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As noted above under employment, participants were concerned about the proliferation of carbon farming in the area.

"Forestry is taking over, isn’t it? It is sad when you see good pasture land planted in forestry."

As in 2020, the riverside area at the end of Whakapapa Road was considered a special area for the people of Kakahi, who were disappointed by the way this area was sometimes treated by those using it. In 2020 residents suggested a toilet at this location would solve the problems of human waste polluting the area, however in 2023, having had a toilet installed and then removed, this matter was somewhat contested and unsettled:

"One thing that I was concerned about was the freedom camping down Whakapapa Road, at the river. Those freedom campers. Because they weren't the sort of camper vans that had their own toilets."
"There was a toilet down there. "
"There's still the bush ones isn't there?"
"In communication with RDC it was decided that the toilet had to go because it had been tipped over, and they would remove it. There was graffiti and damage done on portaloos. So to stop the vandals.... It started as a six-month trial but the toilet has been there now a few years. So they have taken it, removed it. And the plan is to reinstate it in October for the summer season. But aside from the graffiti and damage we wondered if some motorhomes or caravan people may have used it to empty their toilets, because it had been cleaned out two months in row. Usually it's twice a year."
"They come and go. That's the problem, if you make it available they're going to use it over and over again. And it's not Council’s land, either."
"The community had a roster to maintain the loo, clean and stock it. When I was on I would always count the number of people down there, camping or staying. It wasn’t monitored."
"I think there are more campervans coming now post-COVID. And people do camp there in the summer. Personally if they respect the area and leave it better than they found it I think that's OK. But it’s a fine line. None of us are in charge of monitoring it, whose job is it?"
"Who designates it for camping there?"
"It's not designated, but it’s on an app somewhere so people know about it."
"I don't think it gets anymore rubbish than Waitea Road which is full of rubbish from people chucking things out of their cars. And that's from locals."
"You ought to go down there and see how many empty bottles after a party, and they light fires down there."
"It's wanderers. Wanderers."
"The whole Ruapehu District hasn’t got enough toilets. Outdoor toilets. For all these walkers coming through, cyclists do it. Stuff like that. Um, yeah. We need a better toilet down the bottom here. One of those fibreglass jobs."
"No, we don't want one. No toilet down there."
"They go in the bushes! There’s toilet paper in the bush down there. It’s really hard to get it right."
"Where I’d like to see a toilet built is in Kakahi, at the playground. Ōwhango's got a nice one, Ōhura, National Park."
"The playground, children go there. What happens? They're playing... what happens if they want to urinate, or... whatever? How do they go? We try to encourage use of the thing but equally discourage it."
"People always ask at the shop to use the toilet."
"We could open the toilet in the hall, have it open for people to use."
"Whose responsibility would that be if we opened the toilet in the hall?"
"The hall committee."
"It could be an interim thing?"
"They need to go somewhere. But this is not a Council hall. "

In the same area, others were concerned about high vehicles negatively impacting the population of glow worms.

"The biggest concern for me is the actual glow worms themselves. You get the high campervans going through that get scratched. They ring Council and make a complaint and the Council acts on that. They get it cut back and it opens it up and affects the glow worms."
"We've asked for that not to get cut back."
"Yeah, but if there's a complaint made"…
"Who are they going to listen to?"
"If there's a complaint made to Council then Council has to act on it."
"But it's not Council land."
"No, but they... it's the railway line?"
"Wherever humans go they're going to wreck it."
"And buses."
"I think there should be a big boulder put in front and non-one should be able to drive it. You'll have to walk down there. Walk down there."
"As soon as the greenery, the growth is cut, eh, all the glow worms disappear, really."
"We have asked for it not to be trimmed back. The community group some time ago, (redacted personal name) ran down when the road trimmers where there and said, “Please don't cut it,” and notified the Council."

Other environmental concerns for residents of Kakahi related to water quality and water pollution, both in terms of drinking water and natural waterways:

"Every house in Kakahi is on its own septic tank. The Kakahi water supply is run by Kakahi not by Council. But it's been on a boil water notice for some time. Three years? More than that. It's been on that since I’ve been here."
"But that's garbage."
"I've drunk a lot of water here and I’ve never boiled it to drink it."
"There has been problems with it."
"It can be a problem for the elderly and the very young."
"I think they put it in there to say, to cover themselves."
"It’s got a UV system, but it’s had nothing but problems, all sorts of problems. That’s why there’s a boil water notice. The water filtration system is not working properly."
"This year, we normally swim at the water hole here, but I’ve heard there is a dog farm up here that is dumping all its shit in the water that feeds that so we didn't use the water hole at all this year."
"It's a puppy mill up on the hill and the water was being run off from his kennels and going into the Whakaraparapa which feeds the Kakahi Stream."
"A few months ago they started setting up a Whakapapa River catchment group, they are doing water testing."
"Do they actually come here?"
"Kakahi feeds into the Whanganui, they are testing just above the bridge. They've only done one lot of testing."
"The Whakaraparapa comes in at the other side of the bridge so if they're testing on that side of the bridge, they’re not going to pick up anything coming out of the Whakaraparapa."
"That’s disturbing."
"My main concern is looking after our water. Our water is worth more than gold. That’s it."
"This is a real concern; this is our swimming spot. We take our kids down there and we go swimming there. And if there is pollution, then it shouldn't be a monthly thing, somebody should be acting on it immediately. And nobody has. And the council knows about it, Horizons know about it. Iwi knows about it. Nobody has done anything about it. Specifically, the Whakaraparapa."

Participants noted with concern that the river had changed over time due to human intervention:

"A few years ago, they did a realignment of the river, Whakapapa, machines in there. Realigned it. It had a big impact. The river has changed, considerably. Since that realignment there’s been an impact in the area and down a bit further toward the rodeo grounds. We lost the safe swimming spot, safe as for our little ones. It’s all gone. "

Several residents were concerned about feral cats in the area:

"When I came back, I realised there was a cat problem.",
"There's a lot of feral cats."
"They blamed possums for a long time with the TB spread, whereas they found it's the cats, they've done as much if not more than the possums." "We need to get around what's his name. Gareth Morgan!

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