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Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award Residential—12-16 January 2015

January 17, 2015

2015 started off very successfully with a great Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award gold award residential at CUE Haven.   The participants included Aakash, Calum, Cindy, Dylan, Hamish, Ji Won, Maddie, Matthew, Rebecca and Thomas.  Kalym was the team leader.  This was the third time Kalym has been at a CUE Haven residential and his second time as team leader.

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The group arrived on Monday morning.  Andy Woodhouse, National Director of Training for the DoEHA programme joined us.  We got acquainted over morning tea and Mahrukh gave the group a welcome and overview of the CUE Haven project.

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Tom and Andy then gave the group an overview of the work planned for the week and a safety briefing.

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We then went for a short tour of the property so that the group could see the DoEHA Grove and get a better idea of where they would be working.

The primary task for the week was to build a new walking track which would connect the old walking track with the main race and give visitors access to an entirely new area of the property.   After lunch the team went right to work.

The first challenge was to find the best route and layout for the track and then to clear away the vegetation.  The idea was to create an interesting walk for visitors while minimising steep slopes.

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Once the new track was formed, in areas where the slope was too steep it was necessary to install steps.  The process involves measuring and planning the number and distance for the steps, cutting them out and then boxing them up with timber.

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The team found a big tomo along the track route and built a small bridge over it to keep future visitors safe.

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This new track joins up with the old track at the stream and as a result it was necessary to build a small bridge to link the two tracks.  The team dug holes for the support posts and concreted them into the ground.  They measured the bridge dimensions, cut the framing timber and installed it.

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Once the structure was in place, the top boards were nailed into place and a wire mesh was nailed over the timber so that it won’t be slippery when wet.

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The final step to finish off the track was to put down a layer of gravel to make the surface safe year round.  It’s not an easy job.  The metal was brought up in the ute and unloaded into buckets.

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The buckets were then carried down and the gravel tipped out and spread on the track.

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In just three days of hard work in hot weather the team managed to create a wonderful new track—155 metres from end to end with 28 steps, two bridges and a safety rail. A fantastic effort!!!

This is how the area looked before the team got started:

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And this is how it looks now:

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The other project for the week was to work on carving some totem poles to mark the entrances to tracks built by DoEHA participants.  The team decided to do three poles and broke into smaller teams and each team came up with their own unique design for the pole and went to work carving.

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Once the posts were all carved, the next very challenging job was to take them out into the field and install them.

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Installing the posts involved digging deep holes and concreting the posts in place.

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It took teamwork to make sure that the posts were straight and oriented in the right direction.

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Once the posts were all installed, each one was painted to seal it and to make the carving more visible.

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Some team members came back painted as well!

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Here are the completed posts with their carving teams.

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Calum didn’t think their post was tall enough so he added a bit of height!

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In addition to the track and the posts the group also did a lot of maintenance work around the property, trimming overhanging vegetation and weeding.

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The team took some well deserved time off to relax…..

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…and when not playing “Mafia” and “Articulate”, Matthew entertained the team with his guitar playing for an enjoyable sing-a-long.

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We very much enjoyed working with this group.  They quickly came together as a close team and got a lot of work done and had a good time together.

We’d like want to thank Nestle NZ.  During the week, the team enjoyed Nestle Iced Tea and Nescafe Menu coffees generously provided by Nestle who also provided each team member with a water bottle for use in the field.

We also want to thank Andy Woodhouse for his efforts in organising the residential and for giving up some of his time to be on site with the team.  Andy’s ideas and help and support are invaluable.

Our many thanks to Kalym for taking time out of his holiday to lead the team.  His leadership and hard work helped make the week very successful.  Thanks Kalym!! We look forward to having you lead another team next week.

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And most of all a big thank you to the team for their hard work in spite of the heat. It was great meeting you all and we wish you all the best with completing your gold awards and with your future endeavours.  You have all made a lasting contribution to the CUE Haven project and very much appreciate your efforts.  Your track and totem poles will be enjoyed by visitors for years to come.  We hope you will bring your friends and families and come visit us again. And we look forward to having you out as team leaders for future a DoEHA gold residential.  Thanks again!!

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