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Westpac—22 January 2020

January 23, 2020

Our first volunteer group of 2020 got things off to a great start.  A small but very enthusiastic group from the Westpac’s corporate office in Auckland tackled some interesting track maintenance challenges.

Westpac is one of New Zealand’s largest banks and they have a strong commitment to sustainability and community support.  Over the years, several teams from Westpac have helped out with planting and track work at CUE Haven.

Today’s team arrived bright and early and included Anand, Annabel, Georgina, Hannah, Nicki and Philippa.

We spent some time getting acquainted over morning tea and Mahrukh then gave an overview of the CUE Haven project and our current activities and plans.

Thomas gave a safety briefing and overview of the work plan for the day.

The plan for the day was to continue to work on improving an old section of walking track.  Once in the field, we carried all the gear down to the work site and went to work.

We broke into two teams and each team focused on two different track challenges.

One team tackled a steep bend in the track that needed side boards to protect against erosion.  The situation was complicated by a dead tree stump that created the need for a sharp bend in the track.  Before they could determine whether they needed to install steps, they decided that removing the stump would enable a more direct route.

Like most tree stumps, this one had no desire to be removed and it took a lot of work and ingenuity.

It was a strenuous and frustrating task but finally the stump was out. Yeah!!

The team could then install side boards.  The boards needed to be cut to size and then nailed in place.

The team had a tough assignment and we really appreciate their energy and enthusiasm to make the track much better.  Future teams will finish off installing steps and continuing with the side boards.

The other team worked on a section of track a little further down.  Their challenge was to determine the best way to incorporate an existing bench into the track.  They laid out a plan for where they would place the side boards.

They then dug out the channels for the side boards.

They could then place the boards in place and level them.

The boards were test fitted and more digging was usually required to get them into the right position.

The boards were then secured with pegs and nailed into place.

The team did a great job laying out a new route for the track.

Future teams will finish off the other side, level the surface and put down a layer of gravel on the improved sections of track.

Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we have made a great start for continued improvement to the track that will make it wider and easier for visitors to navigate.

Many thanks Hannah for organizing the Westpac visit today.

And a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone for your enthusiasm and hard work. It was great meeting you all and we look forward to seeing you again at CUE Haven.  You all have made a major contribution to CUE Haven and your efforts will be greatly appreciated by visitors as they comfortably walk the tracks to explore the growing native forest.

We thoroughly enjoyed working with you all and we hope that you will come back to CUE Haven soon to explore more of your community native forest reserve with your family and friends. And back again next year for another productive volunteer day!

Thank You!! Thank You!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Nicki permalink
    January 24, 2020 6:44 am

    Wow! What a lovely story of our day! We thoroughly enjoyed our time at CUE Haven. What a special place and what a gift Tom and Mahrukh have created for New Zealand. Thank you for your kind hospitality, interesting chats, passion for our environment and commitment to community. Nicki

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