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Overseas Chinese Association–8 June 2019

June 9, 2019

Today our good friends from the NZ Chapter of the Overseas Chinese Association combined a day of planting and maintenance with their annual Dragon Boat Festival.  The OCA have been coming to CUE Haven to plant and celebrate since 2014 and their visit has become one of the highlights of the CUE Haven calendar.   We were also joined by our supporters from the ANZ Asian Business banking division, many of whom volunteered at CUE Haven over the years, and our community volunteers Hansa and Yazdy.  It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

The Overseas Chinese Association group members included Adonis, Amy C., Amy T., Benjamin, Chen Hua,  Chen Huei, Cheng Ya, Christina, Christine, Edward, Elaine, Fei Cheng, George, Grace, Grace, Heidi, Howard, Hsin, Ifsen, Jack, Jenny, Jo , Joseph, Josephine, Julia, Laura, Leah, Lily, Maggie, Michael, Power, Simon, Tai Hsin, Tai Long, and Tyrone.

The ANZ team included Cassandra, Dennis, Jackie, Kelly, Lily, Lin, Oscar, Sheldon and Winnie.

Hansa and Yazdy arrived early morning to help us get everything set up and when the group arrived, we started out with a leisurely morning tea to give everyone a chance to get acquainted.

Mahrukh formally welcomed everyone and gave an update on the latest developments at CUE Haven.

Adonis, president of the OCA, also gave a welcome.

Thomas then did a safety briefing and description of the work planned for the day.

The plan for the day was to do infill planting in an area that had originally been planted in 2012 and to also trim away some of the vegetation that has grown over the walking tracks.

The trimming team went with Yazdy to the wetlands where they would be doing most of their work.

They then moved along the track, trimming as they went.

It was a challenging job to trim back the wharakeke properly, but the group managed to finish off the entire boardwalk and move up to the walking track.

The trimming team got a lot of work done and when they finished off, they went for a short walk to see more of the property.

In the meantime, the planting team was also busy.  The first task was to get up to the work site.  The trimming group could walk to their site, but the planters were working near the top of the property and Thomas drove up them up in two groups.  The weather forecast was for wind and showers and it looked like rain was coming when we got up to the site, but fortunately the wind blew all the rain away!

Thomas then gave a planting demo and a reminder of safety issues and the group went to work.

The area where we planted today had originally been planted in 2012.  The pioneer trees have grown up and created the right environment to plant long-lived canopy trees and today the group planted totara, kohekohe, taraire and some cabbage trees.  They also planted rows of dianella nigra along the entrance to the walking track.  The plants will grow up to form a nice border with lovely dark blue flowers.

In a little over an hour, the team managed to plant all of the trees we had planned for them today—a great job!  We then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage to give the group a chance to enjoy more of the property.

While the teams were working in the field, another group stayed back to prepare the special Dragon Boat Festival lunch comprising various soups and sticky rice dumplings and salads.

It was a delicious feast which everyone thoroughly enjoyed!

We had a fantastic day with everyone and we were very happy to have been able to meet up with old friends and make new friends.  Although it was windy, the rain which kept threatening never bothered us.

A very big thank to OCA President, Adonis for organising the visit and catering the lunch. And also many thanks to Lily for once again bringing her ANZ colleagues along to help out for the day.

And a special BIG THANK YOU to everyone who gave up their Saturday to help out today – the OCA members, ANZ staff, and all accompanying family and friends and our community volunteers who came today.  We very much appreciate your friendship, your enthusiasm and hard work and your continued support of CUE Haven.

You have all made a major contribution not only to CUE Haven but also to the community and our planet. Clearing the overgrown vegetation will encourage new growth in the trees and make it easier for visitors to walk on the boardwalk and walking tracks.  The new 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 native nature reserve for the whole community to enjoy for many generations.

Our heartfelt thanks to every one of you!!   And we very much look forward to having you visit again soon.

Thank You!!  Thank You!!



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