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February 2011 Issue
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Replacement hut on Hokitika’s Mt Brown

The community-built Mt Brown Hut

A community group of 35 volunteers, supported by more than 30 sponsors, has built a new hut on Mt Brown, near Lake Kaniere, Hokitika.

Members of the Mt Brown Hut Community Project Team put in over 2000 hours demolishing the previous hut, hand mixing 4.5 tons of concrete for the foundation, rebuilding and painting, installing toilets and improving tracks.

The project’s manager, Eddie Newman, said it has been a “fantastic effort” by the team in a location that has occasionally proved challenging. “The community now has a brilliant hut that has wonderful views of Hokitika, the coastline and the surrounding mountains,” said Newman.

DOC told the team it would usually cost between $75,000 to $85,000 to build a hut of its size. However, thanks to sponsors, Newman said most of the cost was avoided. Even many of the flights to bring in gravel and cement were free or given at a greatly reduced rate which the volunteers themselves paid for.

“It was really touching so many people gave so freely,” said Newman.

The community will also maintain the hut and hope it will encourage people to tramp the area’s alpine tops. The hut is free for all to use and will soon have a well-marked track from the car park at Geologist Creek near the south end of Lake Kaniere.