Newsletter, June 2015

David Cook


Download the printed version of the newsletter (8 pages colour), as a small 1.5 megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

PRESIDENT's REPORT > Lawrie Halkett

It is my pleasure to present the 2014/15 President’s Report to club members.

During my time as club President I have been most grateful to have had a competent, hard-working and dedicated committee. In a word, they have been awesome!

Undoubtedly the single biggest activity for the club this year was the continuing restoration work upgrading Flora Hut. The work got a $6,500 boost from the Government’s Community Conservation Partnership Fund (CCPF), announced nationally at our club last year by the then Minister of Conservation the Hon Dr. Nick Smith. I wish to thank all club members, and friends, that have contributed time, labour and skill throughout this summer, to bring Flora Hut into the modern age, while still maintaining its “of-the-day character”. I do want to make special mention of one of our members, Ian Morris. He has taken on the mantle of chief organiser and driver of this project and has been involved in every one of the six weekend visits invested in Flora. Take a bow,  Ian! While there will be  more work to be done next summer, the bulk of the work has been completed.

Mention too should be made of Tom Young, (Senior Ranger; Recreation and Historic, DOC) and Matt Page, (Ranger Visitor Assets, Motueka Field Base, DOC), both of whom have gone out of their way to support us in this project. 

Accolades for this work by the club have come from Department of Conservation in Motueka, Nelson and Wellington, (officially and unofficially), Friends of Flora, articles in local papers (Nelson Mail, Leader and Waimea News) and even in the Letters to Editor (Nelson Mail).

The other big event during the year was the club’s 80th Anniversary celebrations, held in
August 2014 at the Saint Arnaud Hall.

This was a very successful event with some 45 members attending. A big thanks to Raymond Salisbury, who did  a lot of prior preparation to ensure the evening went off in style. Thanks also to Chris Louth who set up a number of morning-after hikes, bike rides and navigation exercises. Thank you, Raymond and Chris.

Thanks to the very dependable Pat Holland, as Secretary, who always made sure we kept our internal and external communications always on track and on time. Being on the Executive Council of Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC), as ‘Top-of-the South’ representative, he has kept us in touch with FMC activities and their regular lobbying on conservation matters at a national level.

Then, there is our meticulous, energetic and eye-for-detail Ian Morris. In the short time he has been at the club he has almost gained legendary status! I have already mentioned Ian for his Herculean efforts on Flora Hut, but in regard to his role as Treasurer, he has brought some real rigour and professionalism to the table. Not only can we now sign cheques and know we actually have signatories with the authority to do so, but more often than not, we now pay on on-line.

Thanks to our very efficient and on-the-job Programme Co-ordinator, Chris Louth. Tramping is the reason for our being and Chris has done a marvellous job finding leaders prepared to take on weekend and day-long tramps. He has also taken over the role of posting club tramps in the Leader and Waimea Weekly. Thank you, Chris.

To Kate, the Minute Secretary: thank you for keeping the club alive and well. Kate is a dynamo, leading many weekend trips; starting and driving the very successful bi-monthly Pub Nights; and introducing the club to social media via its recent FaceBook page. Thanks, Kate.

To our club Newsletter editor and photographer extraordinaire, a huge thanks Raymond for all you have done for the club, which is appreciated, as I know your time is limited these days.

To Graeme, a newbie to the committee, has recently been assigned the role of Club Promotions and Membership Officer – watch this space!

To Sue: thanks for your all-round support and for stepping up as a regular weekend trip leader.

To Dion: thanks for taking on the role of club night organisation and meeting-room set-up.

To Andrea: welcome back after your sabbatical. I ‘m sure the committee will find something for you to get your teeth stuck into in the coming year.

And, finally, to you the members, thank you for your participation and support of the club’s activities throughout 2014/15. This is your club and your input makes us what we are today – a club that is in pretty good shape.

My one plea though, to all members, is: please put yourself forward to lead the odd tramp throughout the year, even if it is just a day-trip. That way, we ensure not only our survival, but growth.

See you in the mountains...

Lawrie Halkett, President

EDITORIAL COMMENT > Getting Away From It All

Recently, I was privileged to participate in another weekend tramp. We arrived at our destination and made ourselves at home inside a comfortable valley hut.

However, I found it somewhat bemusing that, while I carried in my pack a bag full of kindling ... my companion carried a Kindle. Another played games on an iPhone; others plugged in to their various mobile devices. In fact, most of the expedition photos were snapped on smartphones, and I confess to using my iPhone’s GPS to track my hut-bagging mission.

But, when I was awoken at some god-forsaken hour by somebody’s dumb phone alarm (oops), I got wondering...

...”is this really ‘getting away from it all?’”

Instead of un-plugging from the Matrix, do we now just bring the Matrix along with us? Anyway, that’s something to ponder as we head into winter. Perhaps we could plan a few ‘technology-free’ tramps in the future - where we go ‘cold turkey’ for a few days?

On another note, it was a pleasure to note many members of sister clubs joining us at our last club night, which boasted a near-record attendance of 37. Our pub nights, on alternate months, are also a great way to rub shoulders with mountain-loving folks. Check the NTC website for dates, which are locked in by the committee.

Another thing: the trip Programme is now a living document on our website, with up-coming tramps being postponed or replaced at short notice. Check the website regularly to know what’s happening!

See you at Club & Pub Nights...

Ray Salisbury,

CLUBNITES > Put on your calendar!

Monday 8 June > Club Night > Project Janszoon

7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, Nelson South

Speaker: Devon McLean / Project Janszoon

Devon is the Director of Project Janszoon, the organisation that aims to get Abel Tasman National Park free of predators. He will speak on the progress so far and the Project’s aims for the future.

Monday 6 July > Pub Night

Prince Albert | 113 Nile Street, Nelson | From 7pm onwards...

Catch up with club members and talk about upcoming trips.

Bring along maps and ideas so that we can fill the programme.

Email: Kate Krawczyk for info.

Monday 10 August > Club AGM > Aat Vervoorn

7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, Nelson South

Speaker: Aat Vervoorn

The AGM is an important annual event for the club to review the status and plan our future.

Regarding the committee, please consider putting your or another name forward for the Committee. Nominations close in late July so you cannot be dragooned at the AGM. Contact the Secretary Pat Holland for a Nomination Form. We keep the AGM very brief but functional. Come along and contribute, then be entertained with our special guest speaker.

Aat Vervoorn is best known for the books he has written. Perhaps the most famous is entitled Mountain Solitudes, a sequel to Beyond the Snowline. The epic draws on 15 years of solo mountaineering and tramping in the rugged South Westland section of our Southern Alps; country that includes the high peaks of Cook, Tasman, Hooker, and such wild and remote valley systems as the Landsborough, Paringa and Copland.

In a reflective and original style, Vervoorn explores a number of central themes, particularly that of gaining mastery in, rather than over, the mountain environment, and a rejection of the notion that a good mountaineering trip has to have close shaves and suffering to be successful.


Thank You Letter > from Whenuaiti Outdoors to NTC

“Hi Chris...

I really just wanted to thank the team at NTC for doing such an amazing job maintaining Flora Hut. It’s a place that many of us – and hopefully many more – will enjoy. Personally, I have fond memories as a kid staying there, and it’s great it’s still there and getting the care it deserves.

Last week, Whenua Iti Outdoors ran an outdoor navigation course and stayed up there with a group of students. It was fantastic to have the comforts of the hut while it was wet outside.

On learning the history of the hut and its importance to many trampers, the students took great pride in looking after it during their stay.

So, thank you all very much!”


Marama Jelf

TA WALKER > Wants your company

Hello, my name is Kylie Lang and I am walking the South Island in October this year.

I am doing this under the theme “I’m Not Alone” and getting others to sign up to walk a section with me so I am not alone. Collectively, we will all  raise money and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation.

Walking the Te Araroa Trail, I have divided it up into 21 sections. Some are just one day and other sections are 10 days.



Phone: 021 251 4763

FACEBOOK PAGE > Have your say | Publish your piccies

Kate Krawczyk has spearheaded another great initiative... this time it’s our very own virtual pub night, a.k.a., a club Facebook page.

Yep, we’ve finally embraced the digital age, so get used to it, Luddites!
On this social networking website you may:

  • Share your photos / videos of a tramping trip
  • Share your opinions & trip ideas
  • Keep up-to-date with what’s happening

Remember, ‘sharing is caring’... so keep all your comments positive on this forum. Here’s the link:

NZ MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL > Check this out3-11 JULY – Wanaka, Cromwell & Queenstown

This year marks the 13th year of the NZ Mountain Film Festival. A favourite event amongst mountain enthusiasts, filmmakers and adventurers, the Festival will return to Wanaka, Cromwell and Queenstown on July 3 to 11. The Wanaka 5-day programme includes several new shows and the Queenstown programme has been extended to 3 days. The Photography & Movie Competitions are also a huge draw-card.

Keynote Speaker extraordinaire : Alex Hannold

This world famous climber has featured in a bunch of movies. This phenomenal athlete holds many records for free solo ascents of big walls, most notably the only known solo ascent of the Yosemite Triple Crown. It is not only Alex’s physical feats that are memorable; his calm and cheerful character is infectious. His warm smile and cheeky demeanour are sure to captivate the audience at this year’s Festival.

Tickets: Tickets to the festival go on sale on, June 3, mark your calendars! The Festival opens in Wanaka July 3rd, and closes in Queenstown on July 11th.



Trevinos Conference Centre, 22 Riccarton Road, Christchurch 

A brief AGM will be held in the morning followed by three speakers:

   Robin McNeill, President, FMC

   Hon. Maggie Barry, Minister for Conservation

   Lou Sanson, Director-General, Conservation Department

After lunch there will be workshops:  

– Achievements from Partnership: the new Huts & Tracks fund and how to do more of it.

– Intro to CCPF and H&T (Robin McNeil).

– Around the Country: Slide show and brief presentations from projects from around the country.

– Restoring old huts for use: The experience of getting on with the job, sorting the bureaucracy and practical issues.

– How Permolat operates, how it evolved, and tips and tricks for hut and track work.

– Practical tips from restoration of Tunnel Creek Hut, Paringa River (Geoff Spearpoint).

– The land managers’ perspective: key DOC staff.

Panel Discussions with audience participation:

– Panel 1:  Getting going - tips, tricks and other ideas to save reinventing the wheel.

– Panel 2:  What can go wrong? Are you going to court when it does? HSE, OSH and contracts in practice.

– Panel 3:  Websites, Facebook & Wiki. Can we share our ideas better?

– Panel 4:  Where to next for the H&T fund?

Discussions, information sharing and chats over drinks.

NTC members are very welcome to attend this event.
Pat Holland will be going as a current member of the FMC Executive and can provide transport.


CLICK HERE to view the best of our annual photography competition, displayed as a slideshow on our club website.

Thank you to Mark Graesser for his dedication in designing this feature.

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