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Rover Scouts–14 April 2017

April 15, 2017

Rover Scouts is the final segment of the “path to adult life” of the Scouting movement and provides young people aged 18 to 26 with a balanced program of service, social and self-development experience.  Each year Rover NZ organises a “moot” which is a get together of Rovers from all over New Zealand and Australia.  The moot is held over a long weekend and includes fun events, adventure activities and a day of community service.

This year the NZ Rover Moot is being hosted by the Auckland Rovers and we were very happy when they selected CUE Haven as one of the sites for their community service day.

The Rover Moot organizing committee said they could provide us 36 enthusiastic young members and we had just the job for them.

The Rover group arrived mid-morning and included Adam, Andrew, Angus, Arabella, Ashleigh, Blake, Briana, Caitlyn, Cameron, Carl, Connor, Elliot, Emma, Jaime, Jason, Jess, Jessica, Kelly, Kieren, Kira, Liam, Matthew, Michael, Mikayla, Morgan, Rebekah, Richard, Robyn, Sekhaili, Sian, Stefan, Tanne, Tannen, Terry, Timothy, Terry and Vanessa.

We had a quick morning tea, a short introduction to the CUE Haven project and a safety briefing.

Earlier in the week, our other volunteers had just completed work on a 400 metre walking track at the top of the property.  The last step to completely finish the track was to lay down a layer of gravel to make the track surface safe for visitors to walk on in all weather.

Because the track goes over hilly terrain, there are several sets of steps, so we can’t use machines or even wheelbarrows to get the gravel down to the track.  The best way to do the job is to carry the gravel down by hand—one bucketful at a time!

We had a big load of gravel delivered to each end of the track and we wanted the Rovers to use empty ten litre paint cans to spread it on the track.

It was too large a group to drive up and our first task was to walk the kilometer up to the work site.

Once at the top, the Rovers split into two groups, one at each end of the track.  There were three teams in each group and over the course of the day, people moved around among teams to work out a different set of muscles.

One team was stationed by the gravel pile, filling buckets with gravel.

The other team worked at the far end of the track, raking and smoothing the gravel that had been poured out.

The biggest teams were the ones carrying the gravel and returning the empty buckets.  It was a challenging job because the buckets are heavy and you keep having to walk farther and farther each time as the team gets spread out on the track.

At midday the group took a break for lunch.

The teams switched around a bit and went back to work.

The two days prior to the moot, New Zealand was getting battered by the remnants of tropical Cyclone Cook with record rainfalls and disruption.  We had prepared Plan B in case the weather was bad.  Fortunately it cleared up in the morning but every so often rain clouds threatened to roll in from the harbor.  But they all missed us!

As the groups worked away they got closer and closer to each other.

And finally joined up the two sections of track with the last bucketful!

It was an amazing effort.  In just a few hours the Rovers managed to metal the entire 400 metre track and it’s looking great!  Try it out!

We want to thank Rovers Auckland for selecting CUE Haven as one of their community service sites for this year’s moot.  And a big thank you to Georgina and her organizing team for planning and setting up the visit.  We enjoyed working with you.

And many thanks to our friend Kevin from Mataia for introducing us to the Rovers.

We also want to thank all of our fantastic volunteers who have worked on the track from its first conception and design in 2015 by environmental engineers Cecilia and Jerome, through the many different teams who cleared and built the track over the summers of 2016 and 2017.

And of course a huge THANK YOU to the very hard working Rovers.

You should be very proud of your efforts.  You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community.  The metal that you spread will make the track easier and safer to walk on year round. And your hard work will be much appreciated by the many visitors over the years as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much enjoyed meeting you and working with you.   It was great learning a little more about the Rovers and each of you and we wish you all much happiness and success in your future endeavours.

We hope the rest of your moot was as successful as today and we look forward to having you come back to visit us at CUE Haven and take a (less strenuous) walk on the track you helped finish.

Many thanks again!

ANZ Albany Office Commercial and Agribusiness Group—11 April 2017

April 12, 2017
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ANZ continued their fantastic support as a team from the Albany office based Commercial and Agribusiness group finished off the new walking track.

The group arrived first thing in the morning and included Andy, Ben, Craig, Daniel, Emma, John, Maurice, Morrison, Pamela, QinQin, Richard, Sam, Sarah, Scott and Sherry.

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a welcome and an overview of the CUE Haven project and Thomas told the group about the work planned for the day and gave a safety briefing.

The plan for the day was to continue to finish off the new walking track at the top of the property.  The track was started last summer in the area we planted in 2016 and we have now had a chance to see how weather and water are affecting the track so we can fix any drainage or erosion problems.

Previous teams had been working to put in retaining walls and box in steps that were prone to erosion.  Today’s plan was to finish off some steps that still needed to be boxed in and do a general fix up of any other areas.  We also needed to level and smooth the track to prepare it for the final step—a layer or gravel to make it safe for people to walk on year round.

We drove up to the top of the property, and before going to work we broke into two teams.

The first team used rakes and spades to level the track surface and make sure there were no high or low spots or places where the gravel might wash off the track.

The second team took on the task of finishing off a set of steps which had been started by previous teams.  They levelled and straightened the steps to make them safer and easier to use and boxed in the sides to prevent erosion.

The work required a lot of planning and teamwork.  Each step and section of track is different because of the terrain, so each section presented different challenges.  Plus it was necessary to carefully join up the previously completed sections of the steps.  The team studied the situation and came up with creative solutions to each challenge.

We brought down the equipment and timber.  The boards came in long lengths which then had to be cut to size after careful measuring.

The first task was to dig out the sides of the steps, straighten them out and determine the best way to install the side boards.

The new boards were then fitted into place and secured with nails and pegs.

The hard working team found some additional track sections that needed to be fixed and we brought down more timber and labored on.

The levelling team finished off their work and helped out with the boxing and framing.

Thanks to the efforts of this hardworking team the new track is now complete—a fantastic effort and it is now possible to walk the entire length of the property on walking tracks constructed by volunteers.  The next step will be to lay down a layer of gravel on this new track to make it safer for year round use.

It was wonderful seeing the collegiality and teamwork of the ANZ group.  They accomplished a lot of work and tackled some big track work challenges and came up with great solutions.

After finishing off, the group took a leisurely walk back to the cottage for lunch and along the way Thomas pointed out some additional features of the property and described some of the issues associated with the restoration project such as pest and weed control.

Our many thanks to Sarah for organizing today’s visit.

And a big thank you to everyone who came out today!  We really enjoyed working with you all and very much appreciate your hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven.  It was great to see you all participating fully and working as a team and coming up with good ideas for making the track better.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  Thank you for your help and support. You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The track you built today will be used and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much look forward to having you out again for a leisurely visit with your friends and family, and we hope to also see you again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

Thanks again!

ANZ Asian Business Banking Group—25 March 2017

March 26, 2017
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ANZ has a group of professionals dedicated to developing and servicing Asian businesses and clients and today fourteen members from their Auckland office joined us to continue to work on the new walking track at the top of the property.

The enthusiastic group arrived bright and early and included Daisy, Fiona, Heather, Julia, Lily, Lin, Martin, Miki, Nary, Pari, Shu, Solomon, Summer and William.

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a welcome and an introduction to the CUE Haven project.

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

We drove up to the top and went to work.  The section of track we are working on was built across a sloping section of the property and it is therefore prone to erosion.  Soil can wash down from the higher ground onto the track and the track surface can also be washed off onto the lower ground on the other side.

We are getting close to finishing off the track there are only a few steps left to box in.  As a result we broke into two teams for the day.  One team worked on finishing off some steps that needed to be adjusted and boxed in and the other team worked on smoothing off and levelling the track surface to get it ready to finish off the track with gravel.

Levelling and smoothing the track involved filling in low spots and raking the surface.

While the ladies were levelling off the track, the guys worked on finishing off a section of steps that needed to be boxed in.

They started by digging out the area around the steps and test fitted the side boards.

They took the time to study how the track bent around the curve and decided that they could improve the appearance and flow of the track by adjusting some of the steps that had shifted because of erosion or earth movement. This meant a lot of digging and hammering but the result is a big improvement in the track.

They checked to make sure everything was even and level.

And then fastened everything in place.

Later in the morning, the ladies caught up and went to work helping out on the steps.

In just a few hours the team made some major progress on the track and improved its safety and appearance.

And when they finished the work, they even helped carry the surplus timber and tools back up to the ute.

The entire team should be very proud of their efforts which have made the track much safer, easier and comfortable to walk on.

On the way back to the cottage for a late lunch, we took a leisurely walk back to the cottage so the group could see more of the property and enjoy the growing native forest.

It was a wonderful and very productive day and we want to thank Kirstie, who couldn’t join us, and Lily for organizing today’s visit.  We really appreciate your help and support.

A big thank you to everyone for giving up your Saturday and coming out to help!  We really enjoyed meeting you all and working with you and very much appreciate your enthusiasm, hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven.  We were very impressed with your teamwork and commitment to do a good job. It was great to see you all participating fully and working as a team and coming up with good ideas for making the track better.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The track you built today will be used and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much look forward to having you out again for a leisurely visit with your friends and family, and we hope to also see you again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

Thank again!

ANZ North Shore—21 March 2017

March 22, 2017

Today we had another great group of ANZ bank professionals from the North Shore out to help with our walking track work.

The group arrived first thing in the morning and included Ben, Cheryl, Jim, Joanne, Joe, Justeel, Kevin, Maryanne, Nick, Oliver, Peter, Rachel, Sam, and Scott.  Also joining us was the three year old daughter of one of the participants who couldn’t go to school today and came along to help out!

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a welcome and an introduction and background about the CUE Haven project.  Thomas then gave a safety briefing and description of the work planned for the day.

The plan was to continue to finish off the new walking track at the top of the property.  The section of track we are working on was built across a sloping section of the property and it is therefore prone to erosion.  Soil can wash down from the higher ground onto the track and the track surface can also be washed off onto the lower ground on the other side.

This team picked up where the previous group had left off and the main task for today was to build small retaining walls along a long section of track and if time permitted, to finish off some steps that needed to be boxed in to prevent erosion.  We drove up to the top and went to work.

The work involved a lot of measuring, digging, sawing and hammering.  The first step involved studying the line of the long section of track and cutting away any eroded soil to make a firm foundation for the retaining boards.

The team took extra care to neatly join their new section to the existing track step.

And made sure everything sure it was all level and straight.

They continued down the track, fastening in the long boards.

The boards and joints were secured with pegs.

When one side was finished, the team started the other side, making sure that the track was the proper width.

While most of the group worked on the long retaining walls, a smaller team tackled a curved section that had not been finished off.  They studied the line of the track and determined the best way to complete the curve.  It required a lot of measuring and cutting.

As usual, the boss did office work while the workers roughed it out in the field! 🙂

The team also boxed in some steps that were prone to erosion.  They determined a better way to configure the steps and dug out sections to realign and improve the steps.

Future teams will finish off the boxing and the track will soon be ready.

The entire group should be very proud of their efforts which have made the track much safer, easier and comfortable to walk on.

On the way back to the cottage for a late lunch, we took a leisurely walk so the group could see more of the property and enjoy the growing native forest.

It was a wonderful and very productive day and we want to thank Jim for organizing today’s visit.  We really appreciate your help and support.

A big thank you to everyone who came out today!  We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  We very much enjoyed working with you all and do so appreciate your hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven.  We were very impressed with your teamwork and commitment to do a good job. It was great to see you all participating fully and working as a team and coming up with good ideas for making the track better.

You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The track you built today will be used and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much look forward to having you out again for a leisurely visit with your friends and family, and we hope to also see you again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

ANZ Institutional & Commercial Operations—17 March 2017

March 18, 2017

ANZ bank staff in Auckland continued their wonderful support of CUE Haven and today we had a team from ANZ’s Institutional and Commercial Operations come out to help with the new walking track.

The group arrived shortly after nine and included Annabelle, Barry, Dani, Ian, Jean, Jess, Joanne, Laura, Rebecca, Rob, Sam and Whitney.  Dani, Ian, Jean and Sam had all been out to CUE Haven in previous years and it was great to see them again.

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a welcome and an introduction and update on the progress at CUE Haven.

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

We drove up to the top and went to work.  The section of track we are working on was built across as sloping section of the property and it is therefore prone to erosion.  Soil can wash down from the higher ground onto the track and the track surface can also be washed off onto the lower ground on the other side.

This team picked up where the previous group had left off and the plan for today was to finish off a section of steps that needed to be boxed in and to build a small retaining wall along a stretch of straight track.

The team took some time to study the steps that needed to be completed and came up with some ideas for improvement.  They dug out some of the old steps that had shifted with the earth movements and realigned them and then did the boxing.

The work involved a lot of measuring, digging, sawing and hammering.

It was a cramped work area at times but the group cooperated and showed great teamwork.

Once they finished off the steps, they continued onto the straight section.  This task required digging a straight foundation for the retaining planks and cutting and fixing them into position.

The team worked until shortly after one and in just a few hours made major progress and did a great job.

The entire group should be very proud of their efforts which have made the track much safer, easier and comfortable to walk on.

On the way back to the cottage for a late lunch, we took a leisurely walk back to the cottage so the group could see more of the property and enjoy the growing native forest.

It was a wonderful and very productive day and we want to thank Ian for organizing today’s visit.  Ian, it was great seeing you again along with Jean, Dani and Sam.  We do so appreciate your help and your continued support.

A big thank you to everyone who came out today!  We really enjoyed working with you all and very much appreciate your hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven.  We were very impressed with your teamwork and commitment to do a good job. It was great to see you all participating fully and working as a team and coming up with good ideas for making the track better.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  Thank you for your help and support. You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The track you built today will be used and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much look forward to having you out again for a leisurely visit with your friends and family, and we hope to also see you again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

ANZ Business Banking North Shore—14 March 2017

March 15, 2017
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Today we had another great group of professionals from ANZ’s North Shore Business Banking group in Auckland out to help with some walking track work.

The group of fourteen arrived bright and early and included Alex, Anita, Ashleigh, Casey, Catherine, Guixia, Keith, Kim, Kylie, Lydia, Lynn, Sonya, Tony and Yvonne.

We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahukh gave a welcome and introduction to CUE Haven.

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

The plan for the day was to continue working on boxing in the new walking track at the top of the property.

We drove up to the top and went to work.  We initially split into two teams.  One group took shears and walked the length of the track cutting back weeds which had grown over the track and which would interfere with the boxing work.

It was a tedious job and some of the weeds have a lot of nasty prickles, but the team managed well and completed clearing the entire track! Well done!!

Meanwhile the rest of the group worked on the track.  The section of track we are working on was built across as sloping section of the property and it is therefore prone to erosion.  Soil can wash down from the higher ground onto the track and the track surface can also be washed off onto the lower ground on the other side.

As a result, we install little retaining walls to keep the track clear and in place.  This involves studying the contours of the ground and figuring out the best solution for each section of track.

The group picked up where the previous team had left off and initially tackled a long curving section of the track.  Today’s volunteer group consisted of ANZ staff from different branches on the North Shore and it was great to see the teamwork as everyone went to work helping each other out.

The first task involved figuring out where to place the retaining boards and digging out a straight wall.

The boards were then cut to size and secured in place with pegs and nailed together.

It can be a challenge getting the joints just right and this group nailed it!

Once they finished the straightaway, they worked on finishing off the steps.  Each step needs to be boxed in to prevent erosion.  There is the additional challenge that because the ground is not level, the steps cannot always be uniform.

At one point an unexpected rain shower came in over the harbor but it didn’t keep the team from working on.

After the brief rain break the team continued working on the tracks.

Everyone worked very hard and accomplished an amazing amount and did a great job – thanks to the excellent teamwork.

And a special thanks to Kevin for his assistance with training and helping the group.  His building experience was a great help!

The entire team should be very proud of what they accomplished.

We took a leisurely walk back to the cottage so the group could see more of the property and enjoy the growing native forest.

We then had lunch and spent some time relaxing and chatting.

Sonya and Yvonne had to leave early for some urgent work at the office so they didn’t join us for lunch.  And before they left they spent some time helping out with weeding in the nursery. Thanks!

We also want to thank Sonya for organizing today’s visit and bringing her team out.  We really appreciate your support.

A big thank you to everyone who came out today!  We really enjoyed working with you all and very much appreciate your hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven.  It was great to see you all participating fully and working as a team and coming up with good ideas for making the track better.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  Thank you for your help and support. You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The track you built today will be used and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much look forward to having you out again for a leisurely visit with your friends and family, and we hope to also see you again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

ANZ Business Banking North Shore—1 March 2017

March 2, 2017
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ANZ New Zealand is one of New Zealand’s largest companies and one of its largest banks.  They have a strong commitment to corporate responsibility and community service and ANZ staff have been helping us out at CUE Haven for many years.

Today a group of thirteen professionals from the North Shore Region Business Banking group in Auckland joined us for some walking track work.  The group arrived early morning and included Allan, Alison, Amy, Daniel, Dennis, Elaine, Frederick, Joyce, Linda, Navneen, Olga, Ray and Tomarcelle.

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We got acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a welcome and an overview of the CUE Haven project.

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Thomas then told the group about the work planned for the day and gave a safety briefing.

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The plan for the day was to continue to finish off the new walking track at the top of the property.  The track was started last summer in the area we planted in 2016 and we have now had a chance to see how weather and drainage are affecting the track so we can fix any drainage or erosion problems.

We drove up to the top of the property, and before going to work we broke into three teams.

The first team was in charge of weed control. A lot of tall weeds had grown up along the track and were in the way.  The team went ahead of the rest of the group and with shears cut back the weeds.

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The team kept ahead of the groups working behind them and made sure the track area was clear and easily accessible.

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It was a tedious job and the team had to deal with some stubborn and prickly weeds but they kept smiling and made excellent progress.

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The second team took on the challenge of finishing off a set of steps down to the track which had been started by previous teams.  They levelled and straightened the steps to make them safer and easier to use.

The work required a lot of planning and teamwork.  Each step and section of track is different because of the terrain, so each section presented different challenges.  Plus it was necessary to carefully join us the previously completed sections of the steps.  The team studied the situation and came up with creative solutions to each challenge.

The first task was to dig out the sides of the steps, straighten them out and determine the best way to install the side boards.

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We brought down the boards in long lengths which then had to be cut to size after careful measuring.

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The new boards were then fitted into place and secured with nails and pegs.

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Everything was checked for accuracy.

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And they made sure the steps were easy to walk on!

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And the end result is a great looking, safe set of steps!

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The third team moved down the track finishing off  a long section of the track runs along the side of a slope.  It was necessary to cut the track level into the slope by benching it.  This creates a greater than usual risk of erosion because water can run across the track.  To prevent this, small retaining walls are built on each side of the track to secure the surface.

The first task was to clear and straighten the area where the track had been previously benched.

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The retaining wall would be built of long planks secured by pegs.

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The planks were laid in place, test fitted and adjusted where necessary and then fastened down.

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The team kept moving down the track as they completed a section.

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And finished off an amazing amount of track in just a few hours.

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Future teams over the summer will continue to work on finishing the track and before winter we will put down a layer of gravel to finish it off completely and make it safe for year round use.

It was wonderful seeing the collegiality and teamwork of the ANZ group.  They accomplished a lot of work and tackled some big track work challenges and came up with great solutions.

After finishing off, the group took a leisurely walk back to the cottage for lunch and along the way Thomas pointed out some additional features of the property and described some of the issues associated with the restoration project such as pest and weed control.

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We then had a relaxing lunch.  The energetic team even insisted on staying to help clean up!

Our many thanks to Allan for championing CUE Haven to his regional colleagues and many thanks to Linda for organizing today’s visit.  We really appreciate your support.

And a big thank you to everyone who came out today!  We really enjoyed working with you all and very much appreciate your hard work and amazing contribution to CUE Haven.  It was great to see you all participating fully and working as a team and coming up with good ideas for making the track better.

We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  Thank you for your help and support. You have made a much valued and lasting contribution to CUE Haven and New Zealand’s natural heritage and the community. The track you built today will be used and enjoyed by visitors for many years to come as they explore the growing native forest at CUE Haven.

We very much look forward to having you out again for a leisurely visit with your friends and family, and we hope to also see you again for another fun and productive volunteer day.

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THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!