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ANZ Business Banking North Shore—1 March 2017

March 2, 2017
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ANZ New Zealand is one of New Zealand’s largest companies and one of its largest banks.  They have a strong commitment to corporate responsibility and community service and ANZ staff have been helping us out at CUE Haven for many years.

Today a group of thirteen professionals from the North Shore Region Business Banking group in Auckland joined us for some walking track work.  The group arrived early morning and included Allan, Alison, Amy, Daniel, Dennis, Elaine, Frederick, Joyce, Linda, Navneen, Olga, Ray and Tomarcelle.

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We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a welcome and an overview of the CUE Haven project.

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Thomas then told the group about the work planned for the day and gave a safety briefing.

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The plan for the day was to continue to finish off the new walking track at the top of the property.  The track was started last summer in the area we planted in 2016 and we have now had a chance to see how weather and drainage are affecting the track so we can fix any drainage or erosion problems.

We drove up to the top of the property, and before going to work we broke into three teams.

The first team was in charge of weed control. A lot of tall weeds had grown up along the track and were in the way.  The team went ahead of the rest of the group and with shears cut back the weeds.

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The team kept ahead of the groups working behind them and made sure the track area was clear and easily accessible.

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It was a tedious job and the team had to deal with some stubborn and prickly weeds but they kept smiling and made excellent progress.

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The second team took on the challenge of finishing off a set of steps down to the track which had been started by previous teams.  They levelled and straightened the steps to make them safer and easier to use.

The work required a lot of planning and teamwork.  Each step and section of track is different because of the terrain, so each section presented different challenges.  Plus it was necessary to carefully join us the previously completed sections of the steps.  The team studied the situation and came up with creative solutions to each challenge.

The first task was to dig out the sides of the steps, straighten them out and determine the best way to install the side boards.

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We brought down the boards in long lengths which then had to be cut to size after careful measuring.

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The new boards were then fitted into place and secured with nails and pegs.

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Everything was checked for accuracy.

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And they made sure the steps were easy to walk on!

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And the end result is a great looking, safe set of steps!

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The third team moved down the track finishing off  a long section of the track runs along the side of a slope.  It was necessary to cut the track level into the slope by benching it.  This creates a greater than usual risk of erosion because water can run across the track.  To prevent this, small retaining walls are built on each side of the track to secure the surface.

The first task was to clear and straighten the area where the track had been previously benched.

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The retaining wall would be built of long planks secured by pegs.

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The planks were laid in place, test fitted and adjusted where necessary and then fastened down.

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The team kept moving down the track as they completed a section.

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And finished off an amazing amount of track in just a few hours.

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Future teams over the summer will continue to work on finishing the track and before winter we will put down a layer of gravel to finish it off completely and make it safe for year round use.

It was wonderful seeing the collegiality and teamwork of the ANZ group.  They accomplished a lot of work and tackled some big track work challenges and came up with great solutions.

After finishing off, the group took a leisurely walk back to the cottage for lunch and along the way Thomas pointed out some additional features of the property and described some of the issues associated with the restoration project such as pest and weed control.

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We then had a relaxing lunch.  The energetic team even insisted on staying to help clean up!

Our many thanks to Allan for championing CUE Haven to his regional colleagues and many thanks to Linda for organizing today’s visit.  We really appreciate your support.

And a big thank you to everyone who came out today!  We really enjoyed working with you all and very much appreciate your hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven.  It was great to see you all participating fully and working as a team and coming up with good ideas for making the track better.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  Thank you for your help and support. You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The track you built today will be used and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much look forward to having you out again for a leisurely visit with your friends and family, and we hope to also see you again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

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THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

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