Category Archives: Newsletters

Newsletter 45

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)

Address: 130c Cook St, PALMERSTON NORTH
Secretary Treasurer: John Todd
Phone 06 356 1561

E-mail: ajohntodd@clear.net.nz

May 2004

To Member Clubs and Councillors

Newsletter 45

Election of Executive

As noted last newsletter, this year is the bi annual election of officers for the executive to take effect following the  AGM in October. We require a president and 6 councillors. The president must have served as councillor for no less than 2 years . Executive members must be financial members of a club which is a financial member of RMCA. Nominations are now called for. A nomination form is attached and must be returned by 15 July 2004.

As our current president, Bill Crystal having served for 2 terms must under our rules, now step down, but will remain on council as Immediate Past President. One other councillor has also given advice of standing down after a long period of service. The remaining councillors are eligible to stand again. It is probable that we will require at least 2 new councillors. If a ballot is required, it will be held in August September.

Sewage Scheme

As you will be aware, progress has been continuing throughout the Autumn. Latest advice is that 85% of the Iwikau part of the scheme will be up and running prior to commencement of the ski season.The Memorandum of Agreement  (MOA) was finalised and signed on behalf of RMCA by Bill Crystal in late April. A copy of the  MOA as was signed is attached for your reference.

There has been much discussion regarding the scheme over a long period of time,  but it is now reality. There are still a number of questions being raised by clubs with regard to the funding  by clubs and in particular the current charges.  An explanation regarding the  2004 charges for recovery of capital costs that I received copy of,  was at best confusing. If your club still has some questions you may refer direct to DoC but if you refer them to RMCA and I shall endeavour to seek answers and we can share the knowledge with you all.

Insurance

Recent advice is that State is withdrawing from Ski Lodge insurance market on Mt Ruapehu.  leaving even fewer options available. If your club is or may be affected, advice is to speak to our vice president, Peter Garrett who is the expert in such matters.  More can be expected on Insurance over the coming months. Peter did forward me a copy of his recent newsletter, it covered a number of areas of insurance matters that I found of interest such as travel, 2004 premiums, liability insurance and other points. If interested contact  Peter@garrettinsurance.co.nz

John Todd
Secretary Treasurer
May 10, 2006

Newsletter 48

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)

Address: 130c Cook St, PALMERSTON NORTH
Secretary Treasurer: John Todd
Phone 06 356 1561
Fax: 06 356 1561
E-mail: ajohntodd@clear.net.nz

15 November 2004

To Member Clubs and Councillors

Newsletter 48

This years AGM was held 9th October and was attended by 59 delegates and observers from 35 clubs. Minuutes of the AGM are attached for your information. As ususal, the meeting was followed by the forum with the Department of Conservation and Ruapehu Apline Lifts Ltd.

Detail of the main issues at the AGM are covered in the minutes.

Items from the forum included the following.

Sewage Scheme

Mark Davies presentation was available in hardcopy to those present. It is now attached for your reference (RUAAO-8892). Perhaps the main point to note is for those clubs with lodges on Upper Salt Ridge is with removal of  septic tanks. This needs to be done while contractors are present with heavy machinery for removal of concrete.  A letter has also been sent to all clubs  by Greg Dyer from DoC with invoices and  further explanation on the cost and noting the interest rate on the capital  charge has reduced to 8%.

Grease Trap Maintenance for Club Huts

Raised at the Forum the following information is provided by Warren Furner from DoC. The information is also set out as an attachment should you wish to take or retain copy for Lodge Management Maintenance Officer or maintenance manual  if you have such a system.

Introduction

Grease traps are required to remove as much as possible dissolved and suspended inorganic matter form entering the sewers and waste water treatment plants.  Most blockage in pipes is caused by fat deposits over time.  In most cases grease and fats are derived from kitchen sinks and commercial type dishwashers and are washed into the waste system in warm water.  Your grease trap has been installed in your waste system between the kitchen wastes and the main sewer line.  Its purpose is to allow the water temperature to cool enough for fats to separate and be contained in the grease trap allowing the water to pass through into the sewers. The fats
cool and solidify on the surface and are easily skimmed off the top.

Maintenance

In most club huts the grease trap is designed to cater for 32 people served from a commercial style kitchen.  Fats will accumulate at different rates in each club therefore cleaning frequencies will vary accordingly.  A pre-season grease trap service is essential and regular inspections over the busier times is recommended.  The grease traps have two chambers and are fitted with and inspection port for each chamber.  Cleaning is simply removing the chamber screw lid and skimming the fats and oils from the surface.  A two litre ice-cream container is ideal for this.  The fats will be a mix of solids and liquid oils and are best transported to landfill in a 20 litre container.  If you service the trap regularly you can expect about 20-30 litres of grease and oils each time.

Disposal

Small quantities of grease and oils can be disposed of in the Taumarunui landfill.  There is no bulk facility at the Whakapapa Village transfer station for liquid wastes.  Commercial operators in both Taumarunui and Turangi offer waste water cleaning services.  They are:

Taumarunui Plumbing       07 8957023
Plateau Liquid Wastes Turangi  07 3866866

Crater Lake

Now 90% full, it is now expected that the rim will breach and result in a lahar down the Wangaehu sometime in 12 to 18mths during the Summer 2005/06.

Tongariro Park Management Plan

Progress has been delayed, is now in last stages of preparation, is soon to be forwarded to the board for approval. Is expected to be available early next year.

Solid Waste Management

The need for and plans for transfer station at Iwikau were presented by Warren Furner. He did ask for any comments on the plans as provided. I still have a couple of spare copies if any club delegates did not get one or  would like same. Having been given opportunity to comment on the plan, it will be difficult to criticise after  completion if we are not satisfied and there is no feedback to Warren

Loop Road Reconstruction

Plans were available showing the proposed changes. Construction is to commence this Summer.  Costing $1.2m  with $840,000 from Transfund and the balance from RAL.  Rather than being a loop, the road will be 2 lanes on the western side with a turning area and drop off area just beyond the Iwikau Shelter and Ambulance Bay.

Water Quality

This may be the most important issue to face clubs over the next few years. Ministry of Health standards for water supply are being revised. While information is still coming to hand it appears submissions were called for earlier this year.and revision is now in final stages which will be used as the basis for proposed legislation next year that will make compliance compulsory.

It appears that clubs will be included under Section 4.7 Approved Small Supplies Compliance.
Copy of this document is attached for your reference. It is recommended that you study this document.  From a quick perusal of this document it would appear that clubs will need a Public Health Risk Management plan (PHRMP), it will need to be current and implemented with regular sanitary inspection (6 monthly) and testing of water through an approved laboratory. Samples collected must be tested within 24 hours of collection.

Ammendments to the Building Act 1991 will require a compliance schedule and it will be issued with the Code Compliance Certificate.

Whether such regulations are realistic or manageable for clubs may be debateable.
Perhaps these requirements appear a little impractical and unnecessary. It was recommended at the AGM that clubs write to the Ministry of Health noting concerns.  After reading the attached document, feedback from clubs on any concerns would be appreciated so that we can circulate and take the matters further.  If  legislation is to be enacted next year, perhaps it will be appropriate for clubs to contact local MPs once we are clear on the issues that are of concern.  It may be helpful to know what position  DoC is taking with respect to back country huts and whether there are special provisions since it appears that all huts would be similarly affected.

Mountain Cleanup

Planned for early next year and likely to be a similar format to previous years, Saturday morning to be followed by a barbecue.  Tentatative date early March although DoC in conjunction with RAL have yet to confirm date. I shall advise as soon as date is known.

For those who may not have taken part in past years, it is a worthwhile exercise, suitable for all ages and a good opportunity to involve members who may wish to help out but do not have the skills required for some of the more difficult tasks on lodge work parties.

Track Access

The destruction of the track up from the A frame to lodges on Salt Ridge was unofficially acknowleded as something of a stuff up,  “a breakdown in communications”. We are all guilty of mistakes but we are assured it will be fixed prior to next winter with a widened track capable of taking a D4 machine and it will be kept clear  for access.

Service Levy

Some clubs raised concern over the 50% increase in the services levy when billed in September and had written to DoC.  Warren Furner advises that the additional cost is associated with operation of the new waste water plant and the cost is about $700 per year for a 32 bed lodge. It would appear that all clubs have been charged for the operation whether connected or not.

RAL – Dave Mazey

Reported that this year was the best in 10 years. Whakapapa was to close 31 October and Turoa 21 November.  Capital project this summer will be the snowmaking on the Waterfall ($1.5m) and reconstruction of carparks at Turoa ($1.25m).

Going forward will be very much dependent on the Park Management Plan. Likely to revolve around the 1500 bed village at Whakapapa at Iwikau (our lodges). According to survey are only 35% occupied during the Winter which is light for a recreation area. There is a need to develop a strategy where the industry wants or needs to be in 20 years time.  What was developed and suited the 1950s has moved forward and will continue to change.

Comment was made also of the closure of the mountain, now more frequent in less inclement weather. Results from a combination of  increased  awareness for safety, skiers being more discerning and venturing out less in poor conditions and improved facilities on the lower mountain with snow management from grooming and snowmaking.
Dave Mazey  re iterated RALs willingness to provide security patrols of  carparks on behalf of clubs but that it would be at a cost perhaps in range of $12 to $15,000 for RMCA clubs.

Followup from the AGM

Carpark Security

As  there was no resolution to the ongoing problem, RMCA would like to monitor the extent of the problem.  If clubs  provide information of incidents from this past season and any future incidents, this will provide a basis  should we wish to re examine and take some action in the future.  A brief  report forwarded to Secretary Treasurer  advising the date, time of day (or night), weather conditions, nature of incident, what was damaged or taken, whether reported to police and any other relevant data would be helpful.    (For your action)

Email Addresses

Further to previous advice, I have become aware that communication within some clubs is less than ideal and is not getting through in a timely manner, particularly in clubs where lodge management is not closely aligned with  the primary adminsitation of the club, ie there is a separate lodge committee.  Previously I have advised we would forward communication only to one email address due to the difficulty of keeping the address list current.  As a trial  I have created a 2nd mailing list with an alternate email address for clubs that are having such problems.

The main problem will be keeping addresses current which is a responsibility for clubs. Fifteen of  the 51 addresses currently listed have changed in the past 8 months.

If as a club you wish a 2nd person to receive the same newsletters and other correspondence, let me know.

Current address list is attached.  Please advise of any changes.

Retirement of  Councillors

Following the AGM, three councillors have retired after long periods of service. For many it will not be appreciated the contributions the have made over a period of years. Our outgoing president  acknowledged their valuable contributions at the meeting. Valedictories from Joe Taylor and Brian Anderson are printed for the record.   Alan Thompson has also had a long association  with council and was active with the development of the sewage scheme  when I became a councillor some 10 year ago.

Joe Taylor

My involvement with the council goes back to the days when we as a body had to deal with DOC and other organisations through Federated Mountain Clubs and the system was somewhat messy. We decided that as a group we had enough membership and assets at risk to do our own thing and after a little negotiation we became autonomous

WE dealt with the vagaries of the various Ski Associations that were starting up round that time trying to get one body to represent skiing in New Zealand so that they could attract corporate sponsorship.

We started on the long and very controversial road to obtaining our Club licences to allow us to stay on the mountain .This as we all now know ended successfully with us being granted three 20 year terms with each term subject to negotiation.
This term of occupancy then allowed the Ruapehu District Council to rate us and boy are they doing it. For the services that they provide us they are charging far too much.

Then came the sewage system. I’m sure that if we had not agreed to connect up to a scheme if it was put in we would not have been granted our long term occupancy.
This scheme certainly had its problems but with a willingness of all parties involved and with the acquiescence of our mountain the sewage system is up and running and performing well.

I’ve had a most interesting time on the Council and move off  knowing that we have been through some of the most demanding times to guarantee our continued right to  remain on Mt.Ruapehu

Brian Anderson

My initial involvement with RMCA was as a Club Representative on the Committee negotiating the Club Licences with the Department of Conservation.  I then moved onto the Association’s Council and was President for two terms.

I represented the Association and Clubs on the Project Management Group for the Whakapapa Sewage Scheme.

During my initial term as President the Association appointed John Rockell as its Administrator, and I believe that appointment, both as a move away from an organisation run by volunteers to being properly and professionally managed and John’s outstanding skills and knowledge, have made the Association a robust and effective representative of the Clubs on the mountain; something the Department of Conservation has recognised in negotiations on various matters affecting Clubs.  John Todd continues to manage the Association in a professional manner – it is in good hands, and I am very grateful to John Todd for it was he who suggested John Rockell would make a good Administrator.

I had the very good fortune to meet and work with the late Ross Campbell, who followed me as President; in relation to matters affecting the Clubs on the mountain Ross had no equal, and he has left above all the enduring legacy which he made his main aspiration, that the Clubs become part of the wider mountain community and work within and for that community rather than isolate themselves – the successful implementation of the sewage scheme is a very good example of Club cooperation and something that he was very keen to see completed.

For 10 years I have worked with Alan Thompson from the Hawkes Bay representing the Clubs at meetings far and wide across the Central Plateau in relation to the Sewage Scheme (from Taupo to Taumarunui!) and he has worked hard for the best result for Clubs.

My time with RMCA has been somewhat longer than I ever intended, mainly due to the drawn out nature of the Sewage Scheme – it has been interesting – I have made new friends, and have enjoyed working with Bill Chrystal, David Mazey, and Mark Davies and his D.O.C. team.

A lot has been achieved by the Association during the 12 year period I have been involved and it certainly has been rewarding.

Till next time have a pleasant summer,  I’ll let you know the date for the mountain clean up when known and we look forward to seeing a good turnout form your club.

John Todd
Secretary Treasurer

Newsletter 47

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)

Address: 130c Cook St, PALMERSTON NORTH
Secretary Treasurer: John Todd
Phone 06 356 1561
Fax 06 356  1561
E-mail: ajohntodd@clear.net.nz

23 August 2004

To Member Clubs and Councillors

Newsletter 47

Plenty of snow, now for the fine weather!.

AGM and Annual Forum with RAL and DoC.

Saturday 9th October at 4.00pm in the Happy Valley Bistro at Iwikau.

The meeting as in past years will be followed by a dinner hosted by DoC and  RMCA. Advice of whom your delegate attending will be must be returned to Secretary Treasurer prior to the meeting  Further information in the Delegate advice attachment.

Attached to this newsletter:
i) Advice of delegate to the AGM
ii) Annual accounts for year ending 31 May 2004
iii) Minutes of AGM 2003
iv) Agenda for 2004 AGM
v)       Presidents Report

Sewage Scheme Update

Now operational, the official opening to which clubs received invitations, was held Sunday  8th  August. From the photo’s I saw, the weather  was rather snowy.

After what must be near 20 years since first mooted, the scheme is now reality for most clubs. Advice from DoC is that it is up and running as expected, still some commissioning to do at Whakapapa treatment end and planning is now underway for upper mountain areas for connection next season. DoC will give us a fully updated report at the forum.  Funding is still an issue for clubs and will be an agenda item at the AGM.

Car Park Security

Following the last newsletter  (16 July) the issue was raised by a councillor on behalf of a club.. If  RMCA was to take any action this season there was a matter of urgency hence the issue was  circulated to clubs (20th July) with some preliminary coment from council and advice from Peter Garrett and  feedback  was sought.

Quick feedback from council and some clubs was positive but not clearcut as to any action.

Comments from Respondents in summary

1) A desire to see RMCA pursue the matter further, it will continue to be a probem if we don’t.
A partnership of effected clubs and RAL would be best. Would depend on cost.

A periodic patrol may be best. Alternately a barrier at foot of  Loop Rd being closed from say 11pm till dawn.

2) The issue needs to be dealt with now, club would be happy to pay share, Whatever RMCA consider best.  RAL ticket price should include component for security and they should accept some responsibility.

Alarms and taking personal measures makes sense but does not solve the problem.

Camera’s alone will not solve the problem, but nor will security patrols.

A club funded RAL security patrol may be best way to go.

A camera at bottom of road would identify all vehicles using road at night and has merit.

3) A proposal for CCTV from the police was sent to clubs two years ago. Capital costs were around $150,000 and monitoring around $25,000 pa. Clubs were sounded out for capital contributions of $1,000 to $1,500.  About 25 clubs responded but only half were in favour and no further action was taken.

4) A security patrol is not likely to be very effective and use of RMCA funds for same is not supported by club. Club will reconsider if problem gets seriously out of hand.

Theft is a fact of life and we must take our own responsibility be it in town or on the mountain.
Taking security measures such as advised by Peter Garrett (hiding or removing valuables, fitting alarms etc) is best way to go.

5) One club has had 2 vehicles stolen but no thefts in past 5 years. More info on extent of problem required. Reports on losses from other clubs required.
What is the police response, how does the problem compare with elsewhere., Is there a pattern to the breakins, ie time or day of week, weather conditions, location of vehicles, type of items.

With the extent of car parks, would one security guard/patrol be effective. Would CCTV work in poor weather.  Locking gate in Rimutaka Forest Park in evening was successful in reducing problems in another prime area. Has this option been considered?.  DoC and RAL probably have their vehicles behind barriers at night.

6) Paying to use road is a problem (presumably referring to paying at night to open gate if locked). Education of users makes sense. How big is the problem, spending $15,000 on security for only a few stereos is perhaps overkill.

This club would pay its share, perhaps extension to existing Chateau security patrol may be an option.

7) Locking gate at Whakapapa Bridge at night and charging to open except in emergencies has merit but may not receive approval from some. We need to canvas clubs before approach to DoC.

8) Following proposals in 2002 a club member contacted relative who owned CCTV in UK.who had experience of installing cameras in Scotland and the Alps. In summary
i) Technical problems operating cameras in cold exposed areas.
ii) Effectiveness is reduced when viewing snow.
iii) Who will monitor and respond to suspicious activity.
iv) Cameras are effective in daylight and at night if no snow.
v) In Europe, locking access roads between hours is cheapest and most effective.
vi) In Europe, fundng callout for locked gate is funded by the operators (ie lodges) and charged to users eccept for emergencies).
Locking the road was proposed and police advised it was their preferred option but DoC would not permit parks to be locked off. However they do this elsewhere, e.g. Te Marua locked 11pm – 6am.

RMCA, RAL, Police and DoC need a trial arrangement. If each club paid  $200 and each vehicle $25 when let in or out (after hours) such  scheme would be self funding.

Thanks to all respondents, the above are a range of views, will be discussed by council and this will be an agenda item at the AGM.

Changes to the Rules

Notice is now given of  ammendment to Rules at the AGM.

Rule 16(c) states:
“All cheques and negotiable instruments drawn by the Association shall be signed by the Treasurer and any one of the Councillors and all cheques and negotiable instruments may be endorsed on behalf of the Association by either the President or Treasurer.”

Proposal is to ammend rule 16(c) to :
“All cheques and negotiable instruments drawn by the Association shall be signed by the Treasurer or any one of the  Councillors subject to written or electronic approval by another Councillor and all cheques and negotiable instruments may be endorsed on behalf of the Association by either the President or Treasurer.”

For practical reasons, recent practice as in many organisation, has been to have presigned cheques for use when required. With banking moving into the electronic age, 2 signatures creates problems and the practice of pre signing cheques is considered less safe.  With  cheques now scanned electronially, banks do not identify nor require 2 signatures before being honoured and as such it adds little benefit or protection.  The proposed change is seen as a better option.

Appointment of Auditor

Our previous auditor (Rod McKenzie) has stepped down from the position following  audit at the end of March 2004.

Rules 18 states that an auditor who shall not be a member of the executive shall be elected at each AGM.

Under the Incorporated Societies Act, we do not require an auditor to be a member of the Society of Accountants but a qualified person is preferable.

To appoint a qualified auditor may now entail an excessive cost for the association. An ammendment to our rules to remove the need for audit is possible or  we may be able to find a suitable person amongst our membership. There is no proposal to change our rules to remove the appointment of an auditor hence we will require an appointment. Any prospective name put forward by clubs prior to the AGM would be helpful.

Loop Rd Correction

In the last newsletter I commented on the work going to tender in August and being funded 75% by Transfund but clubs may be required to contribute.

I have been advised by DoC that the 25% community contribution is Transfund policy not that of DoC. In this case the community is the Department and the concessionaires. A  decision has been made not to include club contributions to the Loop Rd reconstruction.  Thanks DoC,  it is one less cost for clubs to bear but no doubt we will still pay our share indirectly.

Mountain Cleanup

As mentioed in last newsletter, an RAL/Club mountain cleanup is proposed similar to that held some years back. Initially planned  to be mid October I am now advised by Doc that is likely to be around March.

Ohakune New World

Following request the new owners, clubs were requested to provide personal guarantees. This was mentioned last newsletter with request for comment. Only one reply and that club returned the form with section on guarantee deleted. Presumably it is not an issue for clubs.

Risk Management

Lodge Insurance is one of the bigger single expenses for many clubs. Depending on who you are insured with, an up to date valuation may be required which helps to  ensure the coverage is adequate. An enquiry from one club was a timely reminder that all clubs should have adequate cover.  As I understand it,  Lodge valuations in the region of $1 million are  now perhaps the norm with some getting into the $2 million range. Food for thought for your club if you have not had a recent revaluation.  In event of  loss, under insurance is extremely costly and could make the sewage charge seem like peanuts.

RMCA Subscriptions

45 clubs paid, 6 remain outstanding, awaited anxiously. While we are not short of funds, it would be nice to have them all paid without having to follow up.

Email Addresses

Following the last newsletter 26 clubs confirmed existing addresses, 8 have advised of changes and a further 17 have not responded.  I have become aware of one club that was not receiving newsletters and this has been resolved.  As to the remaining 17, I have written letters sent by snail mail seeking confirmation. Thanks to those who replied, and changes have been made as required. My apologies to clubs if no correspondence was received by you for the past year but it does emphasise the need to ensure your email address is correct.

All the best for good weather and good skiing, hope we meet at the AGM, as always the evening meal is always good value for informal sharing of knowledge and improving our network of contact.

John Todd
Secretary Treasurer

Newsletter 46

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)

Address: 130c Cook St, PALMERSTON NORTH
Secretary Treasurer: John Todd
Phone 06 356 1561

E-mail: ajohntodd@clear.net.nz

16 July 2004

To Member Clubs and Councillors

Newsletter 46

Greetings, I have yet to visit the mountain this winter but from radio reports as I write this, it sounds like there is plenty of snow.

Sewage Scheme Update

Firstly my apologies for the brief but urgent email of  27 June. I know it created concern to many clubs and resulted in many enquiries. I am now a little more informed and can now explain further.

Our President (Bill Chrystal) was at a Project Steering Group Meeting with DoC (11th June) where a question was raised by one of the stakeholder representatives as to whether Club’s could pay their estimated contribution to the cost of the sewage scheme prior to 30 June 04 and thus mitigate the first six month capital charge cost that would have accrued when the Department of Conservation completed the first of its bi-annual billing runs in July 04. This question was taken back to the Department of Conservation for consideration and an answer in the affirmative was given on Thursday 24 June. It was a further 3 days before contact was made with Bill. Bill contacted myself immediately to advise of this and I immediately sent out the email to clubs and councillors. Regrettably I was away the following 5 days and many clubs phoned and sent emails to which I was unable to respond.

This is the background situation as I now understand it.

Clubs will be fully aware, construction of the sewage scheme began last Summer and is now operable for a majority of the club lodges. Negotiations have been ongoing for a long time with RMCA represented on the Project Steering Group by Brian Anderson and Alan Thompson.

Negotiations resulted in a Memorandum of  Agreement (MOA) being signed by participants. This document was in draft for a long time but was finalised and signed by  participants with Bill Chrystal signing on behalf of  all RMCA clubs late April. Although the document is not formally binding for clubs, the reality is that clubs are committed to the scheme through the terms of the lodge licences. A copy of the finalised MOA as signed was attached to Newsletter 45 sent out late May.

The cost to clubs is expected to be in the vicinity of  $45,000 per lodge + GST excluding connection fees and capital charges. (When I became a councillor 10 year ago the cost spoken of was $16,000 per lodge but rose to over $40,000 over the next 6 years but has remained at this level since then). The final cost to clubs and other participants will not be known until this time next year when construction has been completed but there is confidence it will be close to the figures advised.

Clubs and other participants in a letter from Greg Dyer, Business Services Manager, DoC, dated 31 March 2004 were advised of the  progress on the scheme, that charges would commence from 1 July 2004 and the options for payment as set out in Appendix 2 of the MOA. The three options for payment as set out in the Memorandum are

1) Payment by installment over the next 20 years (with interest at the rate charged by Treasury who have provided funding through DoC),
2) A combination of periodic lump sums with reduced installments or a shorter term or
3) Lump sum payment up front.

The letter stated  that stakeholders were to advise DoC of option preference by 30th June (Clubs were advised at the AGM and forum last October).  I trust all clubs have now done so.

The Letter also stated
“ for stakeholders wishing to take advantage of option 3, physical cash payments will need to be received by 01 November 2004”.

At the time and possibly due to change of RMCA Secretary, I did not receive a copy of the letter but have been contacted by a number of clubs in the past 2 months and most of these clubs have been in further consultation with DoC.

The letter of 31 March did not state that regardless of paying the lump sum by 1 November, clubs would still be billed for interest for the 1st 6 months. It was through the collective knowledge and contacts, that the change in policy allowing clubs to make payment of the lump sum by 30th June to mitigate the first capital charge cost was made. (My understanding was that this option came via a club member with contacts in Treasury). It was this option but without the background information known which prompted the urgent email of  27 June.

Payment by the 30th June has now passed, a number of clubs did take advantage of the option, others have been in discussion and will likely pay the lump sum later this year.

Based on the pre 30th June payment the saving to clubs would vary but assuming a cost of near $45,000 and funds are available but earning say 5.5% at present and the interest charge from Treasury (passed on by DoC) is 8.5% for the next 6 months, the saving to clubs was approx $650.

The sewage scheme and payment option will be discussed further at this years forum in October. Please forward any questions and concerns and I shall continue to seek the answers for you.

Lodge Water Quality

An issue raised at a recent Community Services Group meeting. New water standards are likely to become mandatory in 2005. Health Department (not DoC) regulations are expected affect all clubs with lodges on and off the mountain and potentially back country huts. Water may have to be filtered and treated, preliminary indications are that equipment required may cost around $5,000 and monitoring will be required. This will be an agenda item for the October forum with further information as it becomes available.

A number of other issues of concern to clubs were also raised at the Community Services Group meeting. The Loop Road redevelopment is likely going to tender in August. Cost estimated at $800,000, 75% funded by Transit with RAL funding balance but clubs may also be required to contibute. Debate from clubs on this is expected.

Biennial Election of Executive

As advised in last newsletter, nominations were called for President and six councillors and closed 15th July.

As at closing date  one nomination for president and six nominations for councillors have been received. Consequently no ballot will be required and the nominees are elected unopposed. The councillors take up their positions for a two year term following this years AGM.

President  Peter Garrett  –   (Aorangi Ski Club)

Councillors Hugh Barr  – (Tararua Tramping Club)
James McKenzie – (Sniowline Ski Club)
Nickee Sanders – (Iwikau Ski Club)
Brian Stephenson – (Alpine Sports Club)
Gary Sims  – (Puketoi Mountain Club)
Grant McTavish – (Downhill Ski Club)

Our retiring president, Bill Chrystal (Ruapehu Ski Club) remains on council as Immediate Past President.

AGM and Annual Forum with RAL and DoC.

Tentatively set for Saturday 9th October, further detail to follow.

Mountain Cleanup

An RAL/Club mountain cleanup is proposed similar to that held some years back. Likely to be mid October. Further detail not known.

RMCA Subscriptions

Invoices were sent to all clubs mid June. My thanks to those clubs that have now paid, 26 of 49 paid to date, pretty good for less than 30 days. I appreciate that not all clubs meet frequently and account approval can take time but as all treasurers know, it is much nicer to have payments come in promptly and it eases the job. After years in banking I know all the excuses, even when the cheque was posted yesterday but somehow when arriving always has tomorrows postmark.  To be identified as unfinacial at the AGM through an admin oversight can be at least a little embarrassing.

I look forward to receiving the rest of the payments in near future.

Ohakune New World

Anna Meyer  (Ngauruhoe Ski Club) advises they have received a letter regarding a change of ownership and that the supermarket requires renewal of account information and a new requirement for personal guarantees on accounts.  This advice has been circulated direct to all clubs with a request to respond.  If  clubs would like a response from RMCA to New World, please let me know your views and I can respond on behalf of all clubs.

Email Addresses

Contact by email has become the norm for communication. It is faster and more efficient and cost effective. A problem may exist if the mail is not being sent to the right club contact. Our previous secretary did have some troubles with keeping addresses current and since taking over I have had a small number of changes of address. There is no problem for those with permanent club email addresses but where club contacts change potential problems exist.  As per the email to which this newsletter is attached I have requested reply to confirm receipt and that the receiver from me is still the club contact.

All the best for good weather and good skiing, may even see you on the slopes.

John Todd
Secretary Treasurer

Newsletter 44

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)

Address: 130c Cook St, PALMERSTON NORTH
Secretary Treasurer: John Todd
Phone 06 356 1561
E-mail: ajohntodd@clear.net.nz
April 2004
To Member Clubs and Councillors
Newsletter 44

Change of  Secretary Treasurer

As you will be aware, John Rockell has retired from the position after a sterling 10 years of service. I now have the task of  continuing  to maintain the high standard of service he provided. I look forward to the challenge. I have no intent of making changes at present although it may be that over time my own style may evolve.Your comments and criticisms are always welcome.

Please note the contact adresses above. Of note is the email address, a change from previous advice, my hotmail inbox previously used tended to become overloaded. I trust Clear.net will not have same problem.  Sorry I do not have fax nor answerphone service at this time but I can usually be contacted by phone around dinnertime or early morning although for most occasions I trust that email is most convenient.

For those who don’t know me,  I shall give you a little of my background.  Raised in Christchurch I remain a “one eyed Cantabrian” and continue to follow the red and blacks. My rise to fame was as a rep in the under 7 stone grade and helping “Fergie McCormick” train for the All Blacks, ( I kicked the ball back to hin when he was practicing his goal kicking). Trained at Lincoln, worked in  State Advances, Rural Bank and National Bank in rural finance for over 30 years retiring last month.

Was a onetime member of  Christchurch Tramping Club, Canterbury Mountaineering Club and NZAC,  I have been a member of  Manawatu Tramping Club for past 20 years.  Was an RMCA councillor for 6 years but stood down 4 year ago.  Current interests include my outdoor fitness centre (a 130 acre forestry block near Linton with pruning yet to be completed), tramping, kayaking, philately, gardening and a few other things whenever there is time and I hope to get back to a bit more skiing.

Election of Executive

The bi annual election of officers is due this year.  As per the rules we require a president and 6 councillors. The president must have served as a councillor for no less than 2 years. Executive members must be financial members of a club which is a financial member of RMCA. Nominations will be called for prior to 1 June with nominations closing  15th July. Further details to follow.

Sewage Scheme

Progress is positive and indications are that costs are generally in line with expectations. The majority of lodges should be connected for the coming season. Advice thids week is that trenches  are being backfilled and the Bruce Rd is being resealed this week. Clubs on Salt ridge are now connected  and will feed into the buffer tank which has capacity for several months. The  MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) has now been finalised and is expected to be signed by our president on behalf of RMCA this week A finalised copy will be circulated to member clubs once signed.

Gone Fishing

Well perhaps not but our president Bill Crystall will be away from 21st April to 10th June. For anything urgent please contact myself or any other Councillor.

John Todd
Secretary Treasurer

Newsletter 36

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)
Address: 6 Harvest Court,
PARAPARAUMU
Secretary Treasurer: John Rockell
Phone 04 902 4415
Fax 04 902 4413
E-mail: rockell@paradise.net.nz
3 March 2003.

To Member Clubs Newsletter 36 The Management Plan. You will have received from DoC a copy of the January 2003 draft of their Tongariro National Park Management Plan with an accompanying letter which invites comment and submissions until 28 March 2003. RMCA representatives have had some preliminary discussion with DoC and will shortly be meeting again after which a submission will be made on behalf of RMCA and clubs. The view held by the RMCA representatives is that the plan is generally very good and will provide DoC with the direction to ensure the park is managed to maintain its qualities for all those who enjoy it. Having said that, there is one issue that particularly concerns RMCA. The draft plan proposes that “existing buildings, structures and services will be removed if they cease to be necessary or desirable for any approved use in the park…” and “Concessionaires will be responsible for the removal of their own buildings, structures and services.”. Members will recall from the last AGM that DoC’s Area Manager, Mark Davies, speaking about clubs’ septic tanks after sewerage reticulation had said that they must be removed except for those which on a case by case basis, had been approved for fire-fighting purposes. RMCA representatives believe that in many cases the removal of septic tanks would be more damaging, environmentally than would be their retention. The RMCA submission will argue this point and clubs may rely on RMCA if they wish. Clubs can, of course, make their own submissions and RMCA President, Bill Chrystall has suggested that clubs might well make a submission about the removal of their own and others’ septic tanks. He stresses that submissions should based on the environmental impact of removing the tanks and not on any real or perceived high cost of removal – environmental organisations tend not to be sympathetic to cost! Bill will be out of New Zealand until the end of March and because of his absence has asked Alan Thompson to look after the preparation of the RMCA submission. If you have any queries or suggestions on this subject you may e-mail them to either Alan or me until 8 March but after that date I will also be away until 28 March. Alan’s contact addresses are: Alan Thompson, 27 Duart Rd, Havelock North, 06 876 6603 (home), 06 878 9300 (work) e-mail alan.linda@xtra.co.nz Kind regards John Rockell, Secretary Treasurer.

Newsletter 28

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)
Address: 6 Harvest Court,
PARAPARAUMU
Secretary Treasurer: John Rockell
Phone 04 902 4415
Fax 04 902 4413
E-mail: rockell@paradise.net.nz
7 March 2002

To Member Clubs Newsletter 28 The Sewerage Scheme At the time of RMCA’s AGM in October 2001 DoC was in the process of applying for Resource Consents (required under the Resource Management Act) for the activities associated with the Sewerage scheme which could have an effect on the environment. Clubs and RMCA, as affected parties, were invited to make submissions to the local regional authority, the Wanganui-Manawatu Regional Council which operates as horizons.mw. RMCA invited clubs to advise it of their support or objection to the applications, or to send them directly to horizons.mw. Subsequently RMCA sent its submission to horizons.mw in November. The whole of this submission was sent to all RMCA clubs as an appendix to Newsletter 27 at the end of November. Briefly, RMCA gave its strong support for the cost-effective disposal of effluent generated at Whakapapa and Iwikau villages and on the skifield. But attention was also drawn to a number of concerns including: • Lodge bed numbers and skier numbers used in calculating design effluent flows and the apportionment of costs. • Overestimation of effluent volumes generated by lodge occupants • The need for treatment to be appropriate for the special environment but not so high as to be unaffordable • The proposed decommissioning and removal of septic tanks • Necessary assurance that operational needs of the new system will not compromise operation of lodges or skifield • Necessary assurance that RAL facilities not included in the scheme will be connected without delay • That the rights of club lodges not included within the scheme should be continued. Like the submission from RMCA, most of those received by horizons.mw supported the applications but raised some problems which needed solving. A “pre-hearing” meeting of those who had made submissions and who wished to be heard was convened by Horizons.mw on 7 December. This meeting was called in the hope that all problems could be resolved so that a costly formal hearing would not be needed.
The Pre-hearing Meeting This meeting was attended by representatives of DoC, horizons.mw, Beca Carter…and submitters including RMCA, Hutt Valley Tramping Club, Tararua Tramping Club, Alpine Sports Club, Manawatu Tramping and Skiing Club and four other organisations. Your Secretary has produced notes 1of the meeting and these will be e-mailed to clubs for which e-mail addresses are held. DoC also prepared a table setting out the substantial issues which emerged from the meeting and action which would be taken to allay the concerns. Again the full table will be made available by e-mail. A summary of some points made by DoC include: • To match scheme design to rain water supplies DoC will develop a Management Plan policy to ensure that extra potable water is not reticulated to huts • Despite some concern that UV disinfection of treated effluent would be an unnecessary extra cost DoC will continue the treatment with the goal of returning water quality of Wairere Stream to contact recreation standard • Apportionment of the cost of the scheme will be set out in a draft proposal for feedback to DoC • Perceived problems associated with pumping effluent uphill from some lodges will be looked at and possible alternative downhill pipe routes will be considered • The risk of blockage and loss of service to lodges will be re-assessed with a view to giving better certainty of service • DoC still proposes to require the removal of redundant structures [septic tanks and outfield piping] except on a case by case basis for conversion to fire fighting water storage. Cost Apportionment Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd (Beca) has produced for DoC a draft report2 on the proposed Apportionment of Scheme Costs and this report has been distributed by DoC with a request for feedback. In the report the apportionment of costs “above Whakapapa” is based on a purported agreement between RAL and RMCA that RAL would pay 45% and Ski huts would pay 55% of the costs. In fact RMCA correspondence reveals no such agreement although there had been discussion along the lines that if club lodges provide accommodation for 1600 people at Iwikau and RAL peak skier day number is 10,000 then the cost split could be about even. At present, club lodges are licenced only for a maximum of 1402 overnighters. RMCA also believe that cost apportionment should be based on annual flows rather than only on ski season flows. A calculation on this basis will recognise the significant Whakapapa Village flows and very low Iwikau flows during summer. There is clearly a need for further negotiation and this issue is being addressed by RMCA. E-mail addresses Already in this Newsletter some additional information has been offered by e-mail.
1 Consents Meeting 011207.doc 2 Sewerage Cost apportionment and plant expansion RUAAO-5157 2 Undoubtedly, as the Sewerage Scheme “hots up” there will be more details which can be offered to clubs and e-mail allows this to be done quickly. It also enables receiving clubs to forward the information by e-mail to Committee members and others known to be interested, and also to print it for their membership if that is wished. However, at present we have e-mail addresses for just 35 clubs. We currently have: Alpine Sports Club email@alpinesport.org.nz Aorangi Ski Club bjpike@c1ear.net.nz Arlberg Ski Club Averil@hsnz.co.nz Auckland Tramping Club administrator@aucklandtramping.org.nz Boomerang Ski Club rodlr@imago.co.nz Graduates Ski Club thomsori114.xads@xtra.co.nz Havelock Ski Club m.j.jackson@xtra.co.nz Hawkes Bay Ski Club jwarren@clear.net.nz Hutt Valley Tramping Club caronick@actrix.gen.nz Iwikau Ski Club swillis@skm.co.nz Levin Waiopehu Tramping Club bceastham@xtra.co.nz Manawatu Tramping &SC john.doolan@inspire.net.nz Massey Alpine Club muac@massey.ac.nz Matamata Ski Club jaggers@xtra.co.nz NZ Alpine Club (Auckland) office@alpinec1ub.org.nz Pinnacle Ski Club pinnac1e.ski@xtra.co.nz Puketoi Mountain Club jomckay@xtra.co.nz Ruapehu Ski Club admin@rsc.org.nz Scout Association davidjupp@paradise.net.nz Skyline Ski Club SkylineSkiClub@hotmail.com Snowline Ski Club john@flamingo.co.nz Summit Skiers john.waugh@xtra.co.nz Tahurangi Ski Club JAYoung@gywlaw.co.nz Takapuna Ski Club pam@nimbus-transfers.co.nz Tararua Tramping Club tararua@ttc.org.nz Taumarunui High School sue_gifford@hotmail.com Tauranga Ski Club chrismat@xtra.co.nz Tauwira Ski Club jimbronginty@xtra.co.nz Te Horonuku Ski Club Trobertson@skm.co.nz Tokoroa Ski Club davlornk@xtra.co.nz Waitomo Ski Club andrew@waitomo.govt.nz Wanganui Ski & Snowboard Club lyndsay.tait@xtra.co.nz Whakapapa Mountain Club rhind-smith@xtra.co.nz Wellington Tramping & Mountaineering Club fiona-pratt@hotmail.com YMCA northshore@nzymca.com
You will note that few clubs have their own unique address. Most rely on a member (often the Secretary or President) to act as their e-mail box. If your club has no address shown I can not e-mail anything to you. Send me an address I can use to send mail to the club. Include your club name, e-mail address to use, e-mail owner’s name and position in club. If an address in the above table is wrong send me a correction. Let me know if the e-mail address to be used is changed. Election of Executive Council The two yearly election of Council is due again this year. The election will be for a President and six Councillors who together with the Immediate Past President will manage and control the affairs of the association. Currently, because of the resignation of one Councillor to go overseas, there are only 5 Councillors. The President, having served for one full term, is, if nominated, eligible for one more term of two years. All present Councillors are eligible for a further term. In May the Secretary will invite nominations. The coming years will undoubtedly be of great importance to all the clubs using Ruapehu. If you want have some influence in the activities of RMCA give some thought to the people you think could make a useful contribution. Tongariro National Park Management Plan Review DoC is beginning the review of the Management Plan with a series of public meetings and workshops after which it will prepare a draft plan for further consultation. You probably already have a copy of the existing plan. If not then you can obtain one from DoC. If you want to alert DoC to issues before the first draft is prepared you should do so before 19 April. A schedule of public meetings has been arranged by Doc Ohakune Town Hall 7.3Opm 11 March 2002 Taupo Senior Citizens 7. 3Opm 12 March 2002 Turangi Local Authority Meeting – Department of Conservation, 1O.30am 20 March 2002 Wellington – Venue to be advised 7.3Opm 21 March 2002 Turangi – Department of Conservation 7.30pm 26 March 2002 Taumarunui – Ruapehu District Council 7. 3Opm 27 March 2002 Turangi Recreation Management/Concessionaires/ Ski Area Management/Club/Accommodation/ Village Management Workshop – DoC, 10.00am 28 March 2002 Auckland – Venue to be advised 7. 3Opm 4 April 2002 Note:Full meeting details will be published in the local newspapers for the meeting venue one week prior to the meeting being held. John Rockell Secretary Treasurer.
RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.) Address: 6 Harvest Court, PARAPARAUMU Secretary Treasurer: John Rockell Phone 04 902 4415 Fax 04 902 4413 E-mail: rockell@paradise.net.nz 3 September 2001 To Member Clubs and Councillors Newsletter 24 Enclosures With this letter are enclosed: 1. Agenda for the Annual General Meeting to be held on 6 October. 2. The President’s report fro the year to 31 May 2001. 3. The audited accounts (Income and Expenditure and Balance Sheet) for the financial year. 4. Delegate notification form, which you must complete and return to ensure your club’s right to vote. Sewerage Scheme It has not been easy to get a lot of information for clubs on what has been the most important item for negotiation since lodge site licences. A major problem for DoC has been the selection of a Service Provider to construct and operate the scheme. The most likely provider appears to be Ruapehu District Council but the process is still not completed. The President, Bill Chrystall attended a Community Services Meeting on Saturday 1 September and made some notes. This Newsletter was held so you could get the latest news available which I have extracted from Bill’s note. 1. The estimated 1996 cost of $3.7m plus the indexed increases since then had become an estimated $4.4m by early this year. As a result of the Value Management Workshop the current figure, while not yet available, is thought to have been reduced to about $4.0m. 2. It is believed that virtually all the digging above the Top o’ the Bruce will be able to be done using a walking digger. 3. The AEE (Assessment of Environmental Effect) is supposed to be available within 2 weeks (mid September). 4. The DoC proposed timeline proposal is to file the Consent Application with Horizons (Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) about 15 September, have the hearing in November and the consent granted in February, then the Tender process can commence in February with construction to start May 2002. To me, this is very tight! 5. However all this is dependant on agreement being reached between DoC and R.D.C. on the service provider question and this is not guaranteed! Negotiations on this aspect are still taking place. 6. Proposed funding for the scheme will give 3 Options: (a) Totally Capital Payment (b) Totally Debt Funded (Annual Payments) (c) 50% of each. It is not likely that there will be any other options.
The Sewerage Scheme will be a major item at the AGM and we have arranged for Warren Furner of DoC to come to the AGM to give delegates up to date information. He will be prepared to answer questions but will then leave our meeting so we can discuss our options to achieve the best result for RMCA. It will also give an opportunity to delegates to work out any further questioning of DoC staff (and RDC?) in the 6:00 p.m. meeting to follow on after the AGM. Loop Road DoC thinking is that logically, this redevelopment should be done at the same time as the sewerage scheme. Estimated cost is $750,000 of which RAL (and Clubs I guess) will have to pay 25% of $187,500. No possible percentage breakdown has been talked about yet. Refuse – Landfill Rating Ruapehu District Council has invoiced clubs for a landfill charge. You will recall from Newsletter 23 that clubs were advised that it is Council’s view that clubs pay for their refuse collection by way of the Community Services Levy set by and paid to DoC. DoC pays RDC for dumping the refuse at their landfill site. Clubs were advised not to pay the Landfill charge to Ruapehu District Council. DoC staff believe RDC is double dipping. RMCA will approach RDC re Double-dipping over charges. Subscriptions It is now just over 3 months since the beginning of the RMCA financial year on 1 June and I can now report that all except 3 clubs have paid their annual subscription. I would like to thank clubs for paying promptly. It has been a great help to me and I trust the 3 remaining clubs will now pay their subscriptions. See you at the AGM John Rockell Secretary Treasurer.

Newsletter 22

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)
Address: 6 Harvest Court,
PARAPARAUMU
Secretary Treasurer: John Rockell
Phone 04 902 4415
Fax 04 902 4413
E-mail: rockell@paradise.net.nz
12 April 2001

To Member Clubs Newsletter 22 Sewerage Scheme. Newsletter 21 reported how DoC and RMCA had begun to look at ways to finance the scheme and also reduce the overall cost after Ruapehu District Council had decided it could not afford to finance the scheme. The Project Management Group, and particularly RMCA, was also very unsatisfied with the estimated cost $5.3 million for constructing a sewerage scheme which included piping all effluent down to a treatment site beyond the Park boundaries. DoC reviewed its position and came up with a proposal to enlarge the Whakapapa Treatment Plant and discharge treated effluent near the Golf Course – with a substantial saving in costs. You will remember also that one of RMCA’s concerns had been the high engineering design and consultancy costs which over 7 years had amounted to $508,000 and which RDC had wanted to transfer to the scheme. RMCA was, and has remained, firmly of the view that until the matter is resolved satisfactorily DoC should not attempt to bill clubs and clubs should not make any such payments. By mid-September 2000 RDC and DoC staff had agreed on a plan to reduce the $508,000 costs still disputed. Both agreed that $377,000 could reasonably be allocated to the revised scheme. Of the remaining $131,000 RDC would accept responsibility for $55,000 leaving $76,000. DoC &RDC would each accept responsibility equally for this $76,000 i.e.$38,000 each. At this point the revised scheme was estimated to cost: Construction costs $3,227,895 Consultant and Engineering fees Accepted to August 2000 377,105 Fees from September 2000 Treatment Plant Design 60,000 Resource Consents 10,000 Contract Management 75,000 145,000 522,105Total Cost up to Commissioning $3,750,000 By the time of the RMCA AGM in October, DoC had decided it would guarantee the scheme finance and would accept treatment and dispersal within the park. By October the plan was that a Service Provider (SP) would be appointed to design, construct and operate the scheme. The SP could be RDC, a Whakapapa Utilities Co. or some other body or joint venture. RMCA Council had a preference for RDC to be the SP but would want to see some safeguards put in place to ensure the scheme would continue to operate to give the major benefit to scheme users. DoC would guarantee to buy the service developed by the SP and this would enable the SP to raise development capital. DoC would sell the service to users. At the RMCA AGM last October members were told the total cost of design and construction was currently estimated to be $3.75 million, equating to a lump sum of about $40,000 per club added to which there would be an annual operating cost of about $800 for each lodge (32+2 beds). An alternative would see annual charges for the life of the scheme, 30 + 30 years, of about $4,500 for each lodge. Construction was planned for the summer of 2002-2003 with the system becoming operational in September 2003 Discussion at the AGM, initially questioned whether the scheme should not be scrapped, or at least deferred. However, Members generally agreed that the existing arrangement of septic tanks, with disposal of effluent on the mountain, was unacceptable culturally and physically in this World Heritage park. Additionally, DoC requires a reticulated system with land based disposal. DoC licences all of the club hut sites and the licences require huts to be connected to a reticulated system when it is constructed. Delays since the scheme was first agreed upon have been largely unavoidable, but have been long and it is likely that the Regional Council will not brook further delay and will certainly battle any would-be non joiner which attempts to obtain a resource consent to discharge on the mountain slopes. Not discussed at the AGM was the RDC/DoC agreement on their absorption of $131,000 engineering design and consultancy costs. The intention to seek a Service Provider was only alluded to briefly. RMCA Council had hoped to be able to give rather more detail about these and other matters but were bound by confidentiality requirements of RDC. After our request and some delay, DoC has now produced a briefing paper. Some of the paper repeats information given above, but because it adds to our information and gives the DoC perspective I have included the full text of the briefing and the Critical Path diagram. Early next month a workshop is to be held and hopefully more information will then be made available for clubs. John Rockell Secretary Treasurer.
File : PLA 028 9/3/2001 Briefing For Public Use Whakapapa Iwikau Sewage Scheme 9 March Meeting Whakapapa Introduction Attached for your information is a revised timeline [not included – JDR] and critical path for the above project. This shows that the project has now formally come ‘out of abeyance’. The decision to do this was made by the Department in consultation Ruapehu District Council (RDC) and representatives of the contributors on the previous Project Management Group (PMG) in March of last year. The reasons for this decision were that the Department had been investigating a number of revised options for the scheme. The option that was under investigation was the upgrading of the existing Whakapapa Village treatment plant to handle the addition of Iwikau flows, then discharging of treated effluent to ground on the golf course by either deep bores or sub surface drains. The investigation showed that this was both viable and possible via way of shallow sub surface irrigation and that the best site for this is to the north between the golf course and the stream. This option reduces the all up capital cost of the project from and estimated $5.5 million to a revised estimate of $3.75 million. (a copy of the revised project report and costings is available [from DoC] on request). This revised project was put to the contributor representatives in March 00 and their support for the project to go forward was received. The Department has now formally decided that the proposed scheme will proceed and has mapped out the steps to take this forward to completion. Resolution of fees to date matter As you are aware there has been a matter of a significant sum of fees associated with the project to date (from 1995 to 1998). This sum was in the order of $508k. The sum was mainly engineering consultants and associated professional services costs for working on the scheme since 1995. This sum has been held by the RDC and was being debt funded by them. This sum has been in discussion between the parties RDC / DoC and the contributor group (PMG) for the past two years. There has been a number of concerns about this sum and the associated responsibility and liability for it. There has also been some concerns as to the value of the work done for this sum. During 00, DoC and RDC entered into a full review and analysis of this sum and the work done pre the agreement of the revised scheme to proceed. This review was to determine the value of the work done to date, what should and could be transferred to the new scheme (i.e. what components were associated with the above Whakapapa village and hence were relevant to the revised scheme) along with the intellectual property rights as to the work completed to date. There was also the need to look at what was not necessary and that needed to be written off. This review was very fruitful and it was determined that the majority of the work done to date had value to the revised scheme. The value of that aspect was set at $377k. The remaining $131k went into a more formal dispute procedure between DoC and RDC. A full and final settlement was reached between the parties in August of 00 and DoC agreed to pay RDC a sum of $37k. The remainder has been either absorbed by RDC and written off. This settlement now ends this component of the project and this allows the project and the parties to move forward. It is also worth noting that the sum of $377k being the value of work done that can be transferred to the revised scheme is built into the revised total cost estimate of the scheme @ $3.75 m. MOA DoC / RDC As part of the settlement of the fees to date matter the dept and RDC have entered into a MOA or Heads of Agreement to ensure that there were very clear lines of responsibility, liability and communication between the parties for the future of the project. This MOA has allowed the dept and RDC to agree on the holding of the $377 k until a service provider is appointed by the dept, but that service interest will accumulate on that sum from 1/9/00 until the point that it is transferred to the service provider. Within the MOA the dept has agreed to obtain all the necessary resource consents for the scheme and to complete all the necessary consultation with iwi and the community on the project. The MOA will terminate when a service provider is appointed and when the contract for service is in place. Proposed Service Provider The dept has been seeking a suitable service provider for the scheme. This body will take over the work completed to date and will then engage engineers to complete the design of the replacement treatment plant at Whakapapa, then build, own and operate the scheme. All of this will be done under a contract for service from the dept. The dept will remain in the role of being the principal and will then administer the scheme and cost apportionment both capital and operating via the community service cost centre and levies to all the contributors. The service provider will be required to have a project control group formed of contributor representatives who will be involved in the project management. (the request for service provision document is available for viewing on request). RDC and the contributor group, loosely known as Whakapapa Utilities (an informal arrangement between RMCA and RAL) were asked for submission proposals for service provision. After some internal discussion between RAL and RMCA it was decided that they did not want to submit a proposal. Both RAL and RMCA subsequently endorsed RDC as the preferred service provider. A draft proposal has been received from RDC. This is being finalised by RDC at the moment and it will be evaluated by the dept with the assistance of a consultant Ian Smith of Taupo and input from Brian Anderson and Alan Thompson. (refer timeline for proposed completion of this component of the project) Interim Interest Costs As noted, between the settlement of the fees to date matter in Aug 00 and the setting up of the service provider RDC are holding the sum of $377k and debt funding this until it can be transferred to the service provider. It has been agreed DoC/RDC, that a reasonable service interest cost is legitimately able to be charged by RDC from 1/9/00 to the point when the service provider is transferred this sum and when they will have the financial facilities in place to
accept that sum, including the instruments between it’s self and the department (the contract for service) to recover their costs on an annual basis. RDC have advised that the interest rate calculated be in the order of 8.2 % per annum. It is expected that interest costs in the order of $19k will arise between 1/9/00 and 30/6/01. A further $26k between 1/7/01 and 30/6/02. 2001 2002 BP Year Interest Costs As noted above approximately $45k interest costs (19+26) will come to charge over the next financial year for the 21 month period 1/9/00 to 30/6/2002. Resource Consents The department is now in the process of planning for and will make application for the necessary resource consents for this project. The costs of this being approximately $25k (application fees and hearing costs) will be required to be recovered during the coming financial year. The department is going to cover all staff time and legal costs out of it’s baseline funding (this is estimated at over $100k). It is also worth noting that all staff time to date for the project [has] not been nor is to be recovered. The department is absorbing these costs and contributing the[m] to the project. 2002 2003 BP Year As with 2001 2002 the only cost expected to come to charge is the interest costs on the $377k. By this time this sum will have been transferred to the service provider but it will still need to be serviced. The project is scheduled for completion in Sept 2003 and commissioned. At that point the capital and operational costs including debt-servicing mechanisms will be in place. Estimates of these annual costs and the apportionment’s will be given to all contributors through the 2001/2002-year. (preliminary costs apportionments are already available in the Becca Feb 2000 Revised Project Proposal Report) This will allow forward budgeting for all contributors. Mark Davies Ruapehu Area Manager and Project Manager Whakapapap Iwikau Sewage Project

Newsletter 21

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)
Address: 6 Harvest Court,
PARAPARAUMU
Secretary Treasurer: John Rockell
Phone 04 902 4415
Fax 04 902 4413
E-mail: rockell@paradise.net.nz
7 August 2000

To Member Clubs Newsletter 21 1. Evacuation Schemes and Smoke Detectors The last newsletter, Newsletter 20, March 2000, described the very unsatisfactory position where Fire Service had tried to persuade clubs to upgrade their safety systems by installing hard wired smoke detectors or replacing heat detectors with hard wired smoke detectors in sleeping areas and exit ways. Fire Service had suggested that the lodges of clubs which did not comply could be closed down by the local authority. Fire Service tried to enlist the support of Ruapehu District Council, the local authority, with the result that RDC wrote to all clubs to advise them that although it was supportive of any initiatives to increase building safety for occupants it had no legal power to act against a lodge which complied with the Building Act 1991 and the Building Code. So if your club lodge has an approved evacuation scheme and is being regularly inspected and maintained to keep its Warrant of Fitness then RDC has no ground for taking any action. But RDC also made the point that if you propose to upgrade, by for example replacing heat detectors with hard wired smoke detectors, then you will need to obtain a Building Consent from the council before beginning the work. RMCA President, Bill Chrystall wrote angrily to the Fire Service, frustrated that it had tried to pressure clubs to upgrade and had asserted without authority that it could enforce the upgrading, on pain of lodge closure. Yet it had been almost impossible to obtain precise details of what clubs had to do to comply with Fire Service requirements. The Fire Service replied with a “waffly” letter which had one very relevant section, as follows: Buildings that have approved evacuation schemes do not need to be upgraded, as long as the scheme has been maintained, there have been regular trial evacuations, and the building has not been altered. Nevertheless, the Fire Service has a statutory duty to provide advice to building owners and occupiers on fire safety matters. It is our duty to make people aware that smoke detection is likely to wake people sooner than heat detection, and we would strongly advise that such systems be installed in sleeping accommodation… RMCA still supports upgrading to hard wired smoke alarms in sleeping areas but is recognises that in many cases the cost of upgrading is a serious issue. It is a matter for regret that the tactics of Fire Service to try to force clubs to upgrade has had an opposite effect for some clubs.
2. Changes to Constitution proposed (a) Timing of Executive Council Election Process. At the last meeting of Council in March attention was drawn to the fact that all the dates associated with the two yearly election of an executive council were based on the expectation of the Annual General Meeting taking place in August. Thus, nominations were to be called for before 1 April and were to be received by 15 May. And this was for electing Councillors who would take office following the next Annual General Meeting But for several years the Annual General Meeting has been held in October and this time, towards the end of the ski season, has been accepted as the most suitable. There has been a long period between calling for nominations and the elected councillors taking office. For this reason Council agreed that a motion should be proposed at the AGM to amend the clauses of the Rules and Constitution so that the timing of the election process would fit better with an AGM held in October rather than August. The detail of the amendments is shown in the Notice of Motion It was agreed that the new times proposed should be used this year in anticipation of Members’ agreement at the AGM. Following this discussion several other constitutional changes were considered and it was agreed they should also be offered for consideration by the AGM. (b) Replacement of an Executive Council Member Who Becomes Unavailable to Continue. The current Rules provide only for the replacement of an Executive Council member who resigns. There was agreement that replacement for reasons other than resignation should be included in the Rules. (c) Eligibility Of A President To Serve Two Full Terms. Following the death of Ross Campbell Council agreed that Bill Chrystall should be President for the remainder of the two year term. The Rules seemed somewhat ambiguous as to whether this would use one of the two concurrent terms for which a president is eligible. Council has agreed that a president can be elected for two full terms by an AGM and accordingly the Rules should be clarified by amendment. (d) Northern Ski Association The role of the Northern Ski Association has diminished to the point where it is not now registered as an incorporated society. Council considered that it should not be required to observe and promote its objects and activities and that such references should be taken out of the Rules. As noted above the detail of all the changes proposed can be seen in the Notice of Motion. Minor typographic and syntax errors should also be corrected. 3. Election of Executive Council In May nominations for the Executive Council were sought and Member Clubs were requested to have their nominations with the [Acting] Secretary by 15 July. By that date one nomination had been received for the office of President and four for that of Councillor. Subsequently two more nominations have been received for Councillor. The latter two are out of time. However because the date set by which nominations should be received anticipates the proposed constitutional change noted above the whole process could be called into question. The President and Immediate Past President (Brian Anderson) have considered the matter and agree that the proper course is to accept all of the nominations received up to this time, (one for President and six for Councillor) and invite confirmation of this action from the AGM. Because there was only one nomination for President and exactly six for the six Councillor positions the nominees who are elected, subject to confirmation are: President Mr W D (Bill) Chrystall Nominated by Ruapehu Ski Club Councillor Mr H (Hugh) Barr Tararua Tramping Club Mr P B (Peter) Garrett Aorangi Ski Club Mr M J D (Malcolm) Stapleton Alpine Sports Club Mr A F (Alistair) Stewart Ruapehu Ski Club Mr J H (Joe) Taylor Puketoi Mountain Club Mr A (Alan) Thompson Havelock Ski Club 4. The Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting of RMCA is set down for Saturday, 14 October. In the past, the AGM and the meeting with DoC and RAL staff, followed by a dinner at Lorenz’ have been reckoned as very successful and helpful in securing a good relationship with the clubs and organisations which use Ruapehu. So arrangements will again be similar to those for last year with the meeting beginning in the Happy Valley Bistro at 4:00 p.m. DoC staff will join with the clubs and RAL at 6:00 p.m. for another wide ranging discussion and this will be followed by a dinner for those attending. DoC will be writing to member clubs with details and to obtain the names of those who will be coming to the dinner. In the meantime, don’t forget to put these meetings in your diary. The subject matter will be of great importance to clubs and your club should be represented, preferably by two members. Sewerage Scheme. I had hoped that by now I would have substantial news to give clubs to add to that given in Newsletters 19 and 20 of 1 February and 29 March. You will remember that Ruapehu District Council had decided in 1998 that it could not afford to borrow the monies needed to build the scheme. DoC and the working group began to look at other ways to finance the scheme and began a review of the scheme and its costs. RDC subsequently showed that it still wanted to play a part. DoC reviewed its position and came up with the proposal to enlarge the Whakapapa Treatment Plant and discharge treated effluent near the Golf Corse. It was also able to show how funds could be borrowed. I understand that RDC met at the end of July to consider its future involvement but the outcome of their meeting is not yet known.
DoC and RDC have also had further discussions on the disputed $520,000 engineering design and operating costs for which RDC was seeking payment. RMCA has remained firmly of the view that until the matter is resolved satisfactorily DoC should not attempt to bill clubs and clubs should not make any such payments. Having said that, the scheme has not folded but the time frame has certainly stretched out. It is likely that obtaining resource consents will take at least another year and that construction is unlikely to begin before 2002. DoC is hopeful of holding a workshop in September and RMCA is hopeful that the way ahead will then be clearer. The Enclosures Enclosed with this Newsletter are: 1) Newsletter 21 2) Notice of the Annual General Meeting to be held on 14 October. 3) A form for Member Clubs to give advice of their delegates. Remember, each club can have one voting delegate. Let me know, with this form, who it is to be. Other club members can of course attend. 4) A Notice of Motion that amendments of a number of clauses of the Constitution and Rules be made together with the detail of the proposed changes. 5) Minutes of the last AGM 6) Financial Accounts – Income & Expenditure and Balance Sheet. John Rockell Secretary Treasurer.

Newsletter 20

RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)
Address: 6 Harvest Court,
PARAPARAUMU
Secretary Treasurer: John Rockell
Phone 04 902 4415
Fax 04 902 4413
E-mail: rockell@paradise.net.nz
29 March 2000

To Member Clubs Newsletter 20 Evacuation Schemes and Smoke Detectors What a debacle! Fire Service told club members at the AGM last October that lodges must have smoke detectors hard wired to automatic fire alarm systems. If they did not, then approval of their evacuation schemes would be refused. If a lodge did not have an approved evacuation scheme then, it was implied, the lodge would be closed down. Club members could see the upgrading of their smoke detector-fire alarm systems would increase the safety of occupants and asked RMCA to investigate bulk purchase of smoke detectors to reduce their cost. It did not take long to discover that simple replacement of heat detectors with smoke detectors was not likely to be an option for many lodges. Smoke detector installation and placement has to conform to New Zealand standards. RMCA President then tried over a considerable time to get specific details of the Fire Service requirements but the best they could do was an unsigned, handwritten fax which was clearly inadequate. Aware that time was running on quickly and Fire Service had spoken of the upgrading having to be completed by 30 June 2000 a letter was sent to clubs inviting them to agree to inspection by one or more fire protection companies to assess what was needed to meet Fire Service requirements and to get an idea of the number of smoke detectors which would be needed. Clearly, the more that were bulk purchased, the bigger the savings could be. Clubs were slow in answering and many have still not replied. Too few have gone far enough in their replies to make bulk purchase worthwhile. Some clubs had done some investigation of their own, and while recognising that upgrading would improve occupant safety believed that Fire Service did not have the authority to enforce its requirements. Meanwhile, while we were trying to get information from Fire Service, it was apparently trying to get Ruapehu District Council to work with them to put pressure on clubs to upgrade. The possibility was apparently that club lodges which did not have an evacuation scheme approved by Fire Service could be held by the district council to be unsafe and closed down. By now, clubs will have received a letter from Ruapehu District Council which supports any initiatives by Fire Service to increase occupant safety. However, the council has declined any responsibility for ensuring Fire Service requirements are carried out. Indeed, it has gone further and said that if clubs do go ahead with plans to upgrade they must first a Building Consent.
RMCA Council is angry that Fire Service acted so precipitately. It outlined upgrading it required and said it must be completed by 30 June 2000 even though it must have known the cost would be considerable and certainly knew that most clubs were financially strapped following several poor ski seasons. All this and yet it is unclear, at the least, that Fire Service has the authority to require the upgrading it says must be done. Now we are back to square one, except that Fire Service has lost a great deal of goodwill. A very few clubs have gone ahead or are actively planning to go ahead with upgrading their smoke detectors. RMCA applauds these clubs for even if Fire Service cannot compel it there is no doubt that the “required” smoke detector/alarm system will increase considerably occupant safety. For the present, it is clear that few clubs will go ahead with the upgrade before the busy season and bulk purchase of smoke detectors is not an option. RMCA will continue to press Fire Service for its detailed requirements and for evidence that it has legal authority to make those requirements. Sewerage Scheme In the last newsletter I said DoC’s proposal then was for treatment within an enlarged Whakapapa plant with effluent discharge below ground at the Golf course. I also reported as late news that investigative boreholes to a depth of 24 metres at the golf course have shown that deep soakage in that area would not be satisfactory. Beca Carter Ferner and Hollings are now investigating two further sites at shallower depth, one near the golf course and one nearer the Whakapapa sewage treatment plant. From recent meetings of the Sewerage Working Group there is confidence that the scheme will proceed with construction scheduled for the summer of 2001-2002. Total cost is still expected to be not more than $3.75 million. Still to be decided was the ownership of the scheme. Election of Executive Council Clubs are reminded that elections for the RMCA Executive Council are to take place this year. Member clubs will elect an Executive Council comprising a President and six Councillors for a two year term to begin after the next Annual General Meeting which is likely to be held on 14 October. Nominations will be called in June/July and postal election will take place in August/September. Member clubs nominating Executive Council Members must be financial and nominees must each be a financial member of one of the Member clubs. John Todd and perhaps other Councillors will not be standing for election this year. Remember that RMCA exists for the benefit of all member clubs. Give some thought about who you want to represent the interests of not just your own but of all clubs. Annual General Meeting Plans are going ahead for the AGM this year to be held on 14 October, 2000. (The school term starts on 9 October.) The date is still to be confirmed with DoC and RAL. If it is unsuitable the next choices would be 7 or 21 October. The arrangements are expected to be similar to those which have led to the very useful and enjoyable meetings of the last few years. Remember to keep the date in mind so that one or two of your responsible and contributive members can attend.
Lodge Inspection Charges The second annual review of charges for the monthly inspection of lodges by Link Fire Services took place recently. Clubs using the service will be happy to know that once again the existing charge will remain for another 12 months. Forty lodges at Iwikau, Whakapapa and Ohakune are now inspected by Link each month to ensure their safety systems are in good working order and that clubs comply with compliance requirements of Ruapehu District Council. Acting Secretary Treasurer Your Secretary Treasurer, John Rockell will be away on holiday from30 April to 2 July. During that time RMCA Councillor John Todd will take over John’s duties. John Todd can be contacted at 130 C Cook Street, Palmerston North; or phone 06 356 1561 (Home), or 06 350 3917 (Work), and Fax 06 357 0224 (Work) He may also be contacted by e-mail at hbassett@hort.cri.nz Kind regards and hope for a good snow season. John Rockell Secretary Treasurer.