Orewa College–18 May 2016
Orewa College north of Auckland sponsors an international exchange program which gives overseas students the opportunity to experience New Zealand culture and natural heritage. In addition to regular course work, the international students can participate in a New Zealand Experience class where they do outdoor activities, take trips and learn more about New Zealand.
For the third year in a row, Adrienne Croad, International Students Development Manager, brought a group of students in the New Zealand Experience class to CUE Haven for a day of exploring and learning a little bit about New Zealand plants and animals.
Previous groups have come out in summer and helped us build walking tracks. Today’s group made their mark on NZ by helping us plant long lived canopy trees such as rimu, totara and tanekaha.
The students today were from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Germany, Japan and the USA.
The group included students Ana M., Ana G., David, Elisa, Emma L., Emma S., Jana, Juan Pablo, Khea Kmeng, Laura. Leonardo, Maria, Megumi, Monica, Nanaka, Noa, Ryan, Sara, Sebastian, Stefan, Tiago, Tomas and Wen Peng.
Accompanying Adrienne and her students were teacher Cecilia Tyne, and Adrienne’s mother and daughter, Raewyn and Trixie who also came along to assist for the day.
The plan for the day was to plant near the top of the property. The weather forecast was for gale force winds and heavy rain at midday and when the group arrived at 10 a.m. the weather was fine.
We wanted to plant the trees before the rains came, so we just had a quick morning tea followed by a short introduction and a safety briefing before heading out into the field.
As the planting site is about a kilometre from the cottage, we drove the students up in small groups.
Once everyone was on site, Thomas gave a planting demo and a repeat of the safety briefing and we went to work. It was challenging planting as these canopy trees were being planted amongst the pioneer trees planted during 2012. The students paired up and took a crate of plants and went to work.
Part way through the planting it started raining.
But the weather didn’t slow the group down and they worked away and kept smiling.
It didn’t take long for the group to spread out and plant a large number of trees.
When the planting was finished, the group took a walk back down to the cottage along the walking track. This gave them a chance to see more of the property and some more mature specimens of the trees they had planted.
The students then had a well deserved lunch. We then spent some time chatting with them about how they were enjoying their stay in New Zealand. It was interesting to hear that some of the students had never planted a tree before and today’s tree planting was definitely a new experience.
It was a windy, wet and cold day and the Hot Chocolate and Nescafe Menu sachets generously provided by Nestle NZ were much appreciated by all our wonderful volunteers today. Thanks Nestle!
And a special thank you to Adrienne for organising the day and bringing the students out. They accomplished a lot and we really appreciate it and enjoyed having them. Thanks for your continuing support.
And thank you also to Cecilia, Raewyn and Trixie, for coming along and helping out today. It was great meeting you and we look forward to seeing you again.
And we especially want to thank the hard working students for helping us so enthusiastically in spite of the challenging weather. We enjoyed meeting you and working with you. The trees you planted today will live for hundreds of years and provide food and shelter for native birds and animals. You have made a major contribution not only to CUE Haven but you have made a lasting and positive contribution to New Zealand and the planet.
We hope you continue to enjoy your stay in NZ and best of luck with your future endeavours. We hope you will visit us and CUE Haven on your next visit to NZ and you can also see how big your trees have grown.
Many Thanks again!