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Westpac New Zealand—6 November 2014

November 7, 2014

Westpac is one of New Zealand’s largest banks and has been doing business in the country since 1861.  The bank has a strong commitment to sustainability and community support and today ten professionals from their Business Analysis Group in Auckland visited CUE Haven to help us with some walking track work.  The team arrived just after nine and included Anita, Devan, Indra, Kerrie, Maurice, Nooshka, Pranic, René, Rory, and Sarah.

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The visit had been co-ordinated by the Auckland and Warkworth offices of the Department of Conservation and Catherine, Kirsty, Liz and Nick from DoC also joined us and helped out for the day.

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November 1-9 is Conservation Week in New Zealand and the theme this year is “Discover the World Where You Live.”  CUE Haven will be hosting an Open Day this Saturday, Nov 8 and Mediaworks TV3 presenter, Kanoa Lloyd, and cameraman, John Fleming, came out to interview and film us the volunteers for a short clip that will showcase the conservation efforts on several project around the country this week.  You can view the clip here.

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 We got acquainted over morning tea.

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Then Mahrukh gave a short overview of the CUE Haven project and Tom gave a safety briefing and talked about the work planned for the day.

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Then, before we headed out to the field, the team spent a few minutes in the nursery disinfecting their shoes to help prevent the spread of Kauri dieback disease that has been killing these magnificent giant trees.

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Everyone then piled into the ute and drove up to the top of the property.

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Once we reached the top, the team walked down to the work site and along the way Tom pointed out aspects of track work that the team would be working on to give them an idea of how a finished track looks.

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The first job the group tackled was to smooth out an area of the track that had eroded.  They cut out a new route for the track and levelled it off in no time and it is now much better looking and safer.

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The big job for the day was to work on a new track that we are building this summer.  This track starts near the western end of the existing stream gully track but follows along the opposite side of the stream and it will give visitors an opportunity to enjoy some additional mature bush on the property. The new track will also enable visitors to walk from the top of the property back to the cottage almost entirely on walking tracks rather than on the access roads.

The first task was to create the entrance to the new track and smooth out the path along a fairly long and flat stretch,

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A few metres from the entrance, the ground begins to slope down and the team cut steps to make it easier for visitors to walk down the slope.   The steps were secured with boards which were pegged and nailed into place.

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The group continued on levelling and smoothing the track and putting in steps where necessary.  It was challenging work but the team did an amazing job.

It was then time to hike back to the cottage for a relaxing lunch. The Nescafe Menu coffees and the Iced Peach and Lemon Nestea generously supplied by Nestle NZ for our volunteers were much appreciated. Thanks Nestle!

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The Westpac team has made an excellent start on the new track. In just a couple of hours the team was able to form 70 metres of new track!  Additional teams of volunteers this summer will continue where the Westpac team left off.

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We want to thank Rene and Kirsty for organising the day and co-ordinating the very successful visit.  And we also wish to thank the Department of Conservation staff for their continued support for the CUE Haven project.

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But most of all, a very big thank you to all the hardworking members of the team. We really enjoyed working with you all.   You were all enthusiastic and creative and accomplished a lot more than we expected.  You have made a major contribution to CUE Haven with your effort today and the walking track you helped formed will give visitors over the years more ways to explore and enjoy the property. Thank You!

We hope you will all come back for a more relaxing visit and to walk on the completed track!

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