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Chinese Community Youth Group—21 June 2014

June 22, 2014

Last month, we had a great planting day with some members of the Overseas Chinese Association New Zealand chapter.  One of the Association members who was present that day, Lawden Chow, arranged to bring out a group of younger people from the Chinese community to help out today.

The group arrived at ten and included Amanda, Emma, Eva, Jocelyn, Jordan, Ronald, Raymond, Sooi and Tuck Chung.   Also joining us were Lawden and Lauren who had come out with the group in May.

We got acquainted over morning tea.

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Mahrukh then gave a welcome and overview of the CUE Haven project and Tom gave a safety briefing and we discussed the plan for the day.

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The original plan was for the group to plant trees in an area of the property that would have required us to carry the plants along the gully walking track to get to the planting site.  Last week we had a huge rain and windstorm and the track had become very muddy.   Some steps up from the gully were particularly hazardous because mud had washed over the track from the adjacent bank.  As a result, we asked the group if instead of planting they would help us refurbish the track – and they cheerfully agreed!

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We got up to the work site and broke into teams.  One team tackled the steps.  The first task was to dig out the mud and get back to the original track surface.

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The team decided that the path down the slope would be easier if they put in some additional steps, so they cut them into the track.

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Here you can see the new steps taking shape.

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The next task was to frame up the steps.  The team also decided to build a retaining wall against the side of the bank to minimise the effect of any future heavy rains.

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While one team was working on the steps, the rest of the group spread out along the track and fixed other problem areas.   This involved digging out and smoothing uneven areas and improving the benching that had eroded.

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Once the digging and reshaping had been done, the last task was to restore the metal layer to make the track safe year round.  Some of the team filled buckets with metal and we carried them to the parts of the track where they were needed.

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The team also took the opportunity to do a general clean up on the track.  We are always happy to see new trees self-seeding but we don’t want them on the track, so the team transplanted a number of seedlings into the bush and out of harm’s way.

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And they also trimmed back some of the overhanging vegetation.

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In just a few hours the team managed to make the track much safer and easier to use.  We were amazed at how much they accomplished in a short amount of time.  We then broke for a well deserved lunch.

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After lunch we went for a tour of the property.

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And walked back down via the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award (DoEHA) Grove and the gully walking track.  Several of the team members are DoEHA alumni and they were interested in seeing the work of the residential teams.

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Most of today’s group are keen trampers and they made several suggestions for future improvements to the track and we look forward to having them back to work on them!

We want to thank Lawden for organising the day and arranging for the group to come out.  We’d also like to thank Lauren for coming out for a second time and helping out.

And a very big thank you to everyone of the hard working team.  We really enjoyed meeting you and working with you.  You have made a major contribution to the CUE Haven project.  Your work on the track today has made it safer for future visitors and your efforts will be enjoyed and appreciated by them for many years to come.

We wish you all the best in your future endeavours and we hope you will come back to see us again.  Thanks again!!

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