Overseas Chinese Association, New Zealand Chapter—11 June 2016
Today we were delighted to welcome our friends from the Overseas Chinese Association, New Zealand Chapter for a planting day. The Association is regularly involved in many community service projects around Auckland and they have assisted with planting trees and other projects at CUE Haven for the past two years.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, founder of the Republic of China, and a variety of commemorations are being held. Sun Yat Sen believed strongly in harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature and was a strong advocate of tree planting and reforestation and today’s planting was seen as part of a continuing tradition of establishing forests to maintain the balance of nature.
The group arrived at about ten and included Aden, Adonis, Ailian. Alex, Betty, Bixia, Cheng Ya, Chia, Chin Chan, Chen Huei, Cindy, Cloud, David, Eric, Ester, Gary, George, Grace, Heidi C., Heidi W., Howard, Hui Chia, Ivy, Jimmy, Johnny, Julia, Juliana, Karen, Katie, Kay, Lao Yao, Lauren, Lawden, Lili, Lola, Maria, Mary, Mike, Karen, Ned, Peter, Raymond, Sam, Sebastian, Simon H., Simon K., Stephanie, Steven, Taiwen, Ted, Terry, Tony, Wei, Wendy, William and Yu Hwa.
We got acquainted over morning tea. Nestle NZ has generously sponsored a variety of Nescafe Menu coffees for our volunteers which were most appreciated. Thanks, Nestle NZ!!
Mahrukh gave the group an overview of the CUE Haven restoration project and Thomas did a safety briefing. Some of our guests are not as yet proficient in English as it is their second language, and Wei, a Mandarin language interpretation doctoral student, assisted with the briefings.
Then Ned Chou, Deputy Director General of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office and Adonis Yang, President of the Overseas Chinese Associate each gave the group a welcome.
We then took a short walk up the planting site where Thomas gave a planting demonstration and update of the safety briefing before the group went to work.
Today’s planting was also significant because we were planting canopy trees in amongst the pioneer trees that several members of the Overseas Chinese Association had planted during their first visit to CUE Haven in 2014. The group was impressed at how much their trees had grown and today they planted the long living canopy trees – totara, rimu, tanekaha, miro, kahikatea and pukatea.
As this was infill planting, the team had to spread out into the developing bush to find suitable spots to plant their trees.
When all the canopy trees had been planted, the team collected all the empty pots and trays and equipment.
In just a couple of hours, the hard working group planted over 300 canopy trees! A fantastic effort!!
Several members then helped Simon and Chen Huei plant a celebration Blue Totara.
While the group was planting, Adonis and George came down to prepare lunch. The group celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival with a relaxing and delicious lunch that included a special soup, salads and sticky rice dumplings.
After lunch, several of the group members went up to the top of the property to explore and took a leisurely walk back down via the walking track where they got a chance to see some mature specimens of the trees they had planted as well as some friendly native birds.
As always, we had a great day with the group and are very happy to have been able to meet up with old friends and make many new friends.
A special thanks to Adonis Yang for his help with organising the visit.
And a really big THANK YOU to all the members who came today. We really appreciate your friendship, enthusiasm, hard work and your continued support of our efforts at CUE Haven.
You’ve made a major contribution not only to CUE Haven and New Zealand, but also to our planet in keeping with the reforestation vision of the enlightened Sun Yat Sen. The trees you planted today are a lasting legacy and will live for hundreds of years and provide a wonderful habitat for numerous plant and animal life and also create a wonderful nature reserve for generations to enjoy. Many Thanks again!! We very much look forward to having you visit again soon.