The April 2019 storms on the West Coast did severe damage to some rivers with a major flood event in the Thomas catchment. Seeing this valued hut under threat, DOC Haast moved quickly in May to get in and winch the hut away from its precarious position at the edge of the new riverbank.
This hut had previously been renovated by a volunteer group led by Geoff Spearpoint and he was once again back in the action.
DOC Hokitika did the plans for the new foundations and by 19th of September conditions were right on the coast to get back in to do the work. Colin Morris, the builder involved in the Mingha Biv restoration, came in to oversea the building work and Geoff was joined by volunteers Jane Morris and Hugh van Noorden.
By the next day the new pile holes were already dug and Jeff Rawles from DOC Haast flew in to the site with two Turfor winches. The hut was then dragged on rollers eight meters across to the new site and aligned over the new foundation holes.
The hut was leveled and the new piles tack nailed into position and left freely hanging in the new holes. By the end of this day the concrete was being made on site and the piles cemented into place.
The following day the team continued with concreting in the piles and securing all the fixings, while Colin resited the woodshed and Geoff moved the old concrete step across on rollers.
At the end of three days. One hut saved. One more trip in soon to reattach the important finishing touch of the chimney and fireplace.
If you would like to watch the move, click on this link