Newsletter, June 2009

Welcome to new members: David Wratt, Sara Vickerman and Raymond Salisbury.

Monday 3 August  -  CLUBNIGHT  (Put in your diary!)

Nelson Intermediate School, Tipahi Street, 7.30 pm, gold coin admission. Pat Holland Ph 539 1340

Annual General Meeting: 
Nominations for committee are requested - the Club needs your help! Nominations are to be made in writing and be signed by the nominator, seconder, and nominee.  Nominations must be received by Wednesday July 8 2009. If you want to discuss a possible nomination please contact Mark Stevens Ph 545 7564.

The current committee consists of ten members: seven of whom have confirmed they are willing to be nominated again, and three will be standing down, details as follows:-

Available for nomination

President                                      Mark Stevens    

Vice President                              Laurie Halkett

Treasurer                                     Gillian Arbuthnott

Correspondence Secretary          Pat Holland 

Minutes Secretary                        Jo Kay

Member                                        Dion Pont                     

Member                                         Bob Janssen                 

Standing down after several years service and not available for nomination:
Programme Co-ordinator Ruth Hesselyn, Newsletter Editor Hec Arbuthnott, and Mike Drake.

Plus "Trekking the High Circuit around Manaslu".  Uta Purcell will take us with her on her three week trek that opens your eyes to the sometimes raw life of Nepali and Tibetan culture; from the rice paddies of the Hindu middle hills to awesome mountains, gorges, Buddhist monasteries, yak pastures, and a high pass crossing. The area was restricted until the early 90s. Today it is experienced by still few trekkers, going expedition style.

And also “1080 and Conservation”.  DoC personnel Martin Rodd (Motueka Area Manager) and Mike Hawes (Technical Support - Pest Management) have agreed to make a short presentation on the demonstrated conservation benefits of 1080 drops, and the measures that DoC takes to monitor and limit mortality of native birds. These are issues of direct concern to Club members, for example the possible effects of 1080 baits on Kea.  


Annual Subscription


Confirmation of annual subs fixed by Committee for the year 2009/10.

Subscription: Adult - $28.00 Couple - $45.00.
These all include FMC Affiliation levy of $10.00 per person.

NB. Subscriptions can be paid online to: Nelson Tramping Club Inc. at Westpac Nelson, Account 03 0703 0028827 00. If using this option you must identify yourself by name. 


Club Night and Special General Meeting. 8 June 2009.


Annapurna Circuit, Nepal. Twenty one club members and ten guests thoroughly enjoyed Pat Holland’s adventures on this classic 21 day trek in the Himalaya, covering 220 kms, with 6.6kms uphill. The downhill taking an equal toll on the body! Organised by the Nepalese company "3 Sisters Adventures" with Nepalese women guides and women porters (men for Pat and the other male). The diversity of scenery, buildings, people and conditions made for a wonderful talk. Thank you, Pat.

The following amendment to our Constitution was moved by President Mark, seconded by Secretary Pat and passed by acclamation of those members present.Winding up  Clause 41  "...... but shall be given or transferred to some other charitable Club, association or body having purposes similar to the purposes of the Club ...." 




Programme Co-ordinator Ruth Hesselyn

Just a note to mention that the July-August programme is my last. After two years (and approximately 200 trips) I feel it’s time to step down. My plea for a replacement initially went unanswered, but there were some who said they would help. So, a great team consisting of David Blunt, Jim Maxwell and Uta Purcell has evolved. Margot Syms has agreed to keep up the good work of updating the database and transport costs. This team has a great deal of tramping experience and a wide range of skills, so I’m sure the forthcoming programmes will be bigger, bolder and better than ever. Though of course, this depends on your continued contribution, both in organising and participation. Many thanks to all those people who either volunteered or had their arms twisted, or in some cases nearly broken, and agreed to organise trips over the past couple of years. It has certainly made my job easier and led to a more varied programme.

 Editor Hec Arbuthnott 

The past three years as Editor and committee member have allowed me to be involved with an enthusiastic and interesting range of people, who have shared their knowledge and experiences willingly. As a Club with a long history, Nelson Tramping Club has survived because of the traditional enjoyment of going out and being in the outdoors, while at the same time having members who are prepared to adapt to change. Committee members can set programmes, organise speakers and activities, look for new ways to communicate with members, and the community, but it takes you, the club members who actively participate in tramps or club nights, to keep the Club healthy and vibrant.

Feedback and comment to committee members, whether in confirmation of the way things are, or in recommending some alternative, or new approach, is always useful. So, if you like something, tell the committee, and if you see an opportunity for change, then also tell the committee.

Contributions and comments to the Editor by email  fax to 548 1710, 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

The 2010 New Zealand Alpine and Antarctic Calendars

House and The Caxton Press have produced calendars with some stunning images of wilderness landscapes, natural history and recreational activities such as tramping, climbing and skiing. Prices are:

$19.00 each: individually

$17.10 each: orders of 5-29 calendars

$16.15 each: orders for 30 or more

Order forms can be obtained from Pat Holland Ph 539 1340 for individual orders or the Club could submit a bulk order if sufficient requests are made.  Cut off date for ordering through the Club is 16 July 2009.

 Havelock Infocentre is promoting activities in their area Go to for more details on accommodation, tracks, huts etc.

 Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre  03 315 7082. For trips to St James Walkway and other Lewis Pass tracks - offering base camp, shuttle services and safe parking.

Nelson branch of Mountain Safety Council are running an Outdoor First Aid on 19-20 September 2009.

Go to  
or contact Administration Officer: Evelyn O'Neill.Tel: 547-2426. Email:

Extracts from FMC Newsletter May 2009

FMC’s Upgraded Website goes Live!

Check out the Federation’s new look website on . The new website reflects the changes in web technology since the FMC’s first website was developed a few years ago. As the site develops clubs and members should find it much more relevant and up to date. We welcome recommendations on how to make the site more valuable and interesting. Please send your ideas to Phil Glasson at:


FMC Travel Club This was set up to provide members with the opportunity to join a small group of like-minded travellers and enjoy a tramping based holiday overseas. Participating in a Travel Club trip also supports the Federated Mountain Clubs. Everyone wins! The new look FMC website contains a dedicated Travel Club page with links to the upcoming 2009 trips as well as a preliminary list of 2010 trips. From the website, members can make inquiries about bookings, as well as contacting John with new ideas for future itineraries or offers of help with leading trips.

FMC Challenges Granting of WARO Heli-hunting Concessions in Canterbury In March and again in May, the Federation wrote to the Department of Conservation expressing serious concern about the granting of concessions to Wild Animal Recovery Operations (WARO) for helicopter trophy hunting in the Canterbury high country. We highlighted member dissatisfaction about the approval for increased helicopter hunting activity and consequential degradation of recreational amenity – particularly the value of natural silence - for trampers, climbers and other users of conservation areas. For further information, please consult the FMC website.

Mt Aspiring National Park Management Plan - Federated Mountain Club’s Submission Executive members are making good progress with the Federation’s response to the draft management plan developed by DoC planning staff in Otago. DoC is providing information on the plan via their website. The reference is:  Members and clubs with special interests, and issues that they want addressed, should contact David Barnes; .

Tenure Review Progress Federated Mountain Clubs is active on many submissions at present. It is developing submissions on Emerald Hill, on the Rock and Pillar Range, and The Branches lease in the Shotover catchment. A submission on the tenure review for Glenfellan Station in the headwaters of the Nevis Valley is also being finalized and the FMC executive is seeking improved access for trampers, mountaineers and backcountry skiers in the Diggers Creek area. Submissions on the Mt Aspiring Station in the Matukituki Valley are also close to completion. The Federation is also developing submissions on other properties under review. These include: Cambrian Hills, Cluden, Deep Creek, Long Gully, and Mt Pisa. Members who have issues that they believe FMC should consider in submissions should contact: David Round; , or Mike Floate; . In addition, Mike Floate would also welcome any offers of assistance from members who could accompany him on his inspections of high country properties undergoing review.

Government Proposals to Change the Resource Management Act (RMA) Further to the item in our March Newsletter, the Executive continues to monitor proposals to reform the Resource Management Act and other environmental laws. The Environment Minister recently announced that one of the topics in the Government’s RMA reform Phase II is the relationship of the Conservation Act and the RMA. The Minister said: "An activity that occurs on conservation land can require resource consent from the local council under the RMA and also a concession from the Department of Conservation to operate under the Conservation Act. While the purposes of the legislation are distinct - some of the issues being considered are the same. There may be scope for single processing timeframes or memorandum of agreements where issues are dealt with in common." We will continue to monitor these developments and their potential to impact upon outdoor recreation.

From DoC


All tracks in the Wangapeka and Karamea catchments as well as all the tracks on the northern side of Mt Owen that were damaged during the July/ August storms last year with the exception of one last remaining small section on the Kiwi Saddle Track and Stone Creek/Mt Luna Route have been re-opened.  The tracks in the lower sections of the Wangapeka, Lower Karamea, and lower Cowan’s Spur have been scrub cut.

Kiwi Saddle and Thor Huts have been repaired and repainted (a big thank you to Nelson Building Society and West Coast Fish and Game who made the Thor Hut restoration and painting work possible).  Kiwi Saddle Hut has also had a new water tank installed. The new Granity Pass, Crow and Venus 12 bunk huts are now in place while Salisbury Hut now has a fire to replace the gas heater and plenty of fuel for the Winter.

The Wangapeka Road and Graham Valley Road have been metalled and graded (following the extensive wind throw clearance of the Wangapeka Road).  Graham Valley Road did become badly corrugated in that long hot dry spell in late Summer but after the first good rain the grader was able to smooth things out again. 


It was a big year for the Abel Tasman Coast Track with an upgrade completed between Torrent Bay and Halfway Pool and significant investment in upgrading the sewage systems at Bark Bay and Anchorage. 

It has been a difficult and frustrating year for Mt Richmond Forest Park.  The loss of access into the park has resulted in us having to close the Bishops Cap access from the Lee Valley and alpine route, plus the Starveall – Lee Valley access.  The landowners have had some unfortunate experiences with the public accessing these forestry roads including having to drive front-end loaders in to tow-start logging trucks which had to avoid campervans.  Access through Lucy Gully is still available but is permit only access, given that it crosses Hancock’s private forestry blocks.  We obtained landowner consent to maintain the track and public access through the Left Branch of the Wairoa but a significant slip then closed the road as far back as the Ben Nevis turnoff.  Landowner permission for access to the Right Branch of the Wairoa has been permanently withdrawn with the landowner expressing concern over risks to their forestry blocks.  We have investigated other options to access the hut and track with no success.  We cannot therefore maintain this track and will cease maintenance on it and look at options for the Right Branch Wairoa Hut.  Options include relocation to replace Porters Hut or total removal.  Contractors did a fantastic job of cutting through the wall of wind-thrown Contorta at Inwoods Lookout but we are yet to clear the two sections of wind-throw on the descent off the Gordon’s Range towards Hunters Hut.  These wind-throw are passable but do add time to the trip.  There’s also storm damage trees down along the Ben Nevis route and Left Branch Wairoa that we will get to. The Browning / Hacket Track network was also cleared of wind-throw and scrub cut over summer.

Storm damage from the Hacket Hut to Starveall Hut is so bad that we are considering re-routing around it by picking up the old ridge route on the true left above Hacket Hut.  This would mean that the river section of the track would no longer be maintained but would (on the flipside) provide all weather access to and from Starveall Hut.   Thanks to those who contacted us with their local knowledge of these old routes.

Sharlands Creek - we are currently discussing options for the management of the Sharlands Tracks for both walking and biking with the Nelson Mountain Bike Club, forestry owner and others.  If you have any views on this please just let us know.  

Flora Hut – the hut has proved to be very popular in the last few weeks since the snow has arrived.  We‘ve had to truck in several loads of firewood already but we have not seen any of the firewood (this season) that people promised to donate when we decided to retain the hut.  We have built up a reserve in our yard from the storm damage trees but I will be disappointed if we need to start purchasing firewood for Flora Hut.  Please contact Mark Townsend or Matt Page at this office if you can help.

We are approaching the Winter storm season again so if you come across any storm damage when you’re out in the backcountry we’d really appreciate hearing from you.  We may not get to it straight away but it will definitely get added on to our work schedule.  Photos and locations of the damage would be ideal.

Martin Rodd| Area Manager | Motueka Area Office

Department of Conservation | PO Box 97 | Motueka 7143 | Ph 03 528 1810| 027 2839692