The latest from the Westmere fun police – y’know, sometimes it’s nice to go for a small ride locally.

A dispute has erupted between residents and a mountain bike group over land at Western Springs.

The Underground Trailblazers have admitted they’re taking the law into their own hands by building trails in inner-city Auckland.

They say they’re fed up with years of nothing being done for urban mountain bikers.

But residents say the cyclists are wrecking parkland and trees and should be stopped.

One reserve neighbour who doesn’t want to be named because she fears reprisals, says they are causing damage.

“This is parkland and they build bridges and cut bike trails through the area, which is an area of ecological significance.

“You can’t do that – it’s illegal.”

The Auckland City Harbour News reported the Underground Trailblazers’ plans to make their own bike trails after becoming fed up with a lack of Auckland City Council action last December.

They made a 250-metre trail at the West View Rod end of the Western Springs, building a small bridge over a stream. It was later removed by the council.

The resident, who is giving a presentation at the Western Bays Community Board tonight, says the land has been “hijacked”.

She says the council should step in and make the group get resource consent like everybody else.

“They’re being paid to do a job and they’re not doing it

“If you speed you get a ticket and if you chop into a tree you should get a ticket

“They don’t have resource consent but everybody else has to.”

Underground Trailblazers spokesman Peter Stoneham says the group is not damaging the land.

Members are encouraged to respect native plants and trees and choose areas that are underused.

“We are taking the law into our own hands but we have been liaising with the council.

“We are taking the path of least resistance through the bush and we’ve never cut a tree down.”

Council parks officer Graham Marchant says he’s frustrated by the mountain bikers.

“They’re there under sufferance.

“We can’t fence the public off from getting in there.

“We don’t like it but what can you do about it? It’s a free country.”

Mr Marchant says he is waiting for Mr Stoneham to reply to a letter sent this month asking him to move the track because of health and safety concerns for pedestrians.

Mr Marchant says the council is investigating “various options” for a mountain bike trail, including Western Springs.

“We’re treading a careful line.

“Once they have a dedicated trail they should be a problem of the past.”

What do you think? Comments below or email the newspaper at

The newspaper didn’t provide an online copy – so I’ve provided it here!

Just let the phone ring, dammit!

Posted: July 4, 2007 by Sarah in Food for Thought
Tags: ,

I bought a new Panasonic cordless phone for my Mother at the weekend, charged it up and started working through setting it up.

The phone comes with 20 different ringtones but not one of them resembles an old fashioned phone ring!

It’s bad enough on mobile phones and I can understand that there is a whole industry around selling ringtones but on these cordless phones that’s not an option.


We were chatting yesterday about the young girls, frequently teens, who get pregnant deliberately. The common feeling in the group was that the social welfare payments were making young girls see motherhood as a career option and that the kids were poorly raised, and communally raised, with the responsibility being frequently handed over to elders.

It got me to thinking, what price would I put on the experiences I had as a teenager and in my 20s (given that my first child was born when I was safely in my 30s). Read the rest of this entry »

The Tamagottchi that wouldn’t die

Posted: February 4, 2007 by Sarah in Around the Web

Having missed the Matchmaker when she appeared my daughter has been left with a Tamagotchi that can’t work and is decidedly post menopausal. We’re used to a steady turnover of “tamas” with each lasting about a week before they disappear leaving their offspring behind.

tamagochiSo, it seems incredibly unfair that she’s now left with this old crone (26 days when pictured, now 28). I’ve offered to “kill it” or to hit reset but euthanasia doesn’t come easy to the younger generation. Instead she gets to walk through the town and she stops and cries outside her old work. So much for retirement being the golden years!

I guess we’ll sit and wait for the inevitable and hope it’s sometime soon.

Canvas Magazine’s Website of the Week

Posted: December 10, 2006 by Sarah in Around the Web

Alan Perrott is a New Zealand Herald writer – here’s his website of the week

It was the great Christmas hoax of 2002, a bloke sets up a website and claims mouse jockeys can fiddle with his outdoor christmas lights via their keypads. And the world fell for it. Sucked in badly, bwahaha. But for some the true story came as a greater blow than the day some heartless bastard spilled the beans on Santa C – yeah, you know who you are. Well, the lights’ guy is for real now, live multicams and all – you can even send a text message to a screen perched next to a Hulk mask. How Christmas is that? And it’s all for some Celiac Disease charity. Isn’t a celiac some kind of Jap import? Come to think abouditt, his track record for honesty isn’t exactly Mother Teresian. Make your own mind up, I guess.

To those of us who have been around long enough Alek of is a legend and he’s put alot of work into creating successful stunts to promote celiac awareness.

I hope you got some good traffic from this!

Great Gossip but I just can’t!

Posted: November 22, 2006 by Sarah in Around the Web

It has all the elements of a great scandal. A Wedding. The Bride is a lawyer. The Groom is involved in the planning. But they get offside with one of the companies involved and words are exchanged – via email.

The email gets sent to all and sundry and next thing you know it gets the front page of the Sunday papers and the business section of the daily. Read the rest of this entry »

An extraordinary triumph over disability

Posted: November 8, 2006 by Sarah in Around the Web

Dick Hoyt is an amazing father who has acheived extraordinary things with, and for, his disabled son Rick. Their website is at Team Hoyt and there is an amazing article and video at

The stories don’t tell of the frustration they must have felt, not only in getting resources, but in building a normal life for the family, in caring for their son. Their efforts have been worthwile as Rick has acheived, in his own right, more than many an able bodied person.

All the hoopla about the run, swim and cycle hides the day to day efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

The bullshit about cot death

Posted: November 2, 2006 by Sarah in Around the Web

That’s not cot death itself – a tragedy that my heart can’t begin to imagine.

However the hype associated with cot death is immense. I remember standing outside my daughter’s room when I put her down for naps, terrified to leave for fear that she would be dead when I returned.

Then I did some research. Of the 60,000 babies that are born in New Zealand every year fewer than 60 die from cot death. Of those 60 the majority have complicating factors – they’re usually weak and sick from other ailments – and loved and mourned all the same. Read the rest of this entry »

LOL and I’ll knee you in the balls

Posted: November 1, 2006 by Sarah in Around the Web

I have a site hosted locally and every so often I’ll get an instant message from the admin saying something like

server down


Sorry, mate, I don’t see it that way. I’m just not “laughing out loud” over here.

Anyone else have people using lol and other slang totally inappropriately?

PayPerPost Comes Out Swinging!

Posted: October 3, 2006 by globeroamer in Around the Web

I’m a pretty big fan of PayPerPost and I’ve been watching them for several months now. I knew it wouldn’t be long until they broke through with something big. I wasn’t let down…

PayPerPost: PPP Closes $3 Million in Venture Financing

PayPerPost is a behind-the-scenes buzz creation service that allows advertisers to pay to have the blogosphere post about whatever it is they wish to have posted.

Keep your eyes on this one folks, it’s going to get a LOT bigger moving forward.