Date: 21 November 2018
DOC has been strengthening its relationship with the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in the Manawatu recently, with both parties keen to work together on backcountry projects in the Ruahine Forest Park.
Daphne Hut is in a key location for multi-day tramps in the eastern side of the Ruahine ranges, however recorded bed nights have been declining in recent years. DOC inspectors identified a few years ago that the roof and floor were deteriorating but there wasn’t resource for replacement.
As luck would have it, in October 2018 the NZDF was looking for a project to fill a gap in the training schedule for Army tradesmen. The Daphne Hut re-roof and renovations project was just the ticket.
Army tradesmen replaced the roof with coloursteel iron, laid new flooring, added decking under the right wing of the hut, built steps, improved the bunks and repaired interior water damage above the fire place.
Shaun Ruddle, Senior Ranger Recreation/Historic for DOC Manawatu says DOC and NZDF working together on backcountry projects is a big win for everyone.
“The work at Daphne Hut - which was completed to a high standard – would not have happened this year without the NZDF. The project provided a great training opportunity for the NZ Army’s 25 Engineer Support Squadron. And the result is a better, safer hut for visitors. Everyone benefits. It’s big ups for the do-up!”
Kelly Hancock, Community Ranger DOC Manawatu
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