Transpower and Northpower—15 February 2013
CUE Haven has had a long relationship with Transpower NZ Ltd, the company that owns and operates New Zealand’s national electricity grid, as two of Transpower’s main transmission lines cross the CUE Haven property.
Transpower has a strong commitment to community service and in late 2012, CUE Haven received a generous grant from the Transpower Community Care Fund to assist us in building a road to provide access to the areas we will be planting this year.
Transpower also provides its staff a day off annually to volunteer with community projects, and today a team of 8 executives from Transpower’s Auckland office came out to help us for the day. The team included Amber, Andrew, Bob, Heath, John, Kay, Susan and Tracey.
The Transpower team was joined by Jason and Ox, two executives from Northpower, a multi-utility contractor who operate and maintain Transpower assets in northern New Zealand.
The team all arrived shortly after 8 am and were ready to go to work. We spent a few minutes having morning tea and getting acquainted and then gave the team an overview of the CUE Haven project, a description of the plan for the day and a safety briefing.
The plan for the day was to finish off the walking track we had started last week. Two other teams have worked on the track and two major tasks remained—finishing off some of the steps and building the boardwalk over the stream that feeds the pond.
The team helped load the materials we would need into the truck and then we went up to the track site.
The team broke up into two groups. One group worked on finishing off the steps and the grading on the rest of the track. This involves smoothing off step goings and boxing up the treads with planks and pegs.
Pounding the stakes into hard clay can be a real challenge:
But the team managed to keep smiling!
The other group worked on building the boardwalk over the stream that feeds the pond. Earlier in the week another group of enthusiastic volunteers had installed the footers for the bridge:
Before the team arrived, Tom cut off the tops of the posts to leave the footers at the desired height:
The first task today was to assemble the framework which required manoeuvring heavy planks into place, checking their alignment and nailing them in.
Once the frame was assembled, we were able to measure for the internal braces. When the measurements were taken and double checked, Tom cut the planks for the braces and soon the bridge foundation came together.
The next challenge was to work out the positioning of the top planks. The Transpower and Northpower teams worked together to come up with the best solution.
And once the plan was worked out, the bridge was finished off very quickly.
The last task was to finish off the approaches to the bridge. This involved boxing up the path and filling it with soil.
The final step in finishing off the track was to put down a layer of gravel to make the track safe for walkers year round. This was a challenge because the gravel pile was way down by the nursery so we had to bring it up in buckets. Part of the team stationed themselves at the gravel pile to fill buckets.
The buckets were then loaded onto the truck and taken up to the track.
The buckets were then hand carried down and the gravel was spread put onto the track.
In just a few hours the hard working team had finished up the track. A fantastic team effort!
The team then broke for a well-deserved lunch.
After lunch we took the team on a tour of the property, stopping along the way to ‘’inspect’ the Transpower assets:
They also checked out the new Transpower Community Care Fund track currently under construction:
We then drove up to the top of the property and leisurely walked down via the walking tracks in the gully – a relaxing end to a very productive day.
Our many thanks to the team for all their hard work today. We really appreciate their efforts. They were a fun group to work with and we very much enjoyed the day with them. In a short time they built a boardwalk, several steps and completed the track that will be enjoyed by the wider community for many years to come.
And an extra big thank you to Andrew Landy of Transpower who worked to pull together the team and arranged for this fun and productive day.
Thanks again! We look forward to seeing you all back at CUE Haven soon!