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Bank of New Zealand Business and Commercial Banking Partners – West Auckland—14 May 2021

May 15, 2021
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BNZ is one of New Zealand’s largest banks and they have a strong commitment to community service.  Teams from BNZ have been volunteering at CUE Haven for many years and we were very happy when Andrew contacted us about bringing a team of his colleagues, to help out for the day.

The team arrived bright and early and included Andrew, Blair, Chris, Jamie, Lisa, Siobhan and Tim.

Andrew had volunteered at CUE Haven before, but the rest of the team was new to CUE Haven, so Mahrukh spent some time explaining the history and philosophy of CUE Haven and gave a description of the project and plans for the future. 

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

The plan for the day was to work on creating entry steps to a part of the property that we will be using for memorial plantings.  The area is a wetland and currently only accessible from the road by climbing down an uneven and slippery hill.  We wanted to widen the entry and install some steps so that visitors can easily access an area that will become a beautiful grove of kahikatea.

The first task was to trim back the overhanging vegetation and clear the area so visitors could more easily access the site.

The group then studied the area to determine the best way to approach the project.  They measured the area and calculated the number of steps and the amount of timber required. 

Once the general plan was agreed, the next step was a lot of digging, starting with channels for the side boards.

While most of the team dug and formed the steps, Jamie helped Thomas cut the timber that would be needed.

Once the timber was cut and brought down to the site, the boards were put into position to test to see how everything lined up.  Usually, more digging was required.

The first step was test fitted to ensure that everything was level.

Once the side boards were properly positioned and secure, the risers could be installed.  They were nailed into place on one side and levelled.

As they moved down it was necessary to continually measure to make sure everything was square.

The job required a lot of teamwork and everyone took turns doing the various tasks of measuring and nailing.

When the last step was nailed in place, they filled in the steps with soil and packed it down to make everything level.

All that remained was to put down a layer of gravel on the steps to make them easy and safe to use in all kinds of weather.  While the rest of the team worked levelling off the steps, some members went to the car park and filled buckets with gravel from the pile.

The buckets were loaded onto the ute and driven to the site where they were unloaded and dumped on the steps.  The gravel was raked smooth to finish off the job.

This is what the team found when they started the project in the morning.

And this is how it looks now:

The team accomplished an amazing amount of work in a short time and built some great looking steps that will be used and appreciated by future visitors.  Other teams will work to finish off the track at the bottom of the steps.  Well done BNZ!

Our many thanks to Andrew for organizing a very successful and productive volunteer day.

And a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone in the team for all their hard work and efforts today. You have set a high bar for other teams to follow as they work to completed the boardwalk in this wetland. Your contribution to CUE Haven is greatly appreciated.

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

Thank You!! Thank You!!

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