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Paul & Friends–11 March 2023

March 12, 2023

Today our dear friend Paul organised a group of friends to come out and help with the cyclone damage cleanup at CUE Haven.

The group arrived first thing in the morning and included family and friends Bryce, Celine, Gabriel, Gillian, Lilly, Lisa,  Martin, Netra, Nilesh, Paul, Phil, Pieter, Stephane and Stephen.

    We knew most of group members as they had been out either as visitors or volunteers and were familiar with CUE Haven.  Thomas gave an overview of the work planned for the day and a safety briefing before we headed out to the field.

    The plan for the day was to break the large group into four small teams and tackle a variety of tasks around the property. We drove each group up to their starting point and they went to work.

    One team worked on clearing the long service road that runs around the top of the property. 

    Several trees were leaning out on the road and needed to be trimmed back.

    The team managed to clear the entire service road and continued on to help out clearing some walking tracks.

    While on the service road, the team found something interesting.  On February 15, there was a strong earthquake in the waters off the lower North Island that was felt in Auckland.  Some of our neighbours at CUE Haven believe that a lot of the damage also resulted from the shake affecting already soggy ground from the January storms and Cyclone Gabrielle.  That could explain some land slips and trees that had fallen into the direction of the prevailing wind.  But on the road, the team found the strongest evidence that larger ground movement had occurred.

    We requested another team to walk the boundary fence to check the hot wire (which had been turned off) and to clear any vegetation that had blown down or fallen on the fence.

    Thomas dropped the group at an access point to the fence and they went to work.

    It was a challenging job as the team had to clear the hotwire and also trim back any trees close to the fence that might be a temptation to the neighbour’s cows.

    The team did a great job clearing a long section of fence.

    A third team worked on clearing vegetation from a side road.  They started at the top of the property and managed to work all the way down to the bottom.  They used loppers and a variety of other tools to help reach the taller branches.

    They also cleaned up Wahi Maramatanga and took a well-earned break!

    Thanks to the team’s hard work, the track, which was very difficult to drive is now wide open and looking good.

    The fourth team worked on clearing some of the bigger trees that had fallen on the Ruru and Taraire Tracks.  A couple of our friends have properties with similar post-cyclone challenges and brought  along their power tools and skills to help tackle the bigger trees.

    The Ruru track was completely blocked by a large number of fallen trees near Otakamaitu and the bridge that crosses the CUE Haven stream.  This was the view from the top of the steps on the Puriri Track at the start of the Ruru track.

    The guys went to work and managed to clear the several big downed trees up to where a very large kahikatea had fallen across the track.

    It was then possible to sneak under the kahikatea to access the bridge and the rest of the Ruru track.  The other access to the Ruru track from the Kukupa track was still completely blocked.

    They managed to slowly work their way through, clearing the branches and opening up the rest of the track.

    As if that wasn’t enough for one morning, they also took care of cutting back a massive old tree that the cyclone blew over and was precariously leaning over on the Taraire track.

    In just a few hours the entire group had helped us move significantly further along with the cleanup and we can’t thank everyone enough for giving up their Saturday morning to come out to help.

    Paul, thank you so much for organising the very productive day.  We really value your friendship and everything you do for CUE Haven.

    A huge THANK YOU to everyone.  It was great catching up with some many of our friends and making new friends. You all worked very hard and tackled some really difficult challenges and exceeded our expectations.  Your efforts and contribution are most appreciated and valued and you have all made a major contribution to get the CUE Haven community reserve flourishing again. We very much look forward to having you back a leisurely visit soon.

    Many many thanks again!!!

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