Newsletter, September 2010


Welcome to new members:
Liam Sullivan, Donato Romanazzi & Silvano Lorandi

Download the printed version of the newsletter (6 pages, more photos) as a 0.6-megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

EDITORIAL COMMENT > Letter from Lawrie

As the in-coming President of the club, I've been asked to say a few words.

Halketts on Mt Franklin

First I should introduce myself. I am married with three adult children who have all flown the coup and my wife Kaye and I have, these last three years, been wondering how come that all happened so quickly! So as not to succumb to the empty nest syndrome we have since that time been hosting international students. It’s a great way of staying connected with the younger generation, while at the same time being able to learn more about cultures from other countries.

For thirtyfive years I have been involved in the forest and wood products industry, which has afforded me many opportunities, including travel overseas. While the industry is either all boom or all bust I have really enjoyed the variation and challenge that comes in working in the sector.

Another year or two and I’ll be ready to kiss goodbye to my beloved pine trees and spend more time with my wife – and maybe start biking around NZ and further afield.

A defining moment in my life was the time Kaye and I spent living and working for Volunteer Service Abroad in the Himalaya. Living for two years among the Sherpa people taught us that life is not all about gathering material possessions, but it’s about helping others, having fun and building up heaps of karma along the way. To most Kiwis this lifestyle comes quite naturally.

Tramping for me began as a ten-year-old in the Tararuas. Many a weekend my parents would drop   my two older brothers and I off at the Kaitoke Shelter. We would head into the Tauherenikau Valley or up the Marchant Ridge to Mount Alpha. Over my college years I traversed most of the tracks through the Tararuas and, while I have not been back since I left Upper Hutt as a 19-year-old, I can still vividly remember the tracks and the huts as if I had been there just last weekend!

Leaping forward to the present day, I am a relative newcomer to tramping clubs and, although a little cautious on joining some five years ago, it has been an enriching experience, rubbing shoulders with a far greater circle of people with a similar passion for our mountains, bush and rivers.

I think the club provides a wonderful service to its members, delivering tramps suitable for all levels of capability, complete with competent leaders and transport, an outstanding newsletter, and very interesting club nights. These services just don’t magically happen, but come from voluntary input from a band of very hard-working club members.

This is all for you, our members, so make the most of the opportunities – take part in the tramps, read the newsletter (and provide feedback if you wish), attend club nights whenever you can. In that way the vitality in our club
will live on.

Take care in the hills...

Lawrie Halkett > PRESIDENT

MEMBER PROFILE > Beverley Muirhead

Beverley on Mt Hopeless1. Place of birth:

2. Job: Piano teacher.

3. Been a member for: 25 years!

4. How I’ve benefited from NTC: Good company.

5. My best trip: Tongariro National Park.  

6. My worst trip: Waimea Stopbank.

7. My scariest moment: Slipping on a clay track down from the Hackett waterfall.

8. My favourite tramping hut: Lake Sylvester Hut.

9. What wild place would I put at the top of my ‘bucket list?’ Mount Earnslaw (but I am too old!)

2010 Club Nights > 7:30pm Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street. Gold Coin.

Monday 4 October: Guest speaker: Mark Stevens re MT BELVEDERE

Monday 6 December: Club Photo Competition

Overdue Subscriptions > Please pay!

A number of folk have lapsed membership ... remember to pay your subscription!

Wild Rivers TV Documentary

Watch out for Craig Potton’s new documentary series on Prime TV, starting Sunday 12 September at 7.30pm. It’s called WILD RIVERS.

Big Beach CLEAN UP > 20 November – Delaware Bay – 6.4 km – Easy

Jo Kay, Phone: 544 9666   

A big community spring clean of Tasman Bay beaches and other coastal areas between Marahau and Cable Bay is planned in time for summer, involving 50 beaches.

The Big Beach-Clean-up is a chance for us to come together as a community to clear rubbish from our beaches to make them safer, more attractive and enjoyable for ourselves, our visitors and wildlife.

I have registered the tramping club for Delaware Bay which is the 6.4km of estuary coastline at the back of Cable Bay around the south section of Peppin Is and the south side of the estuary around Bishop Peninsular. I hope we’ll be able to provide our target of 15+ volunteers to clean this coastline while enjoying each other’s company and the scenery.

The official time of the clean up is between 11 am and 3 pm with all rubbish to be delivered to the collection site at Tahunanui Park by 4pm followed by a sausage sizzle where we can sit back and relax knowing that we have contributed to helping our community and the environment. If the weather is disagreeable, it will be postponed till the next day, 21 November.

Satisfaction Survey > Results 


There were 110 copies of the survey printed for inclusion with the annual subscription notices.

  • Not everyone replied to every question and some questions had more than one answer.
  • The electronic responses were easier to analyse.
  • These procedures allow direct comparison with the 2006 survey which used the same methodology.

Number of electronic responses: 16
Number of paper responses: 34
Total responses: 50

Response rate: 45%


76% said it’s easy to find way around the club website.


98% were satisfied with current newsletter.
56% preferred to use internet access.
44% preferred a printed copy in mail.


94% satisfied with current programme.
60% liked overnight trips.
86% liked day trips. Of these:
...50% preferred Sunday trips
...40% preferred Saturday trips  

Fitness level preferences (for trips)

12% easy
56% moderate 
52% fit
2% hard

Club evenings

66% were satisfied with current format


“Hate going out on Monday nights!”
“Prefer speakers about local trips than overseas trips.”
“Enjoy going out with NTC. Well organised. Excellent programme.”
“Excellent club, good crowd, considerate, friendly, variety of tramps.”

A BIG thank you to all those who participated in this survey. All enquiries go to Merrick Mitchell by email:

DOC Hut Wardens Wanted


Volunteers are sought to act as hut wardens in the beautiful Travers and Sabine Valleys in the Nelson Lakes National Park. Applicants must be fit and experienced back country trampers who are capable of walking 4 to 6 hours per day with a heavy pack. They must enjoy relating to other trampers and preferably have a working knowledge of the Nelson Lakes area. Basic duties include checking hut passes, disseminating information to trampers, hut cleaning and minor hut maintenance.

Dates Required:
8 to 20 December 2010
22 Dec 2010 to 3 January 2011
5 to 17 January 2011
19 to 31 January 2011
2 to 14 February 2011
16 to 28 February 2011
2 to 14 March 2011
16 to 28 March 2011
30 March to 11 April 2011

Each opportunity is for two persons (working apart) for two week periods with one day off between weeks.

Volunteers need to be fully equipped with warm waterproof clothing, boots and other tramping gear and supply their own fresh food. Some freeze-dried meals will be provided along with any transport between St Arnaud and the track ends (including boat transport).

References may be checked and/or police checks may be carried before applicants are accepted.

Fitness requirements: High

Supplied: Transport from St Arnaud, some freeze-dried meals, hut accommodation in-field, basic accommodation (without food) between weeks and before starting in St Arnaud.

Cost: Nil

Phone: 03-5211 806

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