Cattleridge Hut

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  • #18523 Reply
    MikeM
    Guest

    Has anyone heard anything about a pending removal of Cattle Ridge Hut?

    It wouldn’t be too surprising given how it’s been maintained in recent times, but still a shame.

    #18524 Reply
    Andrew Chisholm
    Guest

    It’s been examined, recognised as in a poor state, and full maintenance is being planned (and maybe executed). NZDA is managing the hut.

    #18525 Reply
    MikeM
    Guest

    Thanks Andrew. I’m glad to hear it was only a rumour!

    #18526 Reply
    harry
    Guest

    I didn’t think it looked in too bad a state over the weekend – except of course for the fact that DOC, in a fit of bureaucratic literal-mindedness, have ripped out the 6th bunk to make it comply with some building code designed for hotels or something…….

    #18527 Reply
    MikeM
    Guest

    Yeah they did that back in 2008, but thankfully the revised building codes were pushed through parliament shortly after.

    Interesting documents if you like that kind of boredom. Apparently according to 1.7.4(iii) in part F, windows of long drops shall face either west or south. Maybe I shouldn’t ask why,

    #18528 Reply
    Old Goat
    Guest

    Been going to Cattle Ridge for quite a few years and there was never 6 bunks there. DOC certainly didnt remove one because of any “building regs”…most likely the bunk was used as firewood by a disgruntled,cold punter!
    WMTC rep on the Tararua/Aorangi Huts Committee is the person to push for retaining the hut.
    NZDA Wellington also have a rep on the committee, Tony Macklin was well on the way to getting a Community Agreement finalised by DOC for the maintenance but seems to have lost interest since DOC for some inexplicable reason asked Bush Br NZDA to take it on.

    #18529 Reply
    MikeM
    Guest

    Thanks for that. It must have just been a correlation. I remember a group of us were there on a club trip at about the same time DOC was going through the sudden panic of having realised things weren’t up-to-scratch with the newly introduced building codes.

    Does anyone know of any huts that did have a bunk removed during this period? I always thought there were some, but it might have only been Cattle Ridge that I was thinking of.

    #18530 Reply
    Michael (Paddy)Janes
    Guest

    I was involved in most of the hut upgrades in the Tararua and Aorangi/Rimutaka -eastern areas , and cant recall any bunks being removed from huts.The only hut , that had an alteration to sleeping accomodation was Smith Ck shelter and that had the whole top sleeping area (Maoribunk)removed because it could not be brought up to hut standard without spending a heap of money on it.
    Just recently heard that the chances of Cattle Ridge being removed have become greater because of lack of funding in Bush ,NZDA and an obvious reluctance by DOC to spend money on it, preferring to spend on projects like the $15k boardwalk just north of Mitre Flats Hut on a BCA track.
    If any one has been up the Waiohine Gorge lately ,the state of the road is deteriorating rapidly through lack of maintainence. One section of the road has subsided on a corner and anyone driving up there needs to be careful ; potholes are numerous.

    #18531 Reply
    harry
    Guest

    Well, the 6th bunk is missing from Cattle Ridge hut, and I’m sure DOC were removing the 6th bunk from various huts about 5 or 6 years ago to make then comply with some ridiculous building regulation (I remember reading about it in the paper or seeing it on TV at the time) so it seemed a reasonable conclusion that DOC did it.

    Did WTMC have any say in removing the top bunk at Smiths Creek Shelter? It is actually our hut, I believe. (I carried in 60 kg of cement for it when it was being built.)

    What is a “BCA track” and why on earth is DOC wasting 15 grand on building a boardwalk at Mitre Flats?

    #18532 Reply
    MikeM
    Guest

    BCA is possibly something like Building Consent Authority accreditation? http://www.dbh.govt.nz/bofficials-bca That’s just a guess.

    It’s probably to cover over the other mess of a boardwalk that’s already there and sunken fairly deep into the swamp, if it’s where I’m assuming it is. (Off the north end of Mitre Flats?)

    I did email DoC in 2008, shortly after we were there in March 2008 (Harry that might be the visit you’re remembering as you were there on that occasion), and asked for details about the bunk removal thing and reasoning for it. The person who responded was helpful and pointed me to the Department of Building and Housing legislative goings on and on which DoC was urgently getting fixed, and said nothing to deny that bunks were being removed. At the time I assumed it was happening, which had been consistent with seeing one fewer bunk than expected at Cattle Ridge.

    #18533 Reply
    harry
    Guest

    Yeah, I know I was there, though I was trying to remember whether it was 2008 or 2007. And the bunk was missing then, it’s still missing now, and it was definitely in the news about then that DOC were removing bunks from huts to get the number under 6 so that they complied with the regulations.

    I was guessing BCA stood for Back Country something – possibly just Back Country A as opposed to Back Country B or Back Country C.

    I can’t remember that swampy spot you mention, though it’s been a long time since I last went that way. But honestly, is there really any need for boardwalks in the Tararuas (except possibly at a few touristy roadends like Holdsworth)? It’s not as if you’re going to keep dry in the Tararuas anyway…..

    If DOC want to pay me 15 grand I’m quite happy to go in and throw a few logs and boulders in the swamp to act as stepping stones…..

    #18534 Reply
    Michael(Paddy) Janes
    Guest

    BCA- is defined in New Zealand Handbook -Tracks and Outdoor Visitor Structures SNZ HB 8630:2004 (NZ Standards Authority) as “back country adventurer”.
    The system was introduced,and made standard for all local body and government departments , in 2004.
    Tracks , and outdoor structures are all dealt with in this manual. A separate manual exists for Huts incorporating Building codes etc.
    The boardwalk north of Mitre Flats hut was not , in my opinion necessary, as the track through the swamp could have been re- routed. The cost for the construction ,materials ,helicopter etc was only my estimate, and is conservative.
    As a matter of interest tracks are divided into (1) Paths-UR (2) Short Walks -SST (3)Walking Track -DV (4)Great Walk/Easy Tramping Track-BCC(5)Tramping Track-BCA (6) Route-RS
    The rumour that DOC was removing a single bunk from 6 bunk huts was that , only a rumour.

    #18535 Reply
    harry
    Guest

    It’s not just a rumour that DOC was removing the sixth bunk from six-bunk huts a few years ago to make them comply with the regulations – it’s simple fact. See for example this Listener article from 2008 http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/ecologic/whats-up-doc-4/ . And I have little doubt that that is the reason for the missing bunk at Cattle Ridge.

    Personally I think it’s ridiculous that DOC is spending $15,000 (a conservative estimate!) to build a boardwalk in the middle of the Tararuas at a spot where whole generations of trampers (sorry, “Back Country Adventurers”) don’t seem to have had any trouble in the past. Especially if maintenance isn’t being done on huts for lack of money. As I said, I’m happy to go in and chuck a few stepping stones in the swamp, and I’ll even lower my price to a mere $10,000!! A bargain…..!

    (Incidentally, Mackay Downs Hut, the hut discussed in that Listener article, was eventually saved as a result of public pressure. I visited it about 18 months ago. If you’re happy with off-track navigation it’s well worth visiting as a side-trip from the Heaphy Track.)

    #18536 Reply
    Michael (Paddy)Janes
    Guest

    Well , you learn something new every day they say!
    So why have all the other huts in the Tararuas that have six bunks not had similar treatment ?
    More research is needed….watch this space.

    #15384 Reply
    John Doyle
    Guest

    DOC is planning to remove Cattle ridge hut. It’s justification is the huts poor state of repair and it has an engineers report to back this up. The fact that they have deliberately neglected this hut for years with its removal in mind is obvious. Once gone this hut will not be replaced and a wonderful part of the Tararuas will be harder to access. There is a group opposed to this course led by Joe Nawalaniec and including the Deer Stalkers Association. The removal of this hut and the neglect of other huts and tracks is part of a policy to withdraw funding from unfashionable areas and put more money into showcase huts and routes. Do you want what’s happening at Powell hut to become the norm? If you contact me I can pass on contact details of the relevant people so you can have your say. We can’t let this happen. Please get involved.
    Thanks
    John

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