There are partnerships that are meant to be and the one between the Department of Conservation and Dulux is a perfect fit.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to stay in one of New Zealand’s many DOC huts, you’ll know that they can range from the sublime new build to the more pre-loved variety. Regardless of the calibre these huts provide a place to shelter, rest, re-energise, meet new people, and swap stories. After a long day’s march into the romantic back country, our huts have probably also helped kick start a relationship or two!

While some of the huts have been giving shelter for over a hundred years, I’m pretty sure the pioneering trekkers we’ve featured in First Crossings would have appreciated these huts!

Having recently spent some of my summer reading through the amazing book Shelter From The Storm (Barnett, Brown & Spearpoint), you can see what our unforgiving environments can do to these bush oases. It is no surprise they need plenty of TLC.

It is a huge job for DOC to maintain the 973 huts and lodges around the country, but thanks to some generosity (and a marketing masterstroke) by Dulux, the job has just got a little easier. Dulux have recognised the need to protect these iconic symbols and have just announced, in partnership with DOC, a commitment to paint 26 huts in 13 regions throughout the country. And so kicks off a three-year, $1.5 million partnership ‘Protecting Our Place’.

If you want a chance to be part of the make-over, jump online and sign up for a spot to be in the volunteer painting crew, or if you fancy yourself as a bit of colour expert, check out their website and take the opportunity to submit a colour palette of your choice on your favourite hut!

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