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Sunday, July 14, 2019

NZ Strong lend a hand on the maunga

Last Saturday 6 July we were joined by nine professionals from NZ Strong, a major construction company headquartered in Mt Eden near the foot of the maunga. Assisted by seven FoM volunteers, the group planted 50 native seedlings on the steep southern slope uphill from Rautangi Rd, and another 10 shrubby plants (Coprosma rhamnoides and hangehange) alongside the lower track.

Gerard Drum
Team NZ Strong
The NZ Strong volunteers were keen, capable, smart people who came well equipped and ready for action. It was a great pleasure to work with them on a chilly morning. Two FoM volunteers had set out the plants and stakes the day before, and the planting was completed in an hour. We then made our way back towards Batger Rd and along the Batger track to Hall Park, where we enjoyed tea and home baking provided by FoM volunteers.

The planting day came about through NZ Strong's interest in our activities. Gerard, a services engineer at the company, initiated the contact and led the team. We had met Gerard twice beforehand to show him what we do and discuss how we might develop an ongoing association. Given their expertise as engineers, surveyors and site managers, we're hoping that NZ Strong can help with terracing and track edging – possibly making use of construction waste.

It's exciting to think that young people from a local company will have an ongoing role with FoM. Corporate groups in the past have helped FoM only occasionally and as a one-off. NZ Strong is making much more of a commitment, and that makes us feel invigorated and motivated.

Gerard, Keith and Sel