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St. Kentigern School TFS Planting Day—26 July 2012

July 27, 2012

One of our favourite days at CUE Haven has become the St. Kentigern School Trees For Survival planting day.  The very first trees planted as part of the CUE Haven restoration project were planted by St. Kentigern students in August 2008; and the science teacher, Denise Coleman and a group of students have come to CUE Haven every year since then to plant trees.

We had previously collected the plants from the school.  The trees had all been planted from seeds by the students last year and they helped us load up the truck.

On the morning of the 26th, Gail Farrell, the TFS coordinator, arrived and went to work setting out the plants in the planting area.  This year we were doing in fill planting in a previously planted areas near the wetlands.  Our friends Rene and Marianne are visiting from the South Island and were a great help today.  Rene helped Gail lay out the plants and also worked alongside the planters.

In past years the group size had been restricted to 30 Year 6 students.  But this year all the Year 6 science students came along, so we had 61 students, including four Year 7 science monitors. They were accompanied by Denise and two other teachers, St. Kentigern School principal, Geoff Burgess and 11 parents.  Also, five Rotarians from the Auckland Sunshine Rotary Club came along and helped out as they have done in each previous year.

Once everyone had arrived and enjoyed morning tea, Gail gave an introduction and safety briefing.

 Gail then introduced Rachel Griffiths of the Auckland Council WaiCare programme. Rachel gave a brief talk to the students about water care and wetland protection and explained that when they got into the field she would be demonstrating techniques for testing water quality and showing them some of the creatures living in the streams and ponds.

The group then walked up to the planting site and went to work.


Because of the number of students, we broke into three groups of about twenty.  Two groups planted while one attended Rachel’s water testing demo and lecture. Rachael also gathered samples of macroinvertebrates in the wetland streams and ponds to show the students.

In addition to the creatures in the ponds, we also found a lot of snails, skinks and worms.

The Trees for Survival and WaiCare programmes are managed by Vanessa Vujcich of the Auckland Council and she too joined us and helped out for the day.

Another guest on-site today was Lisa Thompson from Radio New Zealand National.  Lisa came along to record a show featuring CUE Haven for Radio NZ National’s Spectrum program. The students and adults provided a great sound rich backdrop as Lisa spent time mingling with and chatting to several people.

After the planting, we all went down for lunch.

Our friend, Marianne assisted and ensured the team were well provided with snacks and drinks.

Our supporter Nestle New Zealand supplied coffee, Nestea and Milo bars which were thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.

 Thanks Nestle – we all really appreciate your support!!

Before the group left, the boys presented us with a Pohutakawa Springfire tree which they planted next to the four trees the school has presented us for each of the years they have come out to plant.

As always, the planting day with St. Kentigerns was a major success.  In less than two hours the team planted almost 540 trees and made a major contribution to the CUE Haven project.  We are very grateful to teachers Denise Coleman, Barry Kemp and Kurt Dorset, principal Geoff Burgess, and the students and parents who came out and made the day so enjoyable.

We also really appreciate the participation of Andrew Chong, David Jones, Duncan Bamfield, Paul Buchanan and Stephen Flemming of the Auckland Sunshine Rotary Club.  They provide great help and encouragement and we value their friendship and contribution.

A big thank you to Gail Farrell, our TFS coordinator, who organised the planting activities and always provides us with invaluable technical advice to move our revegetation project forward.

We want to extend many thanks to Rachel Griffiths of the Auckland Council WaiCare program.  The students very much enjoyed her knowledge and enthusiasm and her visit added a lot to the day. And thanks to Vanessa Vujcich for her help today and all of the great help that the Auckland Council has provided through TFS and WaiCare.

We also want to extend special thanks to Lisa Thompson and Radio New Zealand National for their interest in and support of the CUE Haven restoration project.

Lastly but not least a big thank you to our friends Rene and Marianne for their hard work helping out when they are supposed to be on holiday.


14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2012 8:07 pm

    Thanks very much once again for all your hard work and thanks for your nice comments! We hope you will come back and see how your trees have grown over the years.

    And we really appreciate your thank you note:

  2. David Bates permalink
    August 2, 2012 7:58 pm

    Dear Tom and Mahrukh

    Thank you for inviting us to Cuehaven.I loved every moment and learn’t a heap
    about interesting plants and bugs/mites. Thanks for all the yummy food and I
    hope the Milo company sticks those pictures on their main wall.

    The Auckland City Council sure helped us out and I bet it was hard to ask them
    to come. Trees For Survival is a great place and so are you too. Thanks for helping
    save the planet!

    From David Bates
    Saint Kentigern School.

  3. Hugo Pryor permalink
    August 1, 2012 5:16 pm

    Hi i am Hugo from Saint Kentigern School class 6KD. I would like to say thank you to Tom and Mahrukh it was a great day and so much fun. Thank you for the food and being so kind to us. I learnt a lot and would love to come again sometime. It is amazing what you are doing. I had lots of friends planting with me, and I think you should bring in heaps of different schools so there will be many trees. P.S thank you for the milo bars.

  4. George Mordaunt permalink
    July 31, 2012 9:32 pm

    Hi I am George Mordaunt and I want to thank you for having us at your farm. We all had great fun, I enjoyed working with my friends and also enjoyed having food and drinks handed out to us FOR FREE!!! This was my favourite trip I have been to yet.

  5. luke burton permalink
    July 31, 2012 9:31 pm

    To Tom and Mahrukh,

    Thank you for inviting us to plant on your great farm (big bit of land).

    I loved when we found a very big worm it was awesome.

    Thank you for the food I loved it and the milo bars they were great.

    for inviting us to explore the hills.

    Me my mum and my group loved being out for the day.

    From Luke Burton at Saint Kentigern school

  6. Sam Looker permalink
    July 31, 2012 9:30 pm

    Hey CUE Haven, this is Sam Looker from Saint Kentigern School. I recently planted trees and thought it was so much fun!! I liked how we also got to do water testing with Rachel.

    I planted with one of my friends which made the work a lot easier! We planted about 10. But they were all good ones, we took our time and made sure we dug the holes to the exact right size.

    It was a great day and I had lots of fun. It was especially generous of you to provide all the food for all of the boys. I liked the Iced Tea and the Smoozes!

  7. Beck permalink
    July 31, 2012 9:28 pm

    thank you so much i am from saint kents i really enjoyed planting the trees and getting my hands dirty it was the best field trip ever. and i would like to say thanks so much for letting us come and plant on your wonderful property.

    i really enjoyed checking how dense the water is and if it is healthy to swim in, and of course getting to plant trees.

    best of luck.

  8. anton montgomerie from saint kent permalink
    July 31, 2012 9:27 pm

    hello im the from saint kent group that came out it was fun as can be it was hard work.

  9. Anton permalink
    July 31, 2012 9:26 pm

    it was fun as coming out to CUE haven it was fun planting we got to do some fun out door thing it was fun getting our hand dirty

  10. Gary Collier permalink
    July 31, 2012 9:25 pm

    Part 2 I really enjoyed the looking at the waters density and the small bugs like leaches you showed us. Also I learnt never drink water from a stream because it can have invertebrates
    in it or swimming in it. Also water can carry eggs that can actually hatch inside you and will only come out with first aid, surgery or tablets.

  11. gary collier permalink
    July 30, 2012 4:08 pm

    hey cue haven is the best i am one of the boys from the saint kentigon school group on the behalf of all the boys of 6kd and 6bk this was the best trip ever thank you

    for having us over to the best place we full suport this place for years to come it was the best in the world my name is alex

  12. July 27, 2012 6:01 pm

    Such an awesome day to be a part of – followed by a wonderful write-up as always, thanks guys, see you again soon! 🙂

  13. July 27, 2012 10:17 am

    I am glad to see that CUE Haven and Waicare are now working together. Grow in tree planting!


  1. Radio New Zealand Spectrum Programme–16 September 2012 « CUE Haven

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