Newsletter, August 2015

Birgit Klingebiel


Download the printed version of the newsletter (8 pages colour), as a small 1.2 megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

EDITORIAL COMMENT > Change is here to stay...

A brief check of the club calendar and recent Committee minutes indicates that some changes are in the air – all for the good, of course.

First up is our Annual General Meeting, which we dispense with in about 10 minutes. Trampers are notorious for being pragmatic. However, it is important to be aware that your Committee are not immortal. Lawrie has done an admirable job as President for many years; likewise, Pat is due for a change in role, having kept the club communications flowing smoothly for as long as I can remember.

So, please turn up on August 10th to elect new Committee members.
And listen to local author Aat Vervoorn share his reflections on his career in the Hills.

Secondly, our next pub night has been replaced with a Pizza Party - for aspiring and current trip leaders. To fill our Programme up with easier trips and more day-trips, WE NEED YOU to volunteer – it’s not hard to organise a half-day wander around the local hills. So, we’re bribing you with FREE PIZZA & DRINKS. Come along on Monday 7th September and share your ideas for future expeditions.

Thirdly, the October club night features a QUIZ. Bring your most knowledgeable friends and pit your wits against the club’s best. The topics are tramping-related. (Hint: see Shaun Barnett’s quiz pages in the FMC Bulletins for some possible answers).

Fourthly, with the increase in postal costs, Peter Wise has agreed to collect our mail at his picture framing shop in town. Thanks, Peter.

Finally, remember to pay your club subscription!

See you at Club & Pub Nights...

Ray Salisbury,

CLUBNITES > Put on your calendar!

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.

Monday 7 September > Trip Leader Party

Location TBA | FREE PIZZA!

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 5 October > Quiz Night

7.30pm, Nelson Intermediate

For a social evening, come along for some good-natured competition to test your knowledge of tramping, New Zealand mountain history, well-known personalities and the like.

Form teams prior to the event, or we’ll randomly put you in small groups. This is a great way to get to know more people in our club.

PLUS... a brief talk by Martin Brett on his late father Gordon, accompanied by historical club pics.

Monday 7 December -  Photo Competition

Guest Judge: Martin de Ruyter, of the Nelson Mail

Our club’s annual, informal get-together around the table; a chance to show off your skills with a camera – and show us where you’ve been tramping all year. 

Check out the Rules & Categories in the October Newsletter.


Federated Mountain Clubs AGM >
We Are Not Alone - by Ian Morris


In June I attended the FMC AGM in Christchurch, along with Pat. It was combined with a forum on huts and tracks which attracted so many people that the meeting room was standing-room only. It was good to see the wide range of groups represented there including NZ Deerstalkers, Trailfund NZ (mountain bikers), Permolat, Canterbury Mountaineering Club, NZ Alpine Club as well as the usual tramping clubs and several DOC staff.

The AGM business was dispatched quickly and efficiently and we moved on to the main speakers.  FMC president Robin McNeill extolled the success of the Outdoor Recreation Consortium which is the partnership between FMC, NZDA and Trailfund and manages the huts and tracks fund.  FMC and NZDA are successfully working together after many years of not working together. 

Lou Sanson, Director General of DOC, outlined the priorities for DOC starting with fixing DOC’s operational structure. Then pest control (including wilding pines), freshwater and marine reserves, more focus on iconic historic sites and better quality tourism.  I hope DOC doesn’t become the Department of Tourism! He also pointed out that the DOC annual budget of $350 million is similar to Hamilton City Council, but DOC has to manage about 30% of NZ’s land area. It is also interesting that in some rural areas, DOC is the only government agency still there after all the others have left.

The third speaker was Mick Abbott from Lincoln University who gave a thought provoking talk that challenged us to think differently about conservation issues. For example when developments are proposed for a park, how can they be turned into a positive for conservation, instead of just being negative about them.

Then, there were presentations about individual hut and track projects from all around the country and I spoke briefly about the work we have done on Flora hut. Andrew Buglass talked about the Permolat group on the West Coast and the many huts and tracks they have worked on. Their structure seems more like anarchy with little involvement with DOC.

The presentation I found most interesting was from John Taylor, a DOC ranger from Golden Bay, who talked about the restoration work he has done on Riordans Hut, Waingawa Forks Hut, Chaffeys Hut and the Cobb Tent Camp.

I was also pleased to meet several members of the website including Matthew who built and runs the site. I have followed many on-line discussions on this website, and it was good to meet the real people behind the on-line identities.

On our way back to Nelson, Pat and I did a quick overnighter to Nina Hut near Lewis Pass – cold, but  with beautiful, fresh snow everywhere.

Ian Morris

FMC Executive Role > The Big Picture - by Pat Holland

I did not know what I was letting myself in for when Tony Haddon cunningly got me to replace him on the FMC Executive three years ago. FMC is doing its best to represent the interests of our 16,000 members (82 Tramping clubs, NZ Alpine Club, plus a growing number of individual supporters).

I have been impressed by the range of talent and commitment on the Executive, currently headed by our inspirational president Robin O’Neil (a.k.a. Uncle Jacko). Jamie Stewart, the Executive Secretary appointed one year ago, is raising our game with his energy and professionalism. See the FMC website for pictures and profiles of the current Executive:

FMC has a very broad brief with the most important being acting as a guardian for recreation and conservation in our big outdoors, especially national parks. We want Conservation Management Strategies and NP Management Plans (reviewed every 5-10 years) to be appropriate and followed. We want better access to and protection for our wild areas – the “Forgotten Lands” campaign is having some successes. Some of the younger Exec (Laura King, Tania Seward, Erik Bradshaw) are stirring things on access problems and the longer term biggie: climate change. 

The quarterly FMC Bulletin is a little gem of a production and all credit to editor Shaun Barnett who publishes with little or no direct intervention from the Executive. Make sure you pick up your copy from club nights, Peter Wises in Buxton Square, or Hunting & Fishing shop in Queen Street, Richmond.

Much of FMC interests involve working with DOC which has been through the ringer in recent years with budget cuts and continual reorganisations. DOC has just released its four-year plan which reflects some stabilising at the helm by their latest DG Lou Sanson and facing up to the reality that DOC cannot do it all on its own. Although “partnerships” has a commercial ring, there are things happening in the Nelson region that do strongly involve community groups, e.g. Project Janszoon (great talk by Devon Maclean who spoke to NTC in June) and the Hut & Tracks initiative. DOC staff from all levels have been very appreciative of our club’s renovation of Flora Hut (which we aim to complete next summer).

The FMC annual photo competition is popular event with very high standards. Congratulations go to David Blunt who was a section winner last year. (Our own photo competition feeds into this, which is being run on 7th December.)

The FMC Youth Fellowship scheme continues with grants to worthy proposals for support of trips great and small. Only the leader must be aged under 30 years.  Applications close 18 September.


Pat. Holland

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:


These are now due and stay the same as for previous years. Please pay promptly.

The Committee is concerned at the poor uptake of the FMC Bulletin via the pickup arrangement or at club nights. Please choose the small postal surcharge option if you wish to get the surety of postal delivery for the Bulletin and NTC Newsletter.


Subscriptions can be paid the following ways:

1. Using the Internet, on-line to:



Nelson Tramping Club,

Account No: 03 0703 0028827 00

Please identify yourself by name.

2. Post a cheque to:



The Treasurer

Nelson Tramping Club

c/o Wises Picture Framers,

78 Buxton Square, Nelson 7010.

3. Cash or cheque at the August club night.


Subscription fee options are:



1. Individual Subscription: $30.00

2. Individual Subscription with mailout of both the
Newsletter and FMC Bulletin: $40.00

3. Double Subscription incl. family: $45.00

4. Double Subscription with mailout of both the Newsletter and FMC Bulletin: $55.00


On receipt of payment you will be issued with your FMC card which provides discounts on goods and services such as
the DOC Annual Hut Pass.

OBITUARY> Gordon Brett, Life Member of NTC

We acknowledge the recent death of Gordon, a Life Member of NTC. He will not be known personally to many of you, although he maintained the NTC mail box at 118 Vanguard Street until recently.

Gordon was a stalwart of the club for many years and was also active in other community groups including St Johns, Nelson Search & Rescue and Mountain Safety Council.

During the 1950s–1960’s he led NTC initiatives to construct or renovate a range of huts in the region including Rocks Hut. He was very pleased with NTC’s recent efforts with Flora Hut.

A quiet, engaging man with a great sense of humour; we acknowledge Gordon’s many contributions to NTC and give our condolences to his sons Martin and Bevin, and extended family.

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