From the President … in March 2021

Nearly a year ago when elected President I couldn’t have come close to imagining all the year would bring for the club. It’s easy to focus on the COVID-19 challenges but there’s more to celebrate.

Photo credit: James Wratt

What a year!

It’s been wonderful to see so many trip reports over the last month or so on our newsletter site – as well as to hear about the adventures and see more photos (so many thanks to Tash, Tony G, all the trip leaders, authors and more).

This year we’ve moved to fully on-line membership and introduced on-line trip sign up – a first for WTMC. (A massive thanks to Juan, Jane, Matt, Maarten and a whole team of others!) The club has also saved volunteers’ time, members money and paper emissions by optional FMC mailouts (huge thanks Marie and Juan).

I’ve been entertained and learned so much across New Zealand and around the world with so many fantastic club speakers (even some during lockdown!), including on the TA, PC, AT and other trails last week. (A huge thanks again to Aimee, Byron, Rasmus, Tracey and numerous other volunteers.)

We have a new van (Sprinter) (thanks again Fiona, Rasmus, Graeme and Emily!). Our Lodge at Ruapehu has hosted many people and kept planning for the future (thanks Brian, Miles and the rest of the Lodge Sub-Committee!). Environmentally we’re progressing (thanks Tony S, Aimee and Fiona!), for example, with battery recycling and gas cannister drop offs at club night, promoting beach clean ups, and more (although recognise there’s still a lot more we can do. Your Committee has also drafted a Mission Statement and club values. I could go on … with so many more people to thank!

I do want to give a special plug to a few background volunteers who keep trips running – our emergency contact coordinator (thanks Mark P and Sarah F!) and all the weekend emergency contacts (including Mark and Garth). We need more – if you want to help out email . Thanks also to all those leading trips, including a few co-leading their first ones! 😊

WTMC AGM, 7 April, 2021, 7.30pm (TTC hall & Google Hangouts)

So now to our next AGM: details including links to the annual report, financial statement and other documents here.

This year we’re also proposing changes to our Constitution. I know some will be asking why? With the year that’s been the Committee believes it’s a good time to tidy it up (eg. removing some unnecessary duplication of references, making some of the language more modern and gender neutral), bring it up to modern times (eg. allowing for email correspondence) and to prepare and set the club up well for the next few years.  For example, we’re proposing to only specify certain Committee position titles President, Vice President, Chief Guide, Treasurer and Secretary) without limiting position numbers. This will allow most roles to adapt as needed, such as Webmaster becoming Technology Officer. If you have questions or want to know more about any of the changes email me at .

As we look to elect a new Committee, there are again so many thanks, with two in particular of note:

  • Graeme Hearfield – after 5 years as Treasurer is stepping down. The Treasurer role is more complex and time consuming than many are aware, with the club having assets such as the Lodge at Ruapehu, Paua Hut and club vans. This year has been particularly demanding with COVID-19
  • Matt Conway – Chief Guide over the last two years, and Assistant Chief Guide for three years before then (check AGM docs). Chief Guide without doubt is the most demanding role on many fronts, on top of which Matt has organised various club training (eg Bushcraft, First Aid).

Sadly a few other Committee members are also stepping down and will also be hugely missed:

  • Marie Henderson – having taken on the Secretary role again, calmly following up and too many other things to mention
  • Byron Camp – Social Convenor – with his lovely wit, week after week, being the backbone of club nights
  • Tracey Avolio – General Committee member – helping fill in gaps, driving our mission and so much more.

These are not to downplay the major contribution every member of the Committee has made this year. I am very grateful and fortunate for every member of the Committee and so much each has given the club (and helped me with) – special thanks for all those nominating again for a Committee role.

We will also miss the significant (often lower profile but vital) contributions made by Natasha Harris (our newsletter editor, who reviews, and edits all these posts, and much more) and Yenfei Chan (our gear custodian who has been there week in, week out for the last few years) – huge thanks to both!

There are still some roles we need nominees for:

  • Chief Guide – critical to scheduling and keeping trips running
  • Social Convenor – critical to keeping our club nights and other events going
  • Promotions Officer – critical also to all our events, and letting you know about them
  • Gear Custodian – while not a Committee role still just as critical to keep trips going.

If you are interested in any of these roles (or any other roles), or know someone who is, let me know. Members eligible to vote can also email directly with a nomination.

Again – last but definitely not least – huge thanks also to each of you (with a particular extra thanks for so many volunteers) for supporting and helping make WTMC such an amazing outdoor community.

Hope to see you all at the AGM (either in person or online). Back now to the hills for me,



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