Recently, the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) Closed for Good, shutting stores across the country to allow staff to give something back to the local communities they’re a part of.
As part of this initiative, a number of Closed for Good volunteers donned disposable overalls, picked up paint brushes and sand paper, and went to work restoring the historic engine room at Fort Takapuna in Auckland.
Community Relations Ranger, Trish Irvine, tells us about the day:
DOC rangers, Jeremy Thomas, Andrew King and Peter Smith, were there to greet the Closed for Good volunteers. After a welcome and safety briefing we walked to the engine room. Peter gave a brief outline of the history—from Māori to military. It is fascinating to discover there are forts of the same design in France, Belgium and other European countries.
At the engine room BNZ staff eagerly picked up scrapers, wire brushes and brooms to begin preparation before painting. It wasn’t long before the building was ‘smoking’ with all the dust and debris that had flaked to the floor. It was a hive of activity with no corner left untouched and all the while there was a friendly chatter as each person got to know one another.
At lunchtime Peter gave a guided tour of the Fort. His passion for military history had it come to life. I could quite happily have listened to him for the rest of the day and forgotten about the painting that awaited us in the engine room. However, there was a job to be finished and everyone was keen to paint.
In the afternoon the whole of the engine room was transformed, getting a fresh coat of paint. It now brightens the room and makes it look clean and fresh. It was delightful to see the BNZ business managers come and support the work for a few hours before they went to another project.
This is the first time DOC has contributed to the BNZ Closed for Good day in Auckland and it is definitely something we’d like to do again.
Have you been to Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve? It’s a great place to explore with kids, take a dog for a walk, have a picnic or to enjoy the stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf.
Inspired to help? Our volunteer programme lists opportunities for conservation projects with the Department of Conservation. Becoming a DOC volunteer involves being supervised by, and/or working with, DOC staff.