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Air New Zealand Digital Strategy Team—19 June 2017

June 20, 2017

This week is National Volunteer Week in New Zealand and as part of the week’s celebration of volunteering, a team from Air New Zealand’s Digital Strategy group came out to CUE Haven for a day of planting.

The group arrived around ten and included Amit, Bronwyn, Craig, Gareth, Gillian, Jim, Jolyon, Michael, Nick, Paul, Philip, Rajesh, Sheryl, Shruti, Tim, Tom, Tony, Wayne and Yvette.

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a brief history of the CUE Haven project and Thomas gave a description of the work planned for the day and a safety briefing.

We then took the short walk up to the planting area and went to work.  The plan for the day was to do infill planting of big trees in the area first planted in 2014.  There is a section that slopes into a wetland and we decided to plant the area with kahikatea in the wetter areas and kowhai on the slightly higher ground.

It was challenging planting because the trees need to be planted amongst the pioneer trees that are growing up.  The group broke into teams of two and ventured into the bush!

The weather forecast was for rain, but fortunately it stayed dry the entire time and the conditions were perfect for planting.

Everyone was spread out in the bush and it was a real challenge finding them all so we could take pictures!

The group was very hard working and enthusiastic and we even had to bring up more plants.  In addition to the kahikatea and kowhai, they also planted some lancewood, taraire, matai and miro trees.

In just a few hours, the group planted an amazing number of trees and set a new record for the number of infill trees planted per man hour by a volunteer group!!

When they finished planting they even helped gather up the empty pots and crates for recycling.

It was then time for a relaxing lunch and later we went for a walk to explore more of the property.

It was a very successful and productive day and we are thrilled with all that the Air NZ Digital Strategy team accomplished.

We want to thank Yvette for organizing the day and also a huge thank you to everyone in the group.  It was a pleasure meeting all of you and working with you. We really appreciate your enthusiasm and hard work and help.  The canopy trees you planted will create a sustainable habitat for a variety of plant and animal life and the growing forest will be enjoyed by the community for many generations. What a great legacy!!

We hope you will come back for a more leisurely visit with your families and friends to explore more of the property and to see how your trees are growing.

Many Thanks Again!!

Westlake Boys High School—16 June 2017

June 16, 2017

Year 11 geography students at Westlake Boys High School on Auckland’s North Shore are studying the Kaipara Harbour and how human activity can affect it.

To help the students gain a better appreciation of the extent of the harbour and the activities taking place in the area, the head of the geography department, Andy Jones, organized a field trip to the Kaipara for the students.

The class was broken into three groups and each group visited three venues–the jetty where the Hoteo River flows into the Kaipara, Muriwai Valley Farm, a sustainable farm operated by Bev Trowbridge and her husband, and CUE Haven.

For each group, we did a short program on the history of our restoration project, what we hoped to accomplish and the impacts our work was having on the Kaipara Harbour.

The first group of forty-nine students was accompanied by teachers Amy Bennett, John Foden and Susan Newby. For the past two years Amy has brought some of the Year 10 students to CUE Haven to help build walking tracks and it was great to see some familiar faces.

The second group of fifty students was led by teachers Andrew Clarke and Michael Tillett.

And the third group of thirty-seven was led by teachers Andy Jones and Jordan Stanley.

We started each session with some background information on CUE Haven and then talked about how the planting had affected water quality, erosion and land stability.

Thomas then took the students for a short walk in the bush to show them specific examples of how the restoration project had affected the land and how it was affecting our waterways and, ultimately the Kaipara Harbour.

The students saw some of the oldest and newest plantings and were able to compare them to the neighbours’ paddocks.

We visited the area where we had a land slip in 2016 so the students could see the cause and effect of the slip and see how remedial plantings were stabilizing the land.

The students also visited an old puriri tree which has recovered from years of possum browsing to see how the health of the tree was having a positive impact on other plants and animals.

We finished off with a walk through the wetlands so the students could see how planting improved water quality and reduced runoff and sediment.

It was a short visit but the students had a chance to see several different aspects of the property and asked a lot of good questions.

We have always hoped that CUE Haven will become an environmental education resource for the community and we are very happy to have schools like Westlake Boys use the space for learning.

We really enjoyed hosting the Westlake Boys students and sharing information about our project and its effects on the Kaipara Harbour.

Andy, thank you very much for arranging the sessions and for managing the day with military precision so that everyone was where they needed to be on time.  And a big thank you to the teachers for their valuable assistance.

We also want to thank the students for their time and attention.  We wish you all the best with your assignment and further studies and hope you will come back to CUE Haven to see more of the property.

 

The SFS Centre for Rainforest Studies—13 & 15 June 2017

June 15, 2017

The School for Field Studies (SFS) is a US-based global organisation that provides university students interested in ecology and environmental studies the opportunity to study overseas.  Students studying at the SFS Centre for Rainforest Studies, based in Australia, have the opportunity to visit New Zealand to learn more about New Zealand’s temperate rain forests.

The students’ New Zealand trip included a stay at CUE Haven and Mataia, our neighbours across the road.   The plan was for the students to plant on Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning at CUE Haven and plant at Mataia on Wednesday.

The group arrived at CUE Haven after lunch on Tuesday and included students Adriana, Allison, Ally, Anna, Brandon, Cole, Danny, Den, Emma, Grace, Hanna, Jack, Janie, Jia Min, Jimmy, Kiana, Matthew, Max, Ojullja, Sage, Treston & Wan Xin.

The group was led by Centre Director Amanda Freeman, lecturer Justus Kithiia, and staff members Hannah, Karen and Mike.

We started off by having the students and staff introduce themselves. Then Mahrukh gave an overview of the CUE Haven project and Thomas described the work the students would be doing during their stay and also gave a safety briefing.

The plan for both Tuesday and Thursday was to plant long-lived canopy trees in the area that had initially been planted in 2014.  The pioneer trees in that area have grown up sufficiently to provide protection to the slow growing canopy trees.

It is a huge area and we had set out the plants in various places along the road.  We hiked up and broke into smaller groups to do the planting.

It was challenging planting as the team had to carry the plants a long way into the bush to find suitable places for the trees.  Because these native trees will become forest giants, they have to be positioned at least three to five metres from the nearest canopy tree.  The students planted kahikatea, lancewood, matai, miro, puriri, rewarewa, tanekaha, taraire and titoki.

It was easy to get lost in the dense bush as the team searched for good planting spots!

On both days, the weather was great and the group did an amazing amount of infill planting throughout the 2014 area.

 

 

In the two half day planting sessions, the group accomplished an amazing amount of work and made a major contribution to our 2017 planting efforts—and declared victory!

The team helped bring down all the spades and pots and crates and then spent some time cleaning up.  We weren’t planting in the wetlands but because we’ve had a lot of rain the area where we worked was very muddy.

In addition to planting at CUE Haven and Mataia, some of the students went for a night bush walk at CUE Haven and got a chance to see glowworms in the little grotto by the waterfall in the gully.

It was a short visit but we were very happy and impressed with all that the enthusiastic group accomplished.

Our many thanks to Amanda for her help on site and for arranging the visit. We really enjoy having you and the SFS students and staff at CUE Haven and value our relationship and do so appreciate your continued support.

Also many thanks to all the SFS staff for their help and ensuring things went smoothly.

And a very BIG THANK YOU to all the students.  We really enjoyed meeting all of you and working with you. We were very impressed by your enthusiasm, motivation and interest in CUE Haven and in NZ native flora and fauna.

You have all made a major contribution not only to the CUE Haven restoration project but also to our planet.  The canopy trees you planted will create a sustainable habitat and provide food and shelter for a variety of plant and bird life over the years, and also provide educational opportunities and enjoyment to generations of visitors.  What a fantastic legacy!!  THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

We wish you all good luck and much success and happiness in your future endeavours.  We do hope you will keep in touch and come back to visit us at CUE Haven and enjoy the native forest reserve you have helped create.

Thanks again!

Summerland Primary School—30 May 2017

May 31, 2017

Today a group of year five and six students from Summerland Primary School in west Auckland spent a day at CUE Haven, planting, learning and exploring.

The group included teacher, Joel Cambridge and his students Adam, Alizay, Angel, Ayesha, Azariah, Braydon, Brieze, Brooke, Dhruv, Fred, Gaon, Havana, Jacob, James, Kayl, Khyra, Lydia, Maria, Nadia, Nayshal, Pari, Rahaf, Reid, Rishap. Shawaiz, Tana, TJ, VJ, Watson, Zac and Zion.   Also joining us for the day were parents Atawhai, Folau, Kerri, Krista, Pippa and Robyn.

We started out with a quick morning tea.  Thank you Nestle NZ for providing the much appreciated hot drinking chocolate for the students.

Mahrukh gave the students some background on the CUE Haven project and spent some time talking about the impacts of farming and development on native plants and animals and waterways and the benefits of restoration planting.

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

We started out with a tree planting session.  Today the students planted cabbage trees, carex, cyperus, harakeke, mahoe and manuka.

The students did a great job dealing with the weeds and the wet conditions.  They also made friends with some of the locals as well!

After about an hour of planting, we broke and went for a short bush walk.  Thomas explained different aspects of the restoration project and showed the students different types of trees and plantings.

The students saw the site of last year’s land slip and Thomas explained how planting would help restore and stabilize the area.

Thomas also did a short session on pest control and the students got to see how tracking tunnels and DOC 200 and Timms traps and bait stations work.

We then had a quick lunch and the final activity was a short session on invertebrates and insects.  We had set up bug traps out in the orchard the previous day and the students used magnifying glasses and identification charts to identify as many different bugs as they could.

Joel explained the exercise to his students and showed them how to collect and analyse the bugs they found.

The students then broke into small groups and they used magnifying glasses to study the bugs and identify them.

When they’d finished identifying the bugs, the budding scientists used the magnifying glasses to explore other plants and animals.  It was great to see their curiosity and enthusiasm.

We very much enjoyed having the Summerland School group.  The students were very enthusiastic and interested in learning about nature and it was great to see the way they cooperated and helped each other.

We’d like to thank Joel for organizing the trip and helping to make the day so special.

Many thanks also to all the parents who came out to help and added a lot of value to the day.

And most of all, a very BIG THANK YOU to all the students. We really enjoyed meeting all of you and working with you.  We were very impressed with how polite and hardworking you all were and also how enthusiastic and keen you were to learn new things.

Thank you for planting the trees. You have made a significant contribution not just to CUE Haven but to our environment and our community.

CUE Haven will be gifted to the wider community to use and enjoy as a native forest reserve and you should all be very proud of your efforts as you have helped in the creation of a native nature reserve which the community will enjoy for generations.  Thank you! Thank you!

We wish you the best of luck with your studies and we do hope you will come back and see us (and your trees) again soon!

Thank You!!

 

 

Overseas Chinese Association & ANZ Asian Business Banking—28 May 2017

May 29, 2017

Today our friends from the NZ Chapter of the Overseas Chinese Association and the ANZ Asian Business Banking group in Auckland teamed up for an amazing day of tree planting.

It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones!

This is the third year that the wonderful members of the Overseas Chinese Association have helped us and planted trees at CUE Haven. The amiable ANZ group had come out earlier this summer to help with walking track work and volunteered to come again to help us plant trees.

The Overseas Chinese Association group members included Adonis, Ada, Allen, Amy, Anne, Annie, Benjamin, Chen Huei, Cheng Yu, Chia, Christina, Christine, Cindy, Elaine, Eric, Gary, Grace, Howard, Hsi Hao, I Jinn, Ifsen, Jo, Judy, Julia, Julia T., Kay, Lauren, Lawden, Leah, Linda H., Linda W., Pearl, Raymond, Rose, Ruby, Simon, Tao Wei, Vicky, Wei, William and baby Felicia.

And the ANZ group included Fiona, Jenny, Jiadi, Julia, Lily, Lin, Miki, Ray, Tina, William and young Max.

We started out with a leisurely morning tea to give everyone a chance to get acquainted.  We’d like to thank Nestle NZ for providing the variety of Nescafe menus coffees for our volunteers.

Mahrukh then gave the group an update on the latest developments at CUE Haven and Thomas did a safety briefing and description of the work planned for the day.   Some of our guests are not very proficient in English, and Wei Teng, a Mandarin language interpretation doctoral student, assisted with the briefings.

The group broke into teams of two and each team picked up a spade and took a short walk up to the planting site.

At the site, Thomas gave a planting demonstration and update of the safety briefing before the group went to work.

The plan for today was to plant long-lived canopy trees in amongst the pioneer trees that several members of the Overseas Chinese Association had planted during their first visit to CUE Haven in 2014.  Today’s planting included totara, rimu, lancewood, matai, miro, puriri and titoki.

The teams then went to work.  As this was infill planting, we had to spread out into the developing bush to find suitable spots amongst the growing pioneer trees to plant their trees.  The ground was steep and there was some heavy grass in some areas, but everyone coped very well.

At one point a shower came in from over the harbour.  But it didn’t last long and when the sun came out we got to enjoy a beautiful rainbow!

When all the canopy trees had been planted, the team collected all the empty pots and trays and equipment and brought them back to the nursery.

In just a couple of hours, the hard working group planted over 300 canopy trees!  A fantastic effort!!

Today the group celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival with a delicious lunch consisting of a special soup, salads and sticky rice dumplings.  While one group was in the field planting, Adonis and another team stayed back to prepare lunch.

They had brought all the equipment and ingredients and went to work.

Lunch was ready when the planting team got back and everyone relaxed and enjoyed the festive meal together.

At the end of the day, a team stayed behind to help us clean up! Thanks!

We had a fantastic day with everyone and we were very happy to have been able to meet up with old friends and make new friends.

A special thanks to Adonis Yang for all his help with organising the visit.  And many thanks to Lily Wang for coordinating the arrangements for the ANZ team today.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came today. We very much appreciate your friendship, your enthusiasm and hard work and your continued support of our efforts at CUE Haven.

You have all made a major contribution not only to CUE Haven but also to our planet and the community.  The trees you planted today are a lasting legacy and will live for hundreds of years and provide a wonderful habitat for numerous plant and animal life and also create a wonderful native nature reserve for the whole community to enjoy for many generations.

Many Thanks again!!  We’re very much looking forward to having you visit again soon.

 

Avondale Intermediate School—24 May 2017

May 25, 2017

Today for the second year in a row, students from Avondale Intermediate School in Auckland came to CUE Haven for a Trees For Survival Planting day.  The students planted trees they had grown in their nursery at school.

We really enjoy hosting the Avondale Intermediate students and we were particularly happy because some of the students who had come out with teacher Doug Caldwell last year joined in again!  It was great to see familiar faces and also meeting new students and teachers.

The group included forty-five students along with parents Nargis, Nicole, Paul and Rebecca, and teachers Doug, Kate Paris and Shani-Sophie Evuort.

The group arrived late because of bus problems, so we had a quick morning tea – (our thanks to Nestle for providing the delicious hot chocolate drinks for the students).  We then gave the students an overview of the plan for the day.

The plan was for the students to plant the trees they had grown in their school nursery as part of the Auckland Council sponsored Trees for Survival program. The students were planting in the wetland and to give them a real appreciation of the importance of wetland planting, we had also scheduled a Waicare program for the day.

Gail Allende of Trees for Survival was on site to manage the planting activity and had laid out the plants for the students.  Hazel and Libby, Auckland Council’s Sustainable Schools environmental educators joined us to give the students a study session on water quality and macroinvertebrates.

The students split into their respective classes and the plan was that one class would plant while the other attended the Waicare session, and then swap activities.

Gail took the students on the short walk out to the planting site.  She pointed out the area that had been affected by the landslip last August and explained how planting can help stabilize slopes and water courses.

She then gave a safety briefing and a planting demo.

The students went to work!

The main planting area was dry but as the students made progress and moved further into the wetlands there were also some very muddy spots!

When we finished planting, the hard working students picked up the empty plant bags for recycling and helped clean the spades too.

For the Waicare session Hazel and Libby had earlier collected some samples from the stream further up the property which the students would be testing.

The presentation started with an overview of water quality issues and why we should be concerned about waterways.  Hazel and Libby explained that the students would be doing three experiments—testing water quality for oxygen, pH and phosphates and nitratres, testing clarity of the water to assess silt levels and lastly examining water samples to identify macroinvertebrates—the tiny animals that live in streams.  The amount and diversity of animal life is an indicator of the health of the waterway.

The students then broke into smaller groups so that each person had a chance to do all of the experiments.  Hazel and Libby showed the students the different tests and supervised and assisted the work of the budding scientists.

The water quality tests involved using different solutions and test strips.

Water clarity testing involved looking through a tube filled with water and measuring the distance light can penetrate.  It is a test that requires teamwork.

Even the bus driver joined in!

We were happy to hear that the clarity of the stream water was better than similar readings in previous years—a sign that our plantings are helping to improve water quality.

The most complex task involved studying the aquatic vegetation in the water samples and identifying the macroinvertebrates.  Hazel and Libby provided the students with charts to help them with the identification process and some lab sheets where they could record their findings.

The students found a variety of macroinvertebrates including a flat mayfly which is very sensitive to water quality and is not found in polluted streams. Yeah!

Once both groups had done their planting and Waicare sessions, it was time to clean up and have lunch and head back to town.

It was a fun day of planting and learning and the Avondale Intermediate students were wonderful guests and we have a lot of people to thank.

Gail, as always, the planting day went very well thanks to your organisation and support before and on the day, and we really appreciate all your help.  We realized that this is the tenth year in a row that you have been helping us with our TFS plantings—in fact your demo tree in 2008 was very first tree planted as part of our restoration project!

Hazel and Libby, your waicare presentation was very educational and also thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you so much for your continued support and we very much look forward to having you back for more waicare sessions with other school groups.

We also want to thank Auckland Council for their continued support of our efforts to make CUE Haven a space for outdoor environmental learning and for sponsoring TFS and Waicare which are such great environmental education programmes for the students.

A huge thank you to Doug, Kate, Nargis, Nicole, Paul, Shani and Rebecca for all their help to make today a special day for the students.

And most of all, a very BIG THANK YOU to all the students. We really enjoyed meeting all of you and working with you.  We were very impressed with how polite and hardworking you all were and also how enthusiastic and keen you were to learn new things.

Thank you for not only growing the lovely trees in your school nursery, but for also coming out to plant them. You have made a significant contribution to the CUE Haven restoration project, our environment and our community.

Since CUE Haven will be gifted to the wider community to use and enjoy as a native forest reserve, and you should all be very proud of your efforts and contribution as you have helped in the creation of a native nature reserve which the community will enjoy for generations.  Thank you! Thank you!

We wish you the best of luck with your studies and we do hope you will come back and see us (and your trees) again soon!

St Peter’s College—21 May 2017

May 22, 2017

St Peter’s College in Auckland is a secondary school for boys and offers a very comprehensive educational program.  Last year the senior students studying Classics went on an educational trip to Greece and Rome.

The boys were expected to do fund raising to cover some of the cost of the trip and our nephew Yazdy, who attends SPC and was going on the trip, suggested a novel fund raising idea – the boys would get people to sponsor trees that would then be planted at CUE Haven.  Not only would the sponsorships raise money, the tree planting would help offset the carbon footprint of the trip.

We liked the idea and donated the trees to the students who were very successful in getting a lot of tree plantings sponsored for their fund raiser. The students had a great trip and today some of the students came out to CUE Haven to plant the trees.

The group arrived by 9:30 and included seventeen St. Peter’s boys–Caleb, Ethan, Finn, Hugo H., Hugo P., Jacob, Kevin, Lawson, Leon, Liam, Luka, Max, Maxi, Scott, Stephen, Thomas and Yazdy.  Also accompanying them were family and friends Ben, Felicia, Henry, Ian, Lily, Philip, Rory, Royce, Shane, Sharon, Stephen S. and Stephen B., and teachers Cameron Sitters and Alice Gallagher.

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave an overview of the CUE Haven project and Thomas gave a description of the planned work and a safety briefing.

Today the group was planting at the very top of the property, filling in some gaps in the 2016 planting area with pioneer trees such as kohuhu, manuka, mahoe, tarata and karamu as well as some infill planting of canopy trees such as rimu, totara, taraire and puriri.
Thomas drove everyone up to the planting site and then did a planting demo and safety reminder and the group went to work.

The weather was perfect for planting and the site was relatively flat.  But the biggest challenge was lots of weeds that had grown up over the summer.  Most of them were dead but they were in the way a lot and the group quickly got used to telling a good plant from a weed.

The group accomplished an amazing amount of planting in just a few hours—we even had to bring up some additional trees for them to plant!  We then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage.  The walk gave the group a chance to see more of the property and to learn a little about the restoration project.

We then had a relaxing lunch and spent some time socializing before the group headed back to town.

We’d like to thank Nestle NZ for donating the delicious hot chocolate and coffees for our volunteers.

Also thank you to Cameron for organizing the day.  It was great meeting you and Sharon.  And thank you Alice for coming along to help out—you were a great help with both the spade and camera!

Many thanks to Yazdy for coming out early to help us get the plants to the planting site and for your novel idea of the tree sponsorship to raise funds for the Classics trip.  We’re glad we could provide the St. Peter’s boys with this opportunity.

And a very big thank you to all the hard working students and their families and friends and the teachers for giving up a Sunday and planting the trees.  We very much enjoyed meeting you all and working with you.

You all accomplished an amazing amount of work and have made a significant contribution not only to the CUE Haven project but to our environment and the wider community.

We would also like to thank the people who generously sponsored trees for the classics trip.  You have also made an amazing contribution to the community and the planet.

CUE Haven will be gifted to the wider community to use and enjoy as a native forest reserve.  The trees you planted are an important part of the growing forest and will be protected by the QEII Open Spaces Trust.  You should all be very proud to have been a part of creating this native nature reserve which the community will enjoy for generations.

We wish you all the best with your future endeavours and look forward to having you visit CUE Haven with your families and friends for a leisurely walk to explore the walking tracks and the bush you have helped established.

Thanks again!!