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Fleet Partners—17 November 2017

November 18, 2017

Since 2014, staff from Fleet Partners’ Auckland office have been regularly helping out at CUE Haven and they were back on site today assisting with the walking track maintenance.

The group arrived shortly after nine and included David, Daniel, Rohan, Ross and Vivian.  Also joining us were Vivian’s daughter Sian and her friend Carissa.

We had a relaxing morning tea and Mahrukh gave the group an update on new developments at CUE Haven since their visit last year.

Thomas then gave an overview of the work planned for the day and a safety briefing.

The plan for the day was to work on three separate tasks.  The first involved installing a bench on the walking track, the second was to finish off a section of track that we have been working on this spring and the third was to put side walls on an old set of steps that were starting to have some erosion.

We drove up as close as we could to the work site and unloaded the bench and carried all the materials down and went to work.

We had shortlisted three possible locations for the bench and asked the team to decide which they preferred.  They made unanimous decision and cleared the area and dug the holes for the bench legs.  They positioned the bench to determine the best orientation and where to dig the holes.

Digging the deep holes was a challenge.

The bench was set in rapid mix concrete and the team took extra care to make sure everything was straight and secure.

Additional concrete was added and mixed in the holes to make the bench solid.

The new bench is a great addition to the track and will be enjoyed (and appreciated) by visitors to CUE Haven for years to come.

Once the bench was in place, we moved down the track to the next site.  A short section of track needed a side board and the team quickly dug out the track section and installed the boards.

First they brought down the timber and tools.

The next task was to dig out the area for the side boards.

The work required careful measuring and lots of cutting, hammering and nailing.

Once the boards were cut and fitted in position, they were secured with pegs and nailed into place.

The last task was levelling out the track and backfilling the sections that had been dug out.

We then moved on to the biggest challenge of the day—fixing the steps.

This long set of steps is about five years old and has held up well but showing wear and tear, especially from erosion around the sides.

The best way to fix the steps is to put side boards between the risers to keep soil from falling onto the treads.  The challenge is that because the steps were cut into the bank, and the ground is uneven, each one is slightly different so a lot of planning and measuring is necessary to get the boards positioned correctly and looking right.

Because we had a small team today, everyone was able to get involved with the planning and measuring process.

Once the sides were dug out, detailed measurements could be done.

And we brought down more timber for the new side boards.

The new side boards were cut and checked for alignment.

Once everything looked right, the new boards were nailed into place.

One of the old steps was out of alignment and team had taken it out to correct the positioning.  They leveled out the ground and reinstalled it.

The top of the steps was then connected to the track leading to it.

They then moved down to finish off the lower half of the steps.  Once again, it was necessary to dig out the area, fit and nail in new boards.

The last bit was to rake and smooth out the steps and fill in any low areas that had been created by all the digging.

The result is a fantastic improvement and future teams will finish off the other side of the steps and use this team’s’ excellent work as a template.

At some stages during the step work, things got too crowded for everyone to be on the steps at the same time, but rather than take a break, some of the energetic team members tackled the problem weeds that were growing up in the area.

The hard working team then broke for a late lunch but not before taking a ride to the top of the property to enjoy the views of the Kaipara Harbour and check out the site of the proposed viewing platform.

Our many thanks to Vivien for organising yet another productive volunteer day and for continuing to champion CUE Haven at Fleet Partners and also bringing along her family & friends.

A very special thank you to everyone in the hardworking team.  You added a lot value and we really appreciate your efforts.  You came up with great solutions to today’s challenges and we really enjoyed working with you.  We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  You have made a major contribution to the CUE Haven walking tracks and your efforts will be greatly appreciated and enjoyed by many for a long time.

We look forward to having you all back.

Thank You!!

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