22 Mar 2017

Fire-hit park staff trade bikes for oven mitts

8:02 pm on 22 March 2017

A small oven fire and a lack of cooking experience did not deter staff from the fire-stricken Christchurch Adventure Park today, as they worked in the Ronald McDonald House kitchen.

Food and Beverage Manager, Maree Wilson

Adventure Park food and beverage manager Maree Wilson: "We decided it would be nice to get out and give back." Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

The $20 million adventure park was open for less than three months before the Port Hill fires in February forced its closure.

Today, their staff were instead deployed to prepare lunch for guests at Ronald McDonald House and fill the kitchen's freezers with baking.

Adventure Park food and beverage manager Maree Wilson oversaw their efforts.

"We decided it would be nice to get out and give back, because we have had a lot of support from Christchurch."

Ms Wilson said much of the park was off limits, because of the risk of falling trees and rocks. Rather than sit and "twiddle our thumbs", it was better to keep busy by helping the community.

Finding 'little wins'

One of today's cooks was Amber Doyle, the park's human resource and events manager.

HR Manager Amber Boyle (left) with Adventure Park patroller Cameron Hill

Two of the Adventure Park staff: HR manager Amber Doyle, left, with patroller Cameron Hill Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

She was the first employee at the Christchurch Adventure Park, starting her job last July.

Ms Doyle said it was important to "look for positives out of it and find little wins" out of the situation.

Much of the park's surrounding forest burned in the fires, but the Adventure Park buildings escaped undamaged.

Ms Doyle said a second opening gave staff a chance to look back on what did - and did not - work after the park's December opening.

"Not many businesses get the chance to have two," she said.

The park could not reopen until thousands of burnt trees were removed, which could take months.

Meanwhile, Adventure Park staff would visit four schools over the next month to teach students bike-riding skills.

Adventure Park staff teaching kids bike riding skills

Adventure Park staff teach children bike-riding skills Photo: Supplied / Christchurch Adventure Park

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