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Fonterra—28 May 2019

May 29, 2019

Fonterra, one of the world’s largest dairy companies, is taking a very proactive approach to environmental remediation of the impact of dairying.  They lead initiatives to fence wetlands, do riparian planting and improve farm environmental planning and practices.  When CUE Haven was a dairy farm, it was part of the Fonterra co-op.

Fonterra staff at all levels are also involved in helping out in the community and with environmental projects and we are very happy to have Fonterra’s support with our restoration efforts.  Today we had a team of Fonterra staff from the Logistics group out to assist with planting canopy trees.

The group arrived at about 8:30 and included Bendito, Dennis, Joy, Kathy, Parmod, Rebekah, Rekha, Sophie, Vardeep and Yasith.

We spent some time getting acquainted over morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a short talk about the history of CUE Haven and plans for the future.

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

The weather forecast was not at all promising.  It had rained overnight and the forecast was for more rain and thunder all morning.  It rained during morning tea but as we went to work the sun came out.

Today’s planting was special in that it involved not only infill planting of canopy seedlings, but we also planted ten much larger trees on behalf of a supporter who is establishing a grove of memorial trees for her family.

We drove up to the planting site where Thomas gave a planting demo and a safety reminder and the team went to work.

Sometimes it was a challenge to find a good spot to plant amongst the thick pioneer plantings, but the group wasn’t afraid to go deep into the bush to find good spots.

After a few hours of hard work, the team managed to plant all of the trees we had allocated for them.  Well done!!

Just prior to lunch, Pat, one of CUE Haven’s much valued donors and supporters arrived.  Pat is establishing a grove of rimu, miro, matai, taraire and puriri trees in memory of her departed loved ones. All team members helped plant these trees which are much bigger in size.  It is thanks to the generosity and support of donors that we are able to purchase the canopy trees and get the native forest giants established faster. Thank you Pat for your continued support!!

The group then brought back all the empty crates and pots and loaded them in the ute and we all took a leisurely walk back to the cottage.

We then relaxed and socialized over a late lunch.

It was a very enjoyable and productive day and the hard working and enthusiastic team managed to get done with all the planting we hoped they would do.

A special thanks to Kelly for organizing the team visit today and for handling all the logistics. Kelly could not join the team today but we very much look forward to having you out with your other colleagues soon.

And a HUGE thank you to everyone on the team.  We so enjoyed meeting you all and working with you and getting to know you.  We hope that you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  We really appreciate your hard work and also helping out with Pat’s plantings.

We hope you will come back often over the years to see how the trees you planted today are growing up.  And we look forward to having you back next year for another fun and productive volunteer day.

You have all made a significant contribution to  your community native reserve – CUE Haven, and our planet.  The long living canopy trees you planted today will be home to native birds and animals, and will also be enjoyed by many generations of visitors to CUE Haven. What a lasting legacy!

Thank You!! Thank You!!

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AUT Business Students—26 May 2019

May 27, 2019
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As part of their study, business students at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) are expected to participate in community service where they can observe, learn, participate and have discussions about sustainability.  We have had AUT business students participate in community activities at CUE Haven in prior years and were very happy once again that two students, Brandon and Lauri, chose to do their service hours at CUE Haven this year.

We invited Brandon and Lauri to join us for a big planting day we were having with the St. Peters College students.

Brandon and Lauri arrived early and helped Thomas with the final preparations for the planting day and then spent a good part of the day working with the students, planting and helping out.

They also joined the students for a walk to explore more of the property and learn more about the restoration project and how it had positively impacted land use and water quality.

After the students left, they helped Thomas clean up and take up plants for the next planting team who will be coming this week.

We also had a great discussion about their studies and shared some of the ideas we have seen and heard about sustainable development and a growth economy.

We want to congratulate AUT for encouraging students to get field experience in the community, and learning about sustainability and sustainable business practices.

And we want to thank Lauri and Brandon for being interested in the work we are doing at CUE Haven and giving up a Sunday to help us out.  We were impressed with your enthusiasm and interest in the project and very much enjoyed meeting and working with you both.

With your tree planting efforts today you have made a significant contribution not only to the CUE Haven project but also to our environment and the wider community  We wish both of you much success and happiness in your future endeavours and hope you will come back to see how the trees you planted today are growing up!

Thank you!!

St. Peters College—26 May 2019

May 27, 2019

St Peter’s College in Auckland is a secondary school for boys and it’s mission is to “educate the whole person in an environment of Christian love and service.”  The school has a strong commitment to community service.

In July a group of St. Peters science students will be travelling to the US where they will visit New York and Cape Canaveral in Florida and attend a NASA astronaut training program.

In order to help raise funds to cover some of the cost of the trip and to help offset the carbon footprint of the trip, the students decided to get family and friends to sponsor trees that would then be planted at CUE Haven.  We did a similar fund raiser for a St. Peter’s Classics trip to Greece and Italy in 2017 and we were very happy to help out and the CUE Haven Community Trust once again donated the trees which the students planted today.

The group arrived by 9:30 and included St. Peter’s students Andrew, Connor, Hunter, Jacob, Kahu, Matthew, Max, Nathan, Noah, Oliver, Reon, Rory, Thomas and Toby  Also accompanying them were family and friends Angela, Anna, Glenys, Ivan, Jason, John, Karl, Leane, Mark, Patrick, Peter, Pip, Thomas and Assistant Headmaster Guru Kumar and science teacher Uji Galappaththege.

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.

The plan for the day was to do infill planting in an area that had previously been planted in 2010.  In addition to mahoe and cabbage trees, we planted long lived forest giants such as totara and taraire.

Because of the size of the group, we drove them up to the planting site in groups.  When everyone was on site, Thomas did a planting demo and a safety reminder and the group broke into teams and went to work.

The weather was perfect for planting and group quickly spread out over the large area to find good spots to plant their trees.

They weren’t afraid to get deep into the bush to find good planting spots.

As the groups finished off an area, they moved down to the next.

Once they finished planting, the groups collected all the trays, pots, spades and bags and brought them back up to the ute.

The group accomplished an amazing amount of planting in just a couple of hours.  We then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage which gave everyone a chance to see more of the property and to learn a little about the CUE Haven restoration project.

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

We want to thank Guru for organizing and coordinating the logistics for the day—and for helping out with the photography!  It was a pleasure working with the St. Peters students and we’re glad CUE Haven could provide them with this fund raising opportunity.

We would also like to acknowledge the people who helped the students with their fundraising efforts. We look forward to having you all visit CUE Haven to see the native community reserve where the trees you sponsored have been planted.

A 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 CUE Haven but to our environment and the wider community.  The trees you planted will create a long living 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!!

We hope you have a fun, fantastic and safe trip to the US.  We wish you all the very best with your future endeavours and look forward to having you visit CUE Haven with your families and friends often over the years to explore the community native forest you have helped established.

Thank you!!

Remembering Omar—11 May 2019

May 12, 2019

Today was the second anniversary of the tragic death of Omar David Garcia Hoyos in a motor vehicle accident, and his family and friends spent the afternoon and evening at CUE Haven to remember and celebrate his life.  They all visited the memorial tree they had planted for Omar in the CUE Haven wetlands, had a brief memorial ceremony and planted new trees.

Friends and family on site today included Omar’s parents, Alba and Omar, his sister Vanessa, his brother Hernan and friends Alex, Anna, Ash, AJ, Bill, Bradley, Brittany A., Brittany S., Camilo, Jessica, Jordon, Kara, Lisa, Lizzie, Luz, Maihi, Mariska, Mel, Monica, Paige, Penny, Rebecca, Reuben, Rizhan, Rosie, Shannon, Sonny, Tracey, Tash, Tom, and Troi.

People came and went during the course of the afternoon based on their work commitments for the day but everyone spent at least a couple of hours and were present for the memorial ceremony in the evening.

The first arrivals at noon were Alba and Vanessa along with Camillo and Luz.  After a quick snack, Alba, and Luz went off to do some trimming in the wetlands near Omar’s tree. Friend Jessica joined them later.

They made a huge amount of progress and the wetlands boardwalk is looking really good.

In the meantime, Vanessa and Camillo went to work planting.  Today’s plan was to do infill planting of long-lived native trees (puriri, taraire, kohekohe and totara) and also some second tier trees (mahoe, mapou, cabbage trees) in an area where the pioneer trees have grown up really well and have created a nice canopy for the slower growing long lived trees.

We drove up to the site and went to work.

As more people arrived, Thomas drove them up to the planting site where he provided a safety briefing and planting demo and they joined the group.

In no time, the group managed to plant all of the trees we had for them.  We picked up all the empty pots and crates and loaded everything into the ute.

After the planting, everyone spent some time relaxing and catching up.  It was a fantastic group of people and a real tribute to Omar.

Alba and Vanessa then led a short remembrance for Omar – a loving, caring, vibrant, fun loving, talented and well respected tennis coach.

We were honored and humbled to host this wonderful day to remember Omar.  It was so nice seeing Omar’s family and friends again and meeting many more lovely new people.  The day was a great tribute to Omar and the trees planted today will add to the positive energy that his spirit is part of at CUE Haven.

Many thanks to Vanessa, for organising the day and a BIG thank you to everyone who came out today to remember Omar and celebrate his life.  Plus you have all made a major contribution to CUE Haven.  We were very impressed with your enthusiasm and eagerness to get involved. We hope you will all come back to CUE Haven often.

Omar, Alba, Vanessa and Hernan, we wish you continued strength. You, your family and friends are always welcome at CUE Haven and we are grateful that we can provide a place where Omar can be remembered and his life celebrated.

Omar David Hoyos Garcia

24 July 1991- 11 May 2017

* * *

They are not dead
who leave us this great heritage of remembered joy.
They still live in our hearts,
in the happiness we knew,
in the dreams we shared.

They still breathe
in the lingering fragrance windblown
from their favourite flowers.
They still smile in the moonlight’s silver
and laugh in the sunlight’s sparkling gold.

They still speak in the echoes of words
we’ve heard them say again and again.
They still move
in the rhythm of waving grasses,
in the dance of the tossing branches.

They are not dead;
their memory is warm in our hearts,
comfort in our sorrow.

They are not apart from us,
but a part of us.
For love is eternal,
and those we love shall be with us
throughout all eternity.

Rosmini College—10 May 2019

May 12, 2019

Rosmini College is a state integrated Catholic secondary school for boys on Auckland’s North Shore. The school is named after Antonio Rosmini, founder of the Institute of Charity and the vision of the school is to create “Christ-centered young men who have the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills to fulfil their life, and be empowered to serve others”

This was the first time group of students from Rosmini have come to CUE Haven and today we were delighted to host a group of senior enviro science students for some planting and maintenance work.

The group arrived at about ten and included students Aarron, Basta, Benedict, Bikku,  Cameron, Carl, Chester, Daniel, Dante M., Dante P-T., Dominic, Filip, Flynn, Gabriel, Indu, Jack, Jerome, Joseph, Joshua O., Joshua Pe., Joshua Pu., Lawrence, Leo, Matthew, Mauro, Oliver, Peter, Seth, Steven, and Thomas.  The students were accompanied by science teacher Eleanor Snowsill, Assistant Headmaster & Year 13 Dean Rachel Peak and retired staffer Rhondda Hodgkinson.

We spent some time getting acquainted over morning tea and Mahrukh gave the group some background about CUE Haven, the restoration project and future plans.

Thomas then gave a safety briefing and an overview of the plan for the day.

Because of the size of the group and because we wanted to give the students the chance to see as much of the property as possible, we planned two tasks—trimming back vegetation that had grown over the main road and infill planting of big forest giants amongst the pioneer trees that had been planted near the top of the property in 2012.  We split the students in to two groups, one started by trimming and the other with planting.  About halfway through the morning, each team switched so that everyone had a chance to do both tasks.

Trimming

The trimming team was armed with loppers, shears and secateurs and moved up both sides of the main race, cutting back any branches that were growing out over the road.

The work involved dealing with branches of all types and sizes!

As they finished a section, they moved up the track to the next overgrown area.

The students managed to finish off a huge section of the road, making it look a lot better and easier for visitors to use.

Planting

Each student had a chance to do some tree planting in an area that had been restored with pioneer plants in 2012.  These pioneer trees have grown up well, creating a good environment for infill planting of forest giants such as totara, rimu, puriri, taraire and kohekohe.  The students also planted some cabbage trees in a damp open area.

We had previously taken all the plants and spades up to the planting site, and because of the distance, we drove the students up in groups. Once everyone was on site, Thomas gave a planting demo and a repeat of the safety briefing.  The students then went to work.

The teams weren’t shy about getting deep into the bush to find good planting spots.

In just a couple of hours the students planted an amazing number of trees and then collected up all the pots, crates and spades and loaded them into the ute.

We then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage.  The walk gave the students a chance to see more of the property and learn a little more about native New Zealand plants.  Along the way, Thomas pointed out different aspects and challenges of the restoration project.

The group even found an old abandoned wasp nest in amongst the trees.

We than had a relaxing lunch and after lunch, Mahrukh gave the students a short talk about bees and the beehives at CUE Haven.

We’d like to thank Eleanor, Rachel and Rhondda for accompanying the students and helping out today. And special thanks to Eleanor for all her help with organizing the day, and Rachel for her continued support of our efforts at CUE Haven.

And a HUGE Thanks to all the hard working students. We really enjoyed meeting you and working with you.  We were very impressed with your enthusiasm and interest in the project and really appreciated all your hard work.  The trees you planted today will add to the growing biodiversity and provide food and shelter for native birds and animals. You have made a major contribution not only to the CUE Haven native reserve but you have made a lasting and positive contribution to future generations and our planet.

We wish you all the best of luck with your studies and future endeavours and we hope you will come back to CUE Haven with your family and friends often for visits over the years.

Thanks again!!

Ficino School—7 May 2019

May 8, 2019

Today a great group of Year Five students from Ficino School in Auckland visited CUE Haven for a fun day of learning and tree planting.  This was the seventh year in a row that teacher Ashley has brought her students out to CUE Haven.

The group arrived just before ten and included students Aayushmaan, Ashton, Boston, Edward, Ethan, Grace, Harriet, Isabella, Isobel, Kadee, Layla, Maslow, Terrance and Tui.  Also joining teacher Ashley and the students were parents Nancy and Rachel.

We got acquainted over morning tea, and Mahrukh gave an overview about CUE Haven and explained the benefits of tree planting to the environment and water quality.

The plan for the day was for the students to do a variety of activities which would help them learn about nature and how they can help protect it.  We went for a nature walk, did some tree planting, and then did activities to learn about conserving natural resources.

Nature Walk

Thomas took the group for a walk in the bush.  Before starting out, he gave a safety briefing and talked a little bit about what they would see on the walk.

During the walk, Thomas pointed out some of the different planting areas to show the students how the trees were growing.  We took a walk in the wetlands and Thomas explained how our plantings had helped water quality in both the CUE Haven stream and downstream in the Araparera River and the Kaipara Harbour.

As we left the wetlands, the students had a chance to see the differences between wetland and non wetland plants.

We stopped at the stick insect sign to learn a bit about them and sure enough the students soon found two stick insects.

We continued our walk through the bush and the students got a chance to see many different native trees.

Including some weta in the weta hotels.

The students also got a chance to look out over the Araparera River and Kaipara Harbour and they could observe the connection between the CUE Haven waterways and the harbour and better appreciate how improving water quality at CUE Haven was helping the harbour.

We continued our walk into the bush.

One of the things we want the students to learn at CUE Haven is the importance of slowing down and connecting with nature and appreciating the natural world.

At the halfway point on the walk, Thomas asked the students to stop, be still, close their eyes and focus on their breath for ten seconds.  He then asked them to do it again but this time to concentrate on what they were hearing, feeling and smelling and to experience nature with their eyes closed.

The students then had to describe what they heard and felt. They heard birds and the wind and smelled the fresh forest scent.

We then continued the walk.  The students saw pictures of some of the fish in the CUE Haven stream and learned a little bit about them.

Thomas explained the importance of pest control and how we use tracking tunnels to monitor the pests on the property.

We also found some silver fern and Thomas explained how it can be used to mark the path at night.

For a good part of the walk, a friendly piwakawaka (fantail) also accompanied us.

Planting

At the end of the walk, we finished up in an area where the stream flows into the wetlands. It is a good place to plant trees that like damp forest conditions and we had the students plant some tree fuchsia, rimu and kahikatea.  Thomas showed the students the trees they would be planting and explained where they should be planted to ensure they grow well and gave a planting demonstration.

The students broke into teams and went to work.

In no time, the students managed to plant all of the trees we had brought up for them!  They gathered up all the pots and spades and we headed back to the nursery to clean up for lunch.

Sustainable Living

After lunch, Mahrukh had the students do an interesting activity about resource depletion to help the students better appreciate how to conserve our planet’s resources. The game generated a lot of interesting discussion.

The students broke into two groups and each group was assisted by a parent or teacher.  Each group had a bowl full of small stones and an empty bowl, a fork, a teaspoon and a tablespoon.  The students were told that they were to take turns moving the stones from one bowl to the other, the first person was to use only their little fingers, the second the fork, the third the teaspoon, the fourth the tablespoon and the last person could scoop up stones with their whole hand.

Mahrukh counted time as the students worked on moving the stones beginning with the students using only their little fingers and then the little fork, followed by using the teaspoon and tablespoon.

They were told to raise their hands as soon as they emptied the bowl.

Both groups finished almost at the same time and the last few people in each group had no stones to remove.  Mahrukh then asked the students to imagine that the stones represented the Earth’s natural resources and their little fingers, forks and spoons represented the technical progress that has enabled humans to use resources more rapidly over the ages. The students who didn’t get a chance to move any stones were asked how they felt.

Mahrukh then discussed how excessive use of all our natural resources would mean that there could be none left for future generations.

The students then spent some time in their groups discussing different ways to conserve resources with Ashley and Rachel facilitating the discussions.  Although at first the students thought the activity was a game and the objective was to empty the bowls as quickly as possible, they realized the importance of what the stones represented and the risk to future generations of over consumption and they had some serious discussions of what they could do individually and as a society to reduce consumption and conserve resources.

Bees

The students are learning about bees and the importance of pollination.  Mahrukh explained that we have bee hives at CUE Haven to help propagate the forest and to provide honey.  She then gave the students a brief talk about bees, describing their social organization, the importance of pollination and the risks that human activity creates for bee populations and the different aspects of bee keeping.

She showed the students how hives are laid out and how honey is extracted from honeycombs.

We’d like to thank beekeeper, Richard from Waitoki Apiaries, who brought over empty bee hives and combs, some bees wax and the honey extractor, where the combs are spun to remove the honey, so we were able to show these to the students.

Each student was given a picture of a little bee to take home with them as a momento of their first visit to CUE Haven. We hope it will be a reminder that human activities are causing bees to become endangered and so we need to BE mindful of our activities and strive to BE guardians of our planet.

At the end of all the activities, teacher Ashley asked all of the students to close their eyes, relax and reflect on what they had learned and done.

It was a great day of learning and exploring and we want to thank Ashley and parents Nancy and Rachel for helping out today and helping to make the day so special.  And an extra thank you to Ashley, for her enthusiasm and support and for bringing her students to CUE Haven each year.

And a BIG thank you to the students!  We really enjoyed meeting you and working with you and hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.  We are always impressed at how polite, enthusiastic and engaged Ficino students are.  Thanks so much for your help with the tree planting—the trees you planted today will live for many many years and you have made a wonderful contribution to CUE Haven, the community and the planet.

We hope you will come back to CUE Haven with your families to explore more of the property and see how the forest is growing. Looking forward to seeing you all again.

Air New Zealand Greenteam—4 May 2019

May 5, 2019

Air New Zealand has a strong commitment to offsetting the impact of air travel on the environment, and Air New Zealand employees are involved in several green initiatives.  The Air New Zealand Greenteam includes over 3,000 employees who are committed to environmental action and education both at work and home.

For the fifth year in a row, a great group of Air NZ staff who are also members of the Air NZ Greenteam spent a day a CUE Haven helping out with our planting efforts.  It was great seeing old friends and meeting lots of new ones!  Many of the Greenteam members brought along family and friends and that contributed to the fun and relaxed atmosphere of the day.

The group of 29 arrived around ten and included Ana, Alina, Analia, Anoo, Anushka, Caroline, Charmina, Chelsea Christine, Denise, Diana, Felipe, Guido, Hansa, Helayna, Josh, Juliet, Kate, Ketan, Kim, Klaas, Kynthia, Loraine, Maya, Morgan, Sabine, Shelley, Stephanie and Tomas.

We had a relaxing morning tea and then Mahrukh gave a welcome and brief history of the CUE Haven restoration project and talked about recent developments.

Thomas gave an overview of the work planned for the day, a planting demo and a safety briefing.

Today’s plan was to do infill planting of long-lived native trees (puriri, taraire, kohekohe and totara) and also some second tier trees (mahoe, mapou) in an area where the pioneer trees planted in in 2011 and 2012 have grown up really well and have created a nice canopy for the slower growing long lived trees.

Because of the size of the group, we drove up in three smaller groups.  Once everyone was at the planting site, the group went to work.  The crates of plants had been previously brought up and the group broke into teams.  Each team took crates and disappeared into the bush to find good planting spots.

As the planting area was huge the group quickly spread out.

The team moved through the planting area and were so productive, we needed to go down to the nursery to get more plants!

After several hours of planting it was time for a late and well deserved lunch!  The team then collected up all the bags, crates and equipment and brought them up to the ute.

The group then took a leisurely walk back to the cottage and this gave everyone a chance to see more of the property and some of the work our other volunteers have done.

It was then time to socialize and have a relaxing lunch.

We always enjoy a visit from the Greenteam and today was another great day—fun and very productive. Plus we got a chance to meet a lot of nice new people and spend time with old friends.

A very special thank you to Air NZ Engagements executive, Shelley for once again organizing the Greenteam visit.  Shelley – we really appreciate your continued support and friendship.

And a BIG thank you to all the Greenteam members and their families and friends who gave up their Saturday to come help out today.  We really appreciated your enthusiasm and your hard work and you planted more trees than we expected!! THANK YOU!! The trees you planted will add to the growing biodiversity in the flourishing native forest for the community to enjoy for many generations.  What a wonderful legacy!!

We hope you and your family and friends will visit CUE Haven often to explore and enjoy your community native forest reserve you have all helped create. Looking forward to seeing you all again.

Thanks again!!