Newsletter, October 2008

Welcome to new members: Mary and Richard Talbot, Sue and Mike Locke and Sandra Lawn

UPCOMING CLUBNIGHT: Monday 1 December 2008 (Put it in your diary!)

Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, 7.30 pm, gold coin admission. Pat Holland Ph 5391340

N.B. The “ SALE” table will not be held at the December meeting.

End of Year Clubnight and Photo Competition

This is your chance to show your record of sights that you caught on camera during the year. The rules are as listed below and judging will be once again by Don Pitham, who has given us some insight (see below) into his thoughts as he checks out our efforts. This is a fun competition, so dig into your photo archives and bring along your reminders of events, sights and incidents to share with others. As an added incentive there will be a “peoples choice” winner, which will include all categories. Come along to enjoy the fun, wine, cheese and nibbles, and social atmosphere of this last Clubnight of the year.

The Photo Competition format is : -

The first four categories of photos: Landscape, People, Humour, Nature need to meet the following criteria;
Photos are to be 6 x 4 inch size
Photos are to have been taken within the current year
No manipulated photos
The person submitting the photo must be the person who has taken the photo
Entries are limited to three per category per person

Plus an additional category being: Exhibition Photographs : See below for explanation of this category.

Judge Don has provided the following guidelines to help you decide into which category to place your photo:

On the back of the print put the category the entry is in and the title of the picture. Do not put the name of the entrant.

Landscape   I'm happy to see the "grand scheme of things" - wide angle shots (which may even be predominantly sea or sky) or an "in your face" - close -up (a single rock in a stream or just part of a tree for example). Perhaps what is important is that the  feel of the landscape which is being captured comes through in the image. It's acceptable to include man-made structures (huts, power lines, sign posts etc.) providing that they add to the scene. Be very careful about including people. Figures in the landscape can provide scale but details of faces and bright clothing can grab the viewers' attention too much. If people are part of your picture have them looking into the landscape rather than at the camera, this way they become subsidiary to and supportive of the main area of interest.

People  Either give me a strong close-up portrait of an individual or a group,  or show me a captured moment of interaction between people or between the subject and the camera. Your image should say something about the character(s) of the people shown rather than be a snapped record shot of Tom, Dick and Harriet on the mountain summit.  

Humour  Probably the most difficult area in which to succeed. Spontaneous usually works better than "set-ups". But do enter, we are often short of shots in this category so your chances of winning a prize are goood!  

Nature  Informative, artistic images showing non-domestic flora and fauna (so no garden roses, cats or dogs) are the order of the day. Geological or meteorological phenomena, (e.g. dramatic clouds, formations or details of rock strata are also acceptable if they are accurately titled) Ensure that the shot is as sharp as you can make it, that the subject is large in the picture and that the background is not intrusive. The "hand of man" should be avoided - no fences, power lines, buildings etc. (notice the difference between Landscape and Nature). Making the effort to give an accepted common name or a formal Latin name for the title will probably gain you extra brownie points.

Exhibition   These are the “anything goes” photographs, panorama shots, large/blown-up photos, and manipulated photos, anything you like. The only rules are that you must have taken the photo yourself and done so within the current year.

October Show & Tell Club Night

President Mark welcomed an enthusiastic group of 32 members and guests who were suitably entertained by images of some recent, and some not so recent, trips by club members, as well as some DoC photos of the aftermath of the winter snow dumps in our immediate hinterland.

Vice President Lawrie coordinated the presentations from:
Gillian and Hec Arbuthnott ventured to the Arctic Circle in Sweden and illustrated what landscapes look like in such lean latitudes
Mike Glover on various expeditions mounted by the Glover family around the South Island over the last 12 months
Nora Flight on Telemark cross-country skiing on the east side of Lake Tekapo
Bob Janssen on early days as a hunter for the NZ Forest Service (complete with short shorts!) in the southern South Island
Uta Purcell on a trip to Mt Arthur and The Tablelands
David Blunt presented DoC photographs of the winter's major snow storm and its impact on Nelson Lakes National Park and as well paid photographic tribute to Grahame Harris

Thanks to the Glover family for the use of their technology and we hope you managed to get your laptop back into good running order afterwards!

Annual Subscription. IS THIS YOU!!!

An unidentified payment of $28.00 has been credited to the NTC bank account on 11 July 2008, which means that someone has paid their subscription but has not been recorded as having done so. If you paid direct into the account on that date kindly contact Treasurer Gillian at Ph 5478393 or email to

Possum Control in the western parts of Abel Tasman National Park and in Canaan Downs Scenic Reserve

DoC are currently progressing their planned attack on possums in the above areas and EXTREME caution is recommended. DO NOT touch baits... WATCH CHILDREN at all times... DO NOT EAT animals from this area. Remember, poison baits or carcasses are DEADLY to DOGS. Steve Deverall. DoC Takaka Ph 03 525 8026
Hints on Safety and Track Information from DoC as at 15 October 2008

For your safety , every effort has been made to ensure that this information is correct at the time of writing. However you should contact the local DoC visitor centre for the latest updates. Changes to weather will affect conditions in the backcountry. Always check the latest weather report ( ) before you venture out and be prepared to change your plans if conditions are unfavourable.

Your safety is your responsibility . Make sure you plan, prepare and equip yourself for any trip into the backcountry. Report any hazards you see in the backcountry to the DoC hotline.

‘Note: This notice only reports on changes that differ to what is stated in brochures and the website. Other tracks, facilities and services in Nelson/Marlborough are operating as normal.

Abel Tasman Coast Track

• Check hut or campsite availability before making travel or kayak bookings.

• Storm damage has closed Stilwell Bay campsite.

Queen Charlotte Track

• The track is open for mountain biking. Info Ph: 03 546 9339 or Bookings Ph 03 546 8210 Ph: 03 520 3113

Heaphy Track

• Crayfish/Koura Point coastal section: Trampers must check tide charts in the Heaphy Hut and Kohaihai Shelter before commencing this section of track and only cross when sea conditions are suitable.

• Mountain Biking is not allowed on the Heaphy Track.

Travers-Sabine Circuit/Nelson Lakes NP

• There is still a risk of avalanches in the park.

• The track network has suffered extensive damage from winter storms. Avalanches and windfalls have covered tracks making them impassable. The cleanup is progressing well with a number of tracks cleared.

• Contact Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre for the latest info and conditions.

Info Ph: 03 546 9339 or Bookings Ph 03 546 8210 Ph: 03 521 1806

Other track and useful information

• Crow and Venus Huts, on the Leslie-Karamea Track are closed while new huts are built. The closest huts are Karamea Bend and Thor Hut although a temporary two bunk hut is available for trampers near the old Venus Hut site. Contact DoC for latest position before planning your route.

• On the track between Asbestos Cottage and the lower junction there are a number of windfalls.

• There are windfalls on the Shakespeare Flat Track ( Golden Bay end of the Heaphy Track).

• During October DoC staff are working on possum control in the Deep Creek catchment staying at Upper Gridiron Shelter and Balloon Hut. Upper Gridiron Shelter will be locked during work hours.

• Wangapeka Valley , the road is closed by fallen trees from Rolling Junction to Courthouse Flat.

• Wangapeka Track – there are lots of windfalls and snow damage. DoC recommends people don’t walk the track. If you choose to, then extreme care and good backcountry experience is required.

• Access to Granity Pass via Blue Creek is not recommended because of windfalls and storm damage. The main route hasn’t been inspected yet but trampers have advised DoC there are windfalls and snow damage on the track.

• The toilet at Poor Pete’s Hut (Kahurangi NP) has been destroyed. Hut users need to bury their toilet waste.

• The gas heater in Mt Arthur Hut is broken; it will be repaired as soon as possible.

• On the Pelorus Track there are windfalls between Roebuck and Browning Huts. Be prepared to add additional tramping time onto this section of the track.

• Mt Richmond Forest Park access roads – in Blenheim this info is displayed on the North Bank Road just off SH 6. For all information on access roads into the park check the Plan and Prepare page for the park on the DoC web site or at the DoC Regional VC in Nelson 03-546 9339.

• Access to Starveall Hut – there’s extensive windfall damage on the Hackett to Starveall Hut route. GPS and/or map and compass are essential.

• Central Road, Hira Forest, access to the Doubles Track is open from the Maitai Dam end.

• Sharlands Creek access remains closed midweek and open to mountain bikers and walkers at the weekend.

• Motuara Island, Queen Charlotte Sound – DoC are building a new jetty. Access is closed until the end of October.

• Huts and shelters removed as agreed in the National Recreation Opportunity Review are: in Kahurangi NP – Loveridge Hut (M27 793 934), Haystack Hut (M28 546 630), Stag Flat Emergency Shelter has been replaced. New grid reference M28 510 786. In Nelson Lakes NP - Upper Glenroy Hut (M31 605 825) and Prospect Shelter (N29 935 293). In Abel Tasman NP - reclassification of Moa Park Hut (N26 046 298) to Moa Park Shelter.
Also from DoC: Extracts from Minutes of the Community Forum Wednesday 3 September 2008 at Nelson Conservancy Office.
Motueka Area Office report - Martin Rodd
Weed spraying programme on the Boulder Bank completed for the season. Ice plant now virtually eradicated with only three small patches found.
Nassella Tussock Programme at Cape Soucis postponed due to dangerous ground conditions.
Eighty percent of the stoat trap in the South Branch Wangapeka now deployed to protect Whio but have been significantly affected by windfall.
Large patches of wind damage in parts of Mt Richmond Forest Park. All huts okay but could take some months to reopen all the tracks.
Wangapeka Road was also closed due to windfalls. Hopefully this work will be completed by the end of next week. The Wangapeka Track was reported to be significantly affected by windfall as well as valley side tracks.
Coastal erosion has caused some damage to facilities along the Abel Tasman Coast Track. The toilet at Appletree Bay will need to be relocated and some beaches have been lowered exposing steps and previous protection work at Mosquito and Torrent Bays.
Preparation for the construction of the new huts at the Venus and Crow Hut sites in the Karamea Valley, Kahurangi National Park will be underway from mid-September.

St Arnaud Area Office Report - Alison Rothschild
Significant snowfall in recent weeks has caused issues with access to back country walking tracks and huts. Many tracks have reported snow damage, windfalls and significant avalanche risk.
Alison advised tracks will be cleared progressively around the village and lakeshore as quickly as possible. Back country sites should all be open again and cleared of windfalls by Christmas.
The Mainland Island Programme is progressing well with stoat boxes now extending as far as Coldwater Hut.
A major review of the Rotoiti Mainland Island project is planned in the near future. Anyone interested is encouraged to talk to Alison in the first instance.
Paul Gasson, leader of the Rotoiti Mainland Island team will be leaving shortly for a new job in Thames along with his kiwi dog Huxley.
A community project to restore the banks of Black Valley Stream below the State Highway has been launched. The school and Alpine Lodge will both be involved with the removal of weeds and native tree planting.

Aircraft Concessions - Heaphy Track

Paul Thornton joined the meeting and explained that there are eight concessions currently issued with helicopter operators for Kahurangi National Park including the Heaphy Track. In the past operators have been free to operate a variety of services including servicing trampers with supplies, moving packs and equipment. The variations to the Kahurangi National Park Management Plan will include new provisions to establish the number of landings to agreed levels within zones covering the park.

The Glen

Debs Martin asked about progress on negotiations with NCC and Cawthron over access at the foot of the Boulder Bank. Martin reported that the outcome for The Glen was looking very positive with particular thanks to the consultation undertaken by NCC, in consultation with DoC.

Borlase Grazing

Helen Campbell wished to register her concern about the current grazing that was happening in the upper catchment above Black Valley Stream and the potential for pollution to travel into the lake and the Buller River. Alison said the issue was one for TDC as the grazing is a common land use in the area.

Sport and Recreation NZ (SPARC) Forum

Debs Martin attended a recent meeting regarding the SPARC review and was asking for some interest from forum members to help on a Tasman committee that would be looking into ways of promoting recreation and its value to the community. Debs had noticed that hunting and 4WD clubs were already well represented and there was a need to have somebody from the conservation lobbies there advocating for conservation values as well. Martin confirmed that DoC had registered its interest in attending. Debs went on to suggest it would be good to find ways to engage the younger non-active community who were often uninterested or unaware of the opportunities. Martin expressed considerable interest in this and welcomed any suggestions as to how this could be better achieved.

Next meeting: Wednesday 12 th November, 2008 9.30am -12.00 noon, Nelson Conservancy Office.
Operation Ark Newsletter extracts

Whio populations are diminishing around the country due to predation by stoats. In 2003 the Wangapeka/Fyfe was identified as a Whio Operation Ark conservation site - encompassing the Wangapeka, Fyfe, Sandstone, and Owen Rivers and their tributaries. We need this site so Whio don’t disappear from Kahurangi National Park.

The objective of Operation Ark is to protect vulnerable populations of endangered species from stoats, rats and possums, and to mitigate the effects of predator plagues in the South Island beech forest sites where these species occur. Preserving sustainable populations of Whio (Blue Duck), Orange-fronted Parakeet (Käkäriki karaka), Möhua (Yellowhead) and Pekapeka (Short and Long-tailed Bats) on the mainland South Island is the overall goal.

We are using intensive pest control along waterways to protect Whio, especially during the breeding season between August– November each year. Females are most at risk at this time as they are preyed upon while nesting – stoats kill them and eat their eggs, which is a double blow to our population.

Our primary method for predator control is trapping and we are currently protecting 43km of waterway using over 650 stoat traps. We caught a total of 128 stoats and 290 rats between July 07 and June 08. The local Whio population is also being supplemented by the Whio Nest Egg (WHIONE) technique. This involves the transfer of eggs from the early nests of breeding pairs, rearing the ducklings in captivity and releasing them as juveniles back into the wild. The Whio pair will re-nest, essentially doubling their output each breeding season.

We currently have 17 known pairs in the Operation Ark site, up from 1 in 2003. The goal is to have 50 breeding pairs by 2017. To keep you informed of progress we hope to update this newsletter every 6 months.

You can help us with Whio recovery by reporting any Whio sightings. We would like to know the date, location, number of birds and whether they were colour-banded. Digital photos would be ideal too. You can email all this information to us at

You can help further by reporting any vandalism in the Wangapeka and Fyfe areas – these traps are vital to achieving our goal of 50 breeding pairs in these catchments. Traps can break fingers and hands so please do not tamper with them.

The DoC website has information about what DoC is involved with. To get to Operation Ark information: click through Conservation > Land & freshwater > Conservation on Land > Operation Ark. You could also type Operation Ark into the ‘Advanced Search’ at the top of the DoC homepage for the link to information on all the Operation Ark sites.
Extracts from FMC Newsletter

 FMC Member on New Walking Access Board

Immediate Past President of FMC, Brian Stephenson has been appointed a member of the New Zealand Walking Access Commission. In accordance with the convention for appointments made shortly before an election, the appointments are short-term. Initial appointments are until 28 February 2009. If member clubs have recreational access questions that require investigation, we recommend that you either contact Brian direct: , or via ,

Recreation and Conservation Advocacy

If your Club would like FMC support on any conservation, access or general recreational issues, please contact your FMC Executive Liaison Member, or send information to the FMC Secretary, Phil Glasson,
Mokihinui Matters

1) Mokihinui Hydro Scheme: Hearings continue and the recreation/conservation advocacy phase of the process has begun. FMC is scheduled to present a submission later this month or . 2) “Old Ghost Road” Proposal: As a sweetener for its hydroelectric scheme, Meridian is proposing to create a dual-use hut/track system based on the heritage values of the area and in the adjacent Lyell. For more details, and the FMC August Bulletin. Although FMC opposes the dam, it believes that there is some merit to the track proposals considered as a separate matter. We would be keen to gauge members’ opinions on this issue. Please send any feedback to:
Molesworth Station Recreational Opportunities

FMC President, Rob Mitchell recently met with the Molesworth Steering Committee Group to discuss the improved recreational access and facilities (Molesworth includes the former leasehold properties of Molesworth, Tarndale, St Helens & Dillon). The meeting explored issues such as expanded opportunities for tramping, camping, climbing, mountain biking, improving access and addressing problems experienced by trampers wishing to visit the area. Added potential has come with the purchase of neighbouring St James Station and declaration of the Kaikoura Conservation Park. A new management plan will be developed in 2009. FMC encourages member club participation in the project. Let us have your views on new opportunities you would like to push for, or problems that need to be resolved. Please send your ideas and comments to:
Contributions from Club Members

From the Programme Co-ordinator

In regard to the forthcoming January-February programme and the difficulties I had in getting enough ‘organisers’ for last Jan-Feb, I am looking at probably running just one trip per weekend. Even so, I need some volunteers (I know it’s a busy time of the year for most), so feel free to contact me with dates, ideas (or I can provide) of trips you would be willing to lead. Thanks in anticipation.

Ruth Hesselyn. Ph: 5440870 email:

A reminder to Organisers .

If, for some reason, a change of route is undertaken while on a tramp, which as a consequence could make it more difficult, you must take into consideration the ability/experience of the whole party, and the grade of trip as promoted. Unless there are some safety reasons, or the well being of a tramper is at risk, you should stick to the original planned grade of the trip, as to do otherwise may cause undue stress or endanger less experienced participants, and the group as a whole.

Boots for Sale

Dave Familton Ph 5475548. I have a pair of near new size 7 ladies Zamberlan boots for sale, price is negotiable.  

Ruth Hesselyn Ph 5440870 or One pair of Merrell boots “m2 superlight”, vibram sole, in good condition, size women’s US 8/UK 5.5. Too big for me. A good all round boot. $75.00 ono.

Editor’s Comment.

Wilderness Magazine …. Another benefit of membership!

The Club receives two copies of the Wilderness Magazine each issue. Copies are usually available to Club members at our Club Nights, and back copies are held by Peter Wise at his Buxton Square picture framing business. If you are interested in reading current issues of the magazine then please let me know and I will try to locate a copy for you.

Contributions and comments to the Editor, Hec Arbuthnott by email fax to 5481710, mail to 10 Wiltshire Place, Stoke or hand in to Basecamp at 295 Trafalgar Street. NELSON.

REMINDER: Club members receive a 10% discount from Basecamp, Altitude and Rollo’s.