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  Kapara can be accessed from the end of the Waitotara valley road along the unmaintained public road that follows the river all the way past Kapara to Trains Hut.

Kapara is the site of a now derelict homestead originally established by William Van Asch in 1894. Van Asch built a weir to divert water through a tunnel to run a hydo powered saw mill. The tunnel is still there as is the vertical shaft that drops down to the tunnel.

Long abandoned, the homestead suffered from no-hopers who practically destroyed it. The woolshed housed a stationary motor that supplied the home with electricity. At one stage it also housed illegal weeds and eventually it was burnt down.

The present landowner of the homestead and land adjacent to the road felled the ancient trees that lined the public road and marked this site, including a huge chestnut with a diameter of over 2 metres. He also placed a bridge across the side creek near the homestead and anchored it with wires to the weir built by Van Asch. However the weir will probably be destroyed by this new bridge in the next big flood and so 100 years of history will be washed away by one thoughtless farmer.

This lack of respect for historical features in this area also applies to the South Taranaki District Council who allowed the same farmer to remove the wooden bridge (see photo) half way in to Kapara in 2003. (In 2005 the Council still advertised this non existent bridge as safe for pedestrians!)  A minimalist  bridge was built slightly upstream, if not on the road reserve, then on DoC land, yet it is labelled as "private"! The same farmer locked the access road into Kapara despite it being a public road access and South Taranaki District Council took many years to ensure that this illegal lock was removed.

The landowner then illegally dug a deep ditch across the public road a couple of hundred metres from the road end effectively stopping any vehicles passing that way. He then created a vehicle track through his own property that joined the public road just beyond the ditch. The spill from his road where it joins the original road totally destroyed the public road - again an illegal act. Now he was able to control any vehicular access along this public road - a totally illegal situation.

After many years harassment from members of the public, and then the Walking access commission, the South Taranaki District Council acted on the situation. Unfortunately the work was never completed. They filled in the ditch and created a vehicle track to that point (maybe 200m from the road end) but never removed the landowners spill that blocked the public road just beyond that point. So a heap of money was spent to allow vehicles to travel an extra 200 metres. (No one does because there is no turning area.)

So the landowner still controls vehicular access.



Kapara bridge RIP


The new bridge below the weir


Replaces the Kapara bridge.
It is on DoC land which is public, so it is not private property.
Walk on!

There is one of these on route.