Newsletter, July 2013


Download the printed version of the newsletter (8 pages colour), as a small 1 megabyte PDF file. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar program installed on your computer. Broadband connection preferable.)

PRESIDENT's REPORT > Lawrie Halkett

2012/13 has been another busy year for the club. A great summer (memories of days of old!) ensured there were plenty of weekend tramps for members to enjoy.

The highlight for me was the club weekend working bee at Flora Hut, removing, repairing and refitting the roof. Over the course of the first weekend in March 2013, around 25 club members turned up to lend a hand, stay a while and share in the camaraderie as we laboured to preserve a piece of Kahurangi’s important past.

Blessed with excellent weather the enthusiastic workforce completed the three-day exercise. Watch out for the next chapter in the restoration of Flora Hut – it will probably involve lining-out the interior of the bunk rooms.

That, and the olive picking at Frogs End in June 2012, have been very therapeutic for club members in grieving the loss of Ruth Hesselyn.

The regular bi-monthly club nights have been well-attended, with between 30 and 40 people being treated to a range of amazing stories of adventure. The Show and Tell night in February stood out for me. Step aside Peter Jackson, as most presenters that evening accompanied their pictures with maps, text and even music! Very professional, (although a mite intimidating for those of us that are just beginning to realise that  there are other audio-visual aides besides the slide projector!)

I would like to record a vote of special thanks to Raymond Salisbury, as club Newsletter Editor.

Another person who also deserves a huge vote of thanks is Jim Maxwell, the club Programme Editor.  We all know without a programme the club would not exist. His quiet, but relentless drive to get the programme ‘filled up’ is impressive. Thank you Jim for working on ways to make this task easier for your successors.

And, when it comes to the administration of the club smoothly ticking along, there stands Pat Holland, an extremely efficient and effective communicator. He keeps us well-connected with the world beyond the tramping trail. Not only does he do this for our club, but he represents our interests nationally on FMC’s National Executive team.

In these times of economics hardship I am pleased to report that through Brenda’s judicious stewardship of club finances we have actually ended up this year with more money in the bank.Thank you, Brenda.

New to the role of club Minute Secretary is the irrepressible Kate Krawczyk. Not only is it great to have another female on the club Committee (and we need more) she also brings youth, energy and new ideas. The pub club night was one example of where club members replete with maps over a few drinks exchanged ideas about possible tramps that could be added to the club programme. Keep those ideas coming, Kate.

Thanks go to Dion Pont, Mike Glover and Bob Janssen for their input to the club Committee and activities.

Thanks also to Mike Drake and Mark Graesser for maintaining NTC’s excellent website, which after all is our shop window to the public.

My final and heartfelt thanks are reserved for all club members that put themselves forward to lead weekend trips. You are without doubt the lifeblood of our club.

My desire for the coming club year is three-fold:

  1. Through the Committee to keep offering an interesting weekend tramping programme to members.
  2. Increase the number of club leaders available to run trips.
  3. Ensure your club Committee continues to regenerate itself (that is code for existing Committee members to be replaced by other club members!)

Best wishes to all members for another year of safe and enjoyable adventuring in our beautiful mountain lands.

Lawrie Halkett, President

CLUBNITES > Put on your calendar!
7:30pm Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street. Gold coin donation.

Monday 1 July > Club Pub Nite
Social Night @ Speight's Alehouse - Quarantine Rd, Stoke
Bring Park Maps and meet new people!

> Committee Mtg earlier at 6pm

Monday 5 August > Annual AGM

Guest Speaker:  Peter Bell


Peter is a retired DOC ranger, who was responsible for the development of the North West Nelson Forest Park prior to becoming Kahurangi National Park. This included restoring the Heaphy track and huts; upgrading the Wangapeka track and associated tracks and facilities; many other important projects. Come along and hear a little of the history of the incredible resource for recreation that Kahurangi NP will hopefully remain for future generations.

Agenda for AGM:

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of 2012 AGM
  3. Report from Lawrie Halkett, Club President
  4. Financial Accounts 2012-13
  5. Election of Committee for 2013-14
  6. General Business

Nominations Received for 2013/14 Committee:

Lawrie Halkett (President), Brenda Griffen (Treasurer), Patrick Holland (Correspondence Secretary), Raymond Salisbury (Newsletter Editor), Kate Krawcyzk (Minutes Secretary & Publicity), Chris Louth (Programme Coordinator), Andrea Cockerton, Bob Janssen, Dion Pon, Mike Glover.

Note 1 >  Jim Maxwell has stood down from the Committee and the position of Programme Coordinator. The Club owes Jim a great debt of gratitude for the excellence with which he has performed the role for past three years.

Note 2 >  Mike Drake, with some assistance from Mark Graesser, works on development and maintenance of the club website. This is an essential facility for communications within the club, with potential new members and other clubs and with the outside world. Improvements are regularly implemented and suggestions are welcomed.

Note 3 > Ex-president Mark Stevens continues to be Gear Officer. He holds the club’s ice-axes, crampons, tents and some other gear which is available for loan.

Note 4 > Hec & Gillian Arbuthnott at BaseCamp, in upper Trafalgar Street, continue to manage the club’s five personal locator beacons which are available for club and private trips.


MOUNTAIN SAFETY > Nelson Courses

Basic Alpine Skills > August weekend to be confirmed > COST: TBA

The purpose of this course is to provide fundamental alpine safety skills for travelling in low-angle alpine terrain up to 30 degrees where a rope may be required for protection.It is designed for individuals who have limited experience in alpine terrain but looking for entry-level instruction on mountaineering. It develops on from the core lessons taught in the Alpine Awareness course and introduces the use of ropes, harnesses and anchors required for protection when travelling in steeper terrain.

> For full course information, please go back to main website and click on Courses > Basic Alpine Skills or contact the branch below.

Outdoor First Aid Refresher > 17 August > COST: $95

It is a skills-based course, involving 'hands on' scenarios and practicals.

Participants must hold either:

1) a valid workplace first aid certificate,  with  unit standards 26551 and 26552 (or the expired units 6400, 6401 and 6402) registered with NZQA.

2) Or a certificate of revalidation, from an accredited provider.


CONTACT DETAILS > Mountain Safety Council
Contact:  Evelyn O’Neill.
Mail: 23 Coleridge Place, Stoke
Telephone: (03) 547 2426

TRACK & HUT UPDATES > DOC website alerts

Abel Tasman Coast Track:

Anchorage Hut is being removed from 6 May 2013 to make way for a new hut being built on the site. There will be no hut accommodation at Anchorage until the new hut opens around 5 November. Camping is available.

Kahurangi National Park:

The Graham Valley Road is, once again, closed due to a giant slip in May which blocked access to Flora Saddle and Mt Arthur.

Late last year the old Chaffey Hut in the Cobb Valley was restored in a joint effort by NZDA members assisted by DOC. Built in 1953-1954; the dilapidated two-bunk hut is a favourite stopping point on trips to Fenella Hut, further up the Cobb Valley.

2-PERSON TENT > Club Tent available

Hidden away in Mark Steven’s Stoke garage is a range of tramping gear that’s available to club members, including ice axes & crampons.

On several tramps this year, I have carried the two-person tent pictured above, and can verify it is waterproof and lightweight.


Brand: The Great Outdoors
Model: Pioneer 2
Weight: 3.2 kg max
Height: 110cm
Construction: 2-hoop alloy frame, PVC-coated nylon floor, seam-sealed ripstop nylon fly.


  • Dome variety
  • 2 entry doors with foyers
  • 2 Insect-proof mesh doors
  • Interior pockets for items

Erecting the tent is a bit tricky, until you realise that one pole is longer than the other, and which way the fly goes.

Ray Salisbury, Editor




Congratulations to Ray Salisbury whose photographs were chosen in the annual FMC Photo Competition. He won 1st Place in the ‘Below The Bushline’ category.




Don Schwass, who has worked for search and rescue in Nelson for decades, kindly spoke at our most recent club night.

Don also provides the only FREE monitored tramping intentions service. Check out Adventure Buddy on-line:


If you need to hire tramping boots, tents, beacons, or even clothing, contact Phone: 547 4817   >   Cellphone: 021 111 1177








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