fijn outlines the work involved in creating the community couch.
LUZ ZUNIGA/STUFF

Ellie Fijn outlines the work involved in creating the community couch.

Fijn said a neighbourhood working bee was held to cover a couch from ReStore Nelson in concrete. A team of artists worked on sections of the mosaic design, which were then carried up to the site and attached to the concrete-covered couch.

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"Mosaics are magical," Fijn said. "They're made up of many pieces and it's not until the whole is complete that the picture is revealed and it's also a process of faith that what you're planning to do in your head is what turns out. This community couch project is much the same – it's a vision been realised through the contributions of many."

Days Track Group member, Grenville Tce resident Kelly Atkinson, thanked everyone involved in the track's reinstatement, singling out council engineering team leader David Light.

Nelson city councillors Tim Skinner, Stuart Walker, Matt Lawrey, Gaile Noonan and Bill Dahlberg admire the mosaic couch.
LUZ ZUNIGA/STUFF

Nelson city councillors Tim Skinner, Stuart Walker, Matt Lawrey, Gaile Noonan and Bill Dahlberg admire the mosaic couch.

"Hands down, the best part of living on this street is the sense of community," she said.

Ray Day spoke about growing up near the track.

"We had the bucket toilet and the night cart man used to come," Day said. "He had to come up the track and collect the buckets."

Stuart Walker, Kelly Atkinson and members of the Day family – Ray Day, Joe Moulder, 6, and Ann Moulder cut the ribbon.
LUZ ZUNIGA/STUFF

Stuart Walker, Kelly Atkinson and members of the Day family – Ray Day, Joe Moulder, 6, and Ann Moulder cut the ribbon.

He calculated his extended family had lived beside the track for 90 years.

"I came to look at the devastation after the big slip," Day said. "I stood and looked, thinking it may never open again. It's a real pleasure to see the council taking the bull by the horns and at no small expense, they've reinstated the track." 

Day outlined his childhood.

The concrete-covered couch is moved in readiness for its mosaic cover.
MARION VAN DIJK/STUFF

The concrete-covered couch is moved in readiness for its mosaic cover.

"We had rocks to play on, we had shrimps to catch," he said. "We had the sea to swim in."

One of the big challenges was to run across Rocks Rd and dive over the chains into the sea. "You only did that at high tide."

On rough days, the waves would break over the wall and and the children would run around in the water.

The remains of Days Track before its reinstatement.
MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

The remains of Days Track before its reinstatement.

"Both these bits of fun were destroyed when the redesigned wall was built in the 1950s," Day said.

There were gasps from the crowd when Day told the story of a time he and his brother found a piece of copper pipe in his dad's shed.

"[We] filled it with gunpowder and bent the ends over, took it down on the rocks and lit a bonfire, hid behind a rock and chucked it into the fire."

A section of Days Track that was destroyed by the slip.
MARION VAN DIJK/STUFF

A section of Days Track that was destroyed by the slip.

The pair waited but nothing happened.

"Too scared to go near, we went home," Day said. "Years later, I found the piece of pipe all green and corroded with the ends still sealed over in one of the pools down there."

 - Stuff

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