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Orewa College–16 May 2023

May 17, 2023

Since 2015, international students from Orewa College have come to CUE Haven to help out and also learn a little about New Zealand plants and animals.  Today we were very happy to have another group of students from Argentina, Germany, Italy and Japan.  The group was supposed to come out last Tuesday but weather forecast for Auckland was for another huge rainstorm and so we rescheduled to today.

Joining us were students Feli (1), Feli (2) and Victoria from Argentina, Bjarne, Elia, Feli (3), Jarvis, Lotta, Lukas , Mario, Nele, Olivia and Shari from Germany, Matteo from Italy and Haru, Hitomi, Jinta, Karin, Keigo, Koharu, Mirai, Sota, Tomoumi and Yuzuki from Japan.  The students were accompanied by teachers Adrienne Croad, Sue McCarthney and Cecilia Tyne and Dave Oveaden of Kiwiana Tours who drove the group out.

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

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

 Normally this time of year we would be doing some autumn maintenance—primarily cutting back vegetation that has grown over the walking tracks, boardwalk and fences over the summer and getting the walking tracks ready for winter.  However, the rain storm that cancelled last week’s visit caused quite a bit of damage to the roads and tracks.  As a result, we asked the students to help out doing some road remediation until we can get the road properly repaired.

We broke into three groups—one teacher was assigned to each group—and went to work.  Once in the field, Thomas repeated the safety briefing and explained the work to be done.

The volume of water that came down in last Tuesday’s rain storm overwhelmed the stream culvert and drains and caused washouts and gullies on the track.  The team went to work with spades and rakes and buckets to level off the road as much as possible. 

A lot of the issue was caused by the heavy rain washing the gravel off the main road – Kowhai Track – into the drains and onto the boardwalk. So, a big job was recovering as much gravel as possible and raking it back onto the Kowhai Track.

Some good teamwork transformed the track sections.

The students made friends with some of the locals.

As they finished a section, they moved to another area that needed repair.

After just a couple of hours the teams had made amazing improvements in the track.

The teams also assisted with a couple of additional tasks. 

They loaded up buckets with gravel to put down on the steps leading to the Rimu track.

The buckets of gravel were loaded onto the truck and driven to the entry to the walking track.

The team carried the buckets down to the track and dumped the buckets while the gravel was raked smooth.

A major improvement!

Some of the group assisted with trimming overhanging bush along one of the tracks.

Cecelia’s and Adrienne’s teams took some time to visit Te Rite o Taranaki – the viewing platform, before heading down for lunch.

After accomplishing a lot of work, the teams returned to the cottage for a relaxing lunch where many of them ate Kiwi mince and cheese pies for the first time.

We want to thank Adrienne Croad of Orewa College for organizing the visit and continuing to champion CUE Haven at Orewa College.  And a big thank you to Cecelia and Sue for all your help and hard work today.  It was great seeing you all.

And a special thanks to all the students for all their hard work today.  We appreciate your efforts and hope you enjoyed the day.  You have made a great contribution to CUE Haven and visitors will definitely appreciate your efforts to clean up and beautify the walking tracks and roads—Thanks!

We hope you have a great stay in New Zealand and wish you much happiness and success in your studies and all your endeavours.   And we hope that someday you will come back to New Zealand and visit CUE Haven too!!

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