Department of Conservation

When the Department of Conservation began their pest control project on a number of Fiordland islands they were faced with a dilemma. They had nowhere for their rangers to stay.


Colour Karaka

Kea, New Zealand native bird

The project’s aim was to rid these islands of pests and predators to protect the native plants and species. Once the predators were cleared, the plan was to provide a safe haven for some of New Zealand’s threatened species, including the Saddleback and the Kiwi.

The most ambitious island re-claiming project took place on Resolution Island. The staff at DOC’s Te Anau office took on the challenge of finding the best way to house all those involved in the battle to restore the island. This included track cutters, stoat trappers and deer hunters.

The solution came in the creation of 13 ‘flyable’ huts that were helicoptered into place and then flown out once the job was complete. The building material of choice was COLORSTEEL® ENDURA® for the roofing and cladding, and AXXIS® steel for framing.

Kea, New Zealand native bird

As the project evolved many enhancements were made to create the perfect fly-able hut. This included a reduction in the steel required for framing, including the built-in bracing. The flexibility of building with steel allowed these to be made with little disruption. The end product was a lighter, stronger and cheaper building.

Originally, the hut and the timber framed annexe were going to be flown separately. The modifications made throughout the build process meant they could be lifted together. The new solution reduced the number of flying hours required and made it a breeze to install, and handle, each unit on site.

Department of Conservation, flyable hut
Department of Conservation flyable hut

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