A painting party at Makomako Hut

Department of Conservation —  29/07/2013

By Moana Smith-Dunlop, Community Relations Ranger, Whakatane

Te Urewera, centre of the universe, now has the most beautiful hut in the universe too, thanks to the DOC-Dulux partnership.

Makomako hut after a DOC/Dulux makeover.

Makomako hut after a DOC/Dulux makeover

Not to be outdone by our Tauranga cohorts, our DOC/Dulux ‘paint a hut’ party also had a film crew — DOC’s talented Community Outreach Coordinator from Otago, Claudia BabiratMakomako Hut was sooo stunning she just had to come and enjoy the atmosphere and film the astonishing efficiency of our Visitor Assets and Community Relations teams!

Our team was made up of Jade Connelly (Visitor Assets power ranger and team leader), three volunteers (Gavin Muir, Waitangi Tait and Hikurangi Rurehe), and DOCies Moana Smith-Dunlop (Community Relations Ranger) and Earl Rewi (Programme Manager Visitor and Historic Assets).

Painting the hut.

Left: Hiks and Wai painting the deck. Right: Gavin and Wai starting the inside.

Makomako Hut lives below Maungapohatu in the Te Urewera National Park, and along the famous six foot track. While we were there, there was obvious sign of deer in the area, and the hut clearing looked almost good enough to be a golfing green. With a forecast of three days of sun we launched into the painting with a ferocity that stunned our intrepid film maker.

Makomako Hut before painting.

Makomako Hut before painting

Our colour scheme, the winning entry designed on the Dulux ‘paint a hut’ website, was:

Roof and front door: Porari
Outside walls: Tinkertown
Deck, windows and chimney: a beautiful shade of Masterton

By the end of day one, all our supplies and people had arrived at the hut and we’d completed the outside preparation and the first coat on the outside walls and roof. With the sun setting it was time to down tools, light the fire and get dinner going.

Day two saw the outside walls and roof finished, the first swathes of Masterton on the deck, the windows and chimney done, and the start and finish of the inside. By the end of day two all we had to do was a few touch ups on the outside.

Day three dawned clear, cold and full of promise that the end was near. So with that in mind, eating all the leftover food from the previous night’s dinner became our first task, as did teaching our southern friend the finer points of the northern lingo ‘chuurrr’. That done, we finished off the painting, cleaned up, packed up, kicked back and waited for the chopper to arrive to take us home.

Left: Group jumping for joy. Right: Makomako Hut sign.

Left: Moana, Jade, Gavin, Claudia, Waitangi, Hikurangi and
Earl at the conclusion of the painting. Right: Makomako Hut sign.

A mammoth effort by the team! Go team Te Urewera! We could not have got through all the work without the efforts of our hard working vollies.