Orewa College—8 November 2016
Orewa College, located on the Hibiscus Coast north of Auckland, has a significant international exchange program. The school seeks to enrich international students’ experience in New Zealand by giving them wide exposure to New Zealand culture and natural heritage. Since 2014, Adrienne Croad, International Students Development Manager at Orewa College, has brought groups of international students to CUE haven to explore, learn a little about New Zealand plants and animals and to leave a permanent mark in NZ by helping us with our restoration work.
Today we had a group of students from Italy, Germany and Japan. The group arrived shortly after nine and included Adrienne and students Chiara, Claudia, Fine, Lukas, Marius, Ryuji and Sophia. Stan Parker, a friend and supporter of Orewa College and CUE Haven, also joined the group for the day.
We got acquainted over morning tea and Mahrukh gave the group an overview of the CUE Haven restoration project. Thomas then described the work planned for the day and gave a safety briefing.
The first task the group tackled was to finish up some landscaping work. The biggest challenge was digging out the old agaves before planting the native flaxes. The students had the area looking totally different in no time.
We then moved up near the cottage where the group did some weeding and planting in an area that that been taken over by weeds.
There are three areas on the property that were used to stage the plants when we planted the surrounding areas. These platforms have not been planted as we plan to develop them as picnic areas for visitors.
Although we had sprayed out the weeds on one of the platforms, there were lots of tall dead weeds and grass and the energetic group attacked the weeds with grubbers, loppers and spades and got it ready for further development.
The final task the team took on was to fix up some of the steps on the new walking track. We built the track last summer and after the first winter, the ground shifts and settles and sometimes the steps can become uneven. We used a spirit level to test the steps and adjusted each one so that they are now all even and ready for boxing in.
We then took a leisurely walk back down to the cottage for a quick lunch before the students headed back to school.
It was a cold and windy spring day and the delicious Hot Chocolate and Nescafe menu coffees generously provided by Nestle NZ were much appreciated by all. Thanks Nestle!
A big thank you to Stan for his help today. It was great having you back and we enjoy working with you and look forward to having you out again soon.
And many thanks to Adrienne for making all the arrangements for today’s visit and bringing the students out and working with the students. We really appreciate your continued support of the CUE Haven project.
And a special thank you to the students for all your hard work today. We appreciate your efforts and hope you enjoyed the day. We enjoyed working with you—you all have made a lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage.
We hope you have a great stay in New Zealand and wish you happiness and success in your future endeavours and we hope that someday you will come back to New Zealand and visit CUE Haven too.