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Westpac–1 December 2022

December 2, 2022

Westpac is one of New Zealand’s largest banks and they have a strong commitment to sustainability and community support.  Westpac staff have been volunteering at CUE Haven for several years and today professionals from the corporate Human Resources group in Auckland visited CUE Haven to help us with some walking track maintenance.  The team arrived first thing in the morning and included Afiafi, Andrew, Anne, Anthea, Charlotte, Ekta and Max.

Most of the group 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 primary plan for the day was to continue to work on upgrading a section of walking track.   We drove up to the work site and the first task was to carry the gear down.

There is a long section of the track that had only been retained on one side and the plan was to widen the track and install side boards on the unretained side.  The group broke into teams which tackled different sections of the track over the course of the day.

They started out by planning the best approach to widening the track and used string lines and measurements to determine where to dig.

Once they were satisfied with the layout of the track, they went to work digging out along the string line.

While part of the team tackled the long section of track, a smaller team took on the challenge of installing side boards along a set of steps.  The job required digging out a channel and then fitting a board diagonally so it was level at both ends.

Once the channel was dug out, they brought down the timber.

They measured to determine the required length of the board.

And cut the board to size.

They test fitted the board and some more digging was needed to get it to fit perfectly.

They secured the board in place and it looks great!

They then joined other team to work on different track sections.

Once most of the digging was finished, they brought down the timber for the side boards.

The boards were fitted into place.

Sometimes additional digging was needed to get the board properly positioned.

Once everything was in position, the boards were secured with pegs and nailed in place.

Another challenging spot was a curve close to a big tree.  It took a lot of digging to get the angle correct.

Once the angle was right, they measured and cut the board.

The board section was then secured with pegs and nailed in place.

They moved along, completing a variety of other track challenges.

The last task was to backfill some of the new retaining walls and to level off the track sections.

After several hours of hard work, the group gathered up all the gear and we headed back to the cottage for a well-deserved lunch.

The group accomplished an amazing amount of work and dealt with some interesting track challenges.  It is always difficult to install new timber on a previously built track section and the group came up with some innovative solutions and did a great job.  Have a look at all they accomplished.

We really enjoyed working with this group.  It’s great seeing the collegiality and teamwork amongst the group. Everyone worked really hard and showed a lot of creativity and energy in coming up with solutions to the interesting track challenges they tackled.  The team accomplished a huge amount of work, exceeding our expectations for the day.  They made major improvements to the track and should be extremely proud of their efforts.

Many thanks to Afi for organising the volunteer team and continuing to champion CUE Haven at Westpac.

A BIG thank you to everyone who came out today!  We very much appreciate your hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did and look forward to your continued support and having you out again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

And we also look forward to having you out with your friends and family for a leisurely visit soon to explore more of your community native forest reserve.

Thank You!! Thank You!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 4, 2022 7:11 am

    Amazing work by the Westpac volunteers! And, as always, excellent photographic and textual coverage of the day’s work!

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