From the President – February 2024

Kia ora,

This month we acknowledge Club member Garth Ireland, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

This article also provides general club updates including:

  • From the Committee, including Newbies night and Committee Nominations for 2024/25
  • Lodge updates, including Future of the Lodge conversations and upcoming Lodge training
  • Coming up in March

If you have any questions, comments or ideas please get in touch.

Ngā mihi

Anne de Ferron 

Garth on a Club trip to Sayer Hut – May 2022

Garth Ireland

As some of you will already know, Garth Ireland sadly passed away earlier this month, on 3 February.

Garth had been a WTMC member for many years and was actively contributing to a wide range of Club activities – from regular tramping trips and memorable gourmet trips, taking parts in kayaking, fly fishing or mountain biking trips, regularly attending club talks, Christmas beer tramps and social nights… the list is long! Garth was also actively supporting the Club behind the scenes, helping welcome people at the door on Club nights, being emergency contact for the weekend and actively inspiring and supporting new members and trip leaders – to only name a few of his contributions.

He was a familiar face for many of us and his presence will be dearly missed.

Messages for Garth’s family can be posted online. As requested by Garth, in lieu of flowers the Committee has made a donation to the Cancer Research Trust on behalf of WTMC.

Big Day Out (Paua Hut): Thirteen club members walked in to Paua Hut on Friday night for the soon-to-be annual WTMC Big Weekend Out.
Saturday saw two day trip groups head different ways up and down Mt Matthews with a cleverly timed lunchtime meet on the summit. Other activities included: competition-level cooking, monopoly deal, tree swinging, dam building, big breakfast-cooking and eating, hut-bagging rogaining, yoga, sleeping (in the hut and under the stars). It was a lot of fun! (credit: Left: Sam, Right: Emily)

From the Committee


We are running a New Members night on 28 February. If you are able to come along and help welcome potential members and answer their questions, please get in touch with Mathew at .

Find the event on the website and on Facebook.


As mentioned previously, we are updating the Club’s Constitution. More information about what we are doing and why is available here.
The draft Constitution has been emailed to all Members on 10 February for review.

We encourage all Members to:

This is your last chance to comment on the draft Constitution! After comments are incorporated, the final version will be circulated for approval by Members at the AGM.


  • The next AGM will be held on Wednesday 10 April, in person and online.
  • Please note the early start time: doors open at 5.30pm, meeting starts at 6 pm. 
  • The meeting will be followed by drinks and nibbles around the corner, at the Boneface Tavern, 13 Pirie St.
  • Find the event on the website or on Facebook.

A formal notice of AGM and papers will be circulated to Members in March, including the proposed Constitution. If you would like to propose a Member’s motion, please contact .


We are calling for nominations for the 2024/25 Committee. Several members on the current Committee have indicated their intention to continue in their role, however all roles remain open for nominations.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Lodge Convenor
  • Liaison Officer
  • Chief Guide 

Nominations can be emailed to  until the AGM takes place.

Early start for a Moonlight Tongariro Crossing (credit: Megan M)

Lodge Updates


Four groups had a successful trip to the Lodge late in January to complete the Tongariro Crossing at all times of day and night, as well as short walks around the Lodge. A full lodge in the middle of summer and a great opportunity for members to connect across several groups with various level of tramping experience.


In the survey we ran late last year, it was clear that Club members have a strong interest in thinking proactively about the future of the Lodge, with conflicting views as to whether we need to keep investing and operating the lodge.

The Committee is initiating work on this.

  • A first step is to get an objective understanding of the potential opportunities and challenges associated with the lodge in the medium and long term (e.g. what are our average occupancy rates, revenue/expenses, what are known opportunities (e.g. money in the bank, volunteers) and challenges (e.g. uncertainty relating to the ski field and RAL, conditions of our DOC licence).
  • The second step will be to identify viable strategies to be prepared to face potential challenges (e.g. what would be the base level of summer or winter lodge occupancy we’d need, how do we go about reaching these targets and having a plan in case if we don’t meet them).

This work will be critical to the viability of the lodge and the club. More generally, we will need to look more closely across club activities to ensure they are consistent with the Club’s purpose and can be financially self-sufficient. The Committee will provide opportunities for Members to contribute and discuss proposals as this work progresses.

LODGE TRAINING – Wed 13 March (evening)

We are providing Lodge leader training on 13 March. Come along to learn the ins and outs of opening and closing the lodge.
More information is available here. If you are interested in attending, please email Mathew at .


A Working Bee is taking place at the Lodge this weekend! Volunteer will complete a range of job including sanding, sealing and varnishing windows, doors and dining room tables, as well as other repairs and cleaning tasks. If you’re interested in future working bees, please get in touch with Roger, Lodge Maintenance Officer ()

Tongariro Crossing Lodge weekend – Despite starting in good conditions, Jacqui’s group experienced low visibility when getting to the South Crater. People ahead of of them were turning around and said the wind was getting stronger further up the track. Jacqui and her group made the decision to turnaround even though it was really disappointing. Good decisions all around as that same weekend, a couple got lost on the crossing.
It reminded Jacqui of this article in the Wilderness Magazine about mental heuristics that can lead to bad decisions. (Credit: Jacqui)

Coming up next

Check the trip schedule for upcoming club trips

23-25 February – Lodge Working Bee

28 February (from 5.30-7pm) – Constitution meeting: Come along to discuss the changes and provide feedback. If you plan to attend, please email  to RSVP.

28 February (from 7pm) – WTMC Social night: New members night

13 March (from 5.30pm) – Lodge Training. Please email to RSVP.

13 March (from 7pm) – WTMC Talks: Kiwi Spotting on Rakiura (tbc – this may be replaced by a Rogaine talk)

27 March – WTMC Talks – Herenga a Nuku Aotearoa : Outdoor Access Commission (details and links TBA)

10 April – Annual General Meeting – Find the event on the website or on Facebook.

D’Urville part Deux, Nelson Lakes NP:
Left: Ascent of Mt Misery, Nelson Lakes overlooking Lake Rotoroa, D’Urville River left, Sabine River right.
Right: Group above Mole Saddle, Mahunga Range behind & Atop Mt Misery

3 thoughts on “From the President – February 2024”

  1. Conflicting opinions on future of the lodge ? Maybe some want to change the club name to simply Wellington Tramping Club ….

    • It’s a good time to consider this! At present the future of skiing at Whakapapa looks very very uncertain. RAL is bankrupt and in liquidation, and at present nobody is showing any interest in taking on the Whakapapa side of the mountain. WTMC needs to be planning for that possibility, some would say probability.

    • I’ don’t think either of those assertions are correct. And it certainly wouldn’t be a good time to even consider options until something firm did eventuate.

      To suggest a national asset like Whakapapa, the main ski-field on the mountain (and North Island) as well as a significant tourist attraction, is likely to close is in my mind ridiculous. And if it did there would be a huge glut of lodges on the market !

Leave a comment