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Leslie-Karamea Track near Crow Hut

Leslie-Karamea Track radio interview

So, my sister volunteered me to talk on the national radio station, RNZ.

Subject: non-Great Walks tramping.

Okay, that would be my preferred Mastermind topic. I know that stuff.

A suggestion from the producer: the Queen Charlotte Track.

Hmmm. That’s not entirely representative of the New Zealand tramping experience. You can organise your luggage to proceed you by boat each day, meaning you only have to lug your lunch, and a few snacks. You can sleep and treats every night, after a warm shower, and a restaurant meal.

And then there’s the mountain bikers.

That’s not exactly my style.

And I walked it, twice, there and back on my completion of Te Araroa some summers ago. I did not enjoy the experience.

My suggestion of the Leslie-Karamea Track was accepted.


Anyone can walk it.

Okay in winter, usually.

Eight decent huts.

Big second day, but then it’s downhill, at least for three days.

Not many other people about.

Great wildlife: whio/blue ducks, trout, chamois.

Convinced yet?

I listened in to the previous interview where the host, Jesse Mulligan, lost the line, and had to ad lib for a minute or two. Late Friday afternoon, it had been a long week. Unfortunately he switched off when I mentioned it was a six-day effort, 91 km. I didn’t mention that was only 5 km longer than the Heaphy Track just to the north.

And for me it was the busiest working week since I set up in business here in Nelson. One building inspection where repairs were being made on a stucco exterior, angle grinder hacking out big patches, without the operator noticing it was asbestos cement sheet backing, with fibres being released dangerously.

And another job I might not have accepted. I agreed a few weeks before without knowing it was a potentially “leaky home”, and might be added to the $11 billion remediation bill at some stage in the future.

When I organised my inspection time I asked the agent my quite normal questions:

“Is there anything I need to know?”

“Has the house leaked?”

He would get back to me to confirm the time.


I was banned.

My client needed to use another inspector. I was apparently prejudiced.

Then, I’d only asked two questions.

My client insisted: me, or the deal was off.

I turned up.

Awkward? Not really. I’m not into confrontation.

So that was the backdrop to my interview.

Yeah, I was surprisingly nervous. And not much of my standard humour came through. I think. It will take a month or two before I can bear the sound of my own voice.

Here’s the thing: you can make all the excuses in the world, but when you are in the spotlight a true star performs.


author | GJ Coop | posted | 18 June 2018
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