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ANZ and Fleet Partners—11 November 2016

November 12, 2016

ANZ and Fleet Partners are two Auckland companies who regularly send teams to CUE Haven to help out. Today was the day both of them could make a spring visit so we had a great combined team. It was good seeing old friends and meeting new people.

Team ANZ included Andrew, Bion, Chris, Fiona, Jay, Kelly, Laura. Luke, Max, Phil, Sam, Tom and Wei Lun.

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And joining us from Fleet Partners were Daniel, David, Joseph, Saligi, Sian and Vivienne.

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Also joining us were our friends, Roger and Tim who volunteer extensively in the community.

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The groups arrived at around nine and we got acquainted over morning tea.  Mahrukh gave a short overview of the CUE Haven project for those people who hadn’t been out before and Thomas gave a safety briefing and an overview of the work to be done.

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The plan for the day was to do spring maintenance work on one of the walking tracks and begin work on a new track.

Because we had a large group, we split into three teams.  The first team worked on installing retaining walls along the first section of the track.

The track traverses a downward slope and the soil tends to erode onto the track while the track surface can also erode downhill. To correct this problem, the team built small retaining walls along the edges of the track.

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The sections were secured with pegs pounded into the ground.

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The second team worked on an area of the track which runs alongside a portion of the wetlands.  Many people have planted memorial trees in the wetlands and we have put a bench along the track so that visitors have a place to relax, reflect and enjoy the surroundings.  We asked the team to improve the area by levelling the track, making a step up to the bench and boxing in the track sections to prevent erosion.

The first task was to clear up the area in front of the bench.

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They then planned how they wanted to construct the step and the section of track that curves in front of the bench.

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They formed the step and cut the timber to frame and cover it.

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They then built a small retaining wall to make the corner.

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Once the frame was in place, the team could fill it in with soil to make the track level.

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As a final step, the team decided to cover the surface with gravel to finish it off and make it safe in all weather.  They went down to the metal pile and filled buckets with gravel.

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Which then had to be carried to the site!

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The gravel was dumped on the track and raked and smoothed out.

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Future volunteer teams will join up the other track sections and next winter we will do some additional planting and landscaping in the area to finish it off.

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The third team tackled a different project altogether. On the other side of the wetlands across from the bench area is an alternative access into the memorial planting area.  In order to give visitors additional options for exploring the area we decided to build a new track to connect the wetland area to another track farther up on the property.

The area down to the wetlands is quite steep and we asked the team to construct the track with lots of switchbacks with gentle slopes rather than a straight in track which would be steep and require a lot of steps.  The team did a fantastic job of mapping out an optimal route and then using spades, rakes and grubbers, carved out the new track.

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In spite of the switchbacks, there were some areas that required steps and the team installed them along the track where necessary.

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The new track is off to a great start and later teams will finish it off by adding additional steps and retaining walls.

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After several hours of hard work, we broke for a relaxing lunch.

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We had a fantastic day.  The weather was perfect and the group accomplished a lot more than we expected.  They came up with innovative solutions to some challenging walking track issues and the tracks look better and are safer than ever. And we also have a new track!!

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Our many thanks to Roger and Tim for giving up a day to help out.  Your experience and assistance were invaluable and greatly contributed to the successful day.

A big thank you to Vivienne and Bion of Fleet Partners and ANZ respectively for their ongoing support and help with organising the day.

And a huge thank you to everyone for working so hard today. We know the work was new and challenging and we really appreciate your dedication and enthusiasm.

You have all made an important and lasting contribution to the CUE Haven.  Thanks to your efforts, the tracks you worked on will be enable visitors to explore and enjoy the growing native forest safely and in comfort.

We hope you will come back with your families for a more relaxing visit and to explore the rest of the property.

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Thanks again!!

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