RUAPEHU MOUNTAIN CLUBS ASSOCIATION (INC.)
Address: 33 Newbury Street,
Phone 06 357 4126
Fax 06 357 4127
Secretary Treasurer: John Rockell
15 May, 1998
To Member Clubs NEWSLETTER 13 Presidents Comments Hope you all had a good summer. I was spoilt skiing on good snow (and some powder) in California and Colorado. Things kept moving in my absence, and we detail progress made in various areas in the newsletter below. Our hard working secretary, John Rockell, spent a lot of time on Building Code Compliance, and has obtained grudging acceptance of a possible 4 quarterly inspection regime from RDC. RMCA Council still prefer the monthly inspection option for the reasons stated below, and urge Clubs to think carefully before adopting the fewer number of inspections. Remember – if something goes wrong, and people are killed or injured, you must prove you have taken all reasonable and prudent actions to protect building occupants. We commend the Pinnacle Ski Club sponsored scheme – Pinnacle stepped in and created a viable low cost IQP inspection regime which now covers 38 buildings – and therefore can negotiate low prices for IQP inspection. Sewerage is moving finally, and it’s important that your Club understands the issues – see below for details. Our relationships with DoC and Whakapapa Manager Mark Davies are good, and we are able to discuss any differences rationally and in good faith. DoC accept Club and RAL presence, and we all share the common goal of making Whakapapa the best experience possible for skiers and visitors. We are all hoping for a good winter with lots of snow and no volcanic activity. Ross Campbell President Sewerage Several meetings of the Sewerage Project Group have been held, and the project is now moving ahead with the aim of starting work in October 1998, with completion by ??. By now all Clubs will have received a letter from DoC outlining progress and giving some details of Project Costs and cost allocation. Meetings will be held in Auckland, Wellington and at Ruapehu to explain and discuss the project. It is important your Club is represented at these meetings which will also be attended by RMCA Council members – Brian Anderson in
Auckland, Bill Chrystall at Ruapehu, and Ross Campbell, David Castle and John Todd in Wellington. RDC have reached agreement with DoC for DoC to underwrite the scheme financially in the event of volcanic activity. This will work by RDC billing DoC who will bill the users including the Clubs. This arrangement raises some interesting questions about who the Clubs will be contracting with and safeguards for users who take the capital payment option. RMCA Council have decided to engage Maurice Rowe of solicitors Fitzherbert Rowe in Palmerston North to draft a Heads of Agreement on behalf of the Clubs so we can get a uniform agreement that protects the Clubs. Maurice was responsible for the very successful legal work on the Licence Agreement, and is a Past President of Summit. We hope to fund this initial work within this years budget – if more work or negotiation is needed we may need to levy Clubs – but it will still be much cheaper and more effective than Clubs going it alone. RDC are very keen to get an idea of who will pay for the scheme by a capital payment rather than rates, as this will reduce the borrowing needed by RDC, and relieve pressure on their balance sheet. Clubs will need to consider all the ramifications of making a Capital payment, and that is why we are asking Maurice Rowe to identify areas that need to be agreed. RMCA are also monitoring costs allocated to the Project by RDC, and will object to some of them, including the legal costs of an unnecessary attempt to modify the Local Bodies Legislation. Brian Anderson and Alan Thompson of RMCA have already had further discussions with Dave Wilkie the Project Engineer, on the apportionment of costs – particularly the Iwikau section, and have suggested some logic changes to the formula used. We are hopeful of a reduction in the total proportion of costs borne by the Clubs. DoC have included a spreadsheet with their letter showing two alternative methods of allocating costs between Clubs. This needs to be discussed, but RMCA Council feel that because the total capacity of the system is based on peak flows, and RAL’s share is based on the maximum numbers of people allowed by their licence, that Clubs should also be charged on the maximum number of beds allowed by their Licences. However we are aware of discussions between some of the smaller Clubs and DoC and there may be some factors that affect this decision. The total costs of the scheme are still in the ballpark of $5.15 m including contingency, but peer review has identified possible $.3 m additional costs. RMCA Council member David Castle has some ideas for reducing the cost of constructing grease traps by using existing septic tanks, and this is being discussed with Dave Wilkie. Read your mail, attend the meetings, and watch this space! Promoting Club Membership: Ross Campbell wrote an article about the club presence on Ruapehu for an up-coming Herald Supplement about Whakapapa, and this prompted thought on how RMCA could help clubs promote themselves to Whakapapa and Turoa skiers. Council have decided to prepare a generic “Starter Pack” to give clubs a few thoughts that can be used in their individual efforts to attract new members.
In addition Ross has talked to both DoC and RAL who would both be happy to display a Generic poster in public places to promote Club life in general, with a list of contacts for individual clubs. Ross and John Rockell will organise this. Hut Licences: The next review is due at 30 June 1999 – just one year away, and we are starting to get prepared. Hut accommodation usage could be very pertinent, and we will be sending out a questionnaire to get your data. Please get information on usage for the past 4 years (which you should be keeping in terms of your licence) so you can answer our questionnaire quickly. Eruption Detection System: A recent meeting of the EDS Working Group was held to discuss progress. The project is moving ahead, but is a little late because of late delivery of the state of the art black box “brains” of the system. The devaluation of the NZ dollar is also making the cost of overseas components more expensive than planned, but this will largely be met by contingencies and possible deferral of non-urgent expenditure that does not affect safety. The addition of contributors outside Whakapapa such as Turoa, ECNZ, Transrail and Tukino has the potential to reduce the share of costs paid by the Clubs from 14% to 10%, which will be more acceptable. Discussions on this are continuing. Building Code Compliance. The 1997 AGM required RMCA to propose to RDC that it should agree to 4 quarterly inspections of which 2 (in May and November) would be done by IQPs while the other two could be done by hut owners if they wished. See Newsletter 12 for the article which detailed action to be taken. After the October 1997 AGM John Rockell completed drafting a new compliance schedule which could be suitable for most, if not all of the ski lodges at Iwikau and Whakapapa. The Schedule and an accompanying inspection log book were designed to be suitable for use by both IQPs and owners. In November agreement was sought from RDC to allow the use of the new Compliance Schedules. Ruapehu District Council has replied that it agrees with the RMCA proposal in principle but noted that “the following points would however, influence the requirements for each lodge. 1 Each lodge would be required to apply for a new Compliance Schedule 2 Details to be supplied with this application would be: a) Is the lodge used during the summer and how often? b) Is the club open to non-members? (i.e. rented out) c) Complete Compliance Schedule application. d) The total number of people the lodge accommodates. e) Does the lodge have a current evacuation scheme approved by the NZ Fire Service?” “Other points to be addressed would be that the persons conducting the February and August inspections know their role and what the inspection requirements are.” “It may be that Council will require some lodges to have an IQP carry out these inspections” Currently, clubs must do monthly inspections and the May and November inspections must be done by IQPs.
Some clubs have followed RMCA advice and grouped together to use Link Fire Services to do their May and November IQP checks. Pinnacle has another scheme in which some 30 clubs with 38 buildings have grouped to have all their monthly checks done by Link until August 1998, when rates will be renegotiated. RMCA Council has considered the proposals and the inspection schemes currently in use. The Council is particularly aware of the responsibilities placed on club committees by OSH and the Building Code, with the possibility of penalties if all prudent and necessary actions are not taken to safeguard building residents. Having taken particular note of ♦ the faults which occur in lodge safety systems ♦ the use of lodges at all seasons of the year and ♦ the increasing proportion of non-members and new members who use the lodges, Council recommends that clubs should continue to have monthly inspections carried out. Further, Council recommends that clubs, if they have not already done so, should consider joining the Pinnacles Ski Club scheme which employs an IQP to do all the monthly inspections. Notwithstanding these recommendations, clubs may if they wish apply to use a new compliance schedule requiring only 4 inspections each year. If a significant number of clubs make this choice the Pinnacles Ski Club or RMCA may be prepared to arrange for the same IQP to carry out either the 2 mandatory or all 4 inspections each year. Contact Owen Cobb of The Pinnacles Ski Club – Phone & Fax 09 630 6046. Elections One nomination has been received for RMCA President and only six nominations have been received for six Councillors. Ross Campbell who has been our President for the last two years is accordingly declared re elected as President of RMCA. Ross was nominated by Ruapehu Ski Club. It is noteworthy that Ross, currently a Vice President of RSC will shortly be taking over as President of RSC from Maurice Perry. The sitting Councillors also declared elected are: Nominated by: WD (Bill) Chrystall Ruapehu Ski Club JH (Joe) Taylor Puketoi Mountain Club AJ (John) Todd Manawatu Tramping & Skiing Club PL (Peter) Buckland Alpine Sports Club PB (Peter) Garrett Aorangi Ski Club WD (David) Castle Tararua Tramping Club BR (Brian) Anderson continues as Immediate Past President to be a member of the Executive Council. Annual General Meeting The AGM is scheduled for 4 pm Saturday 10 October. Firm arrangements have yet to be made but it is expected that the format will be the same as in previous years, with a meeting of the clubs , DoC and RAL staff and a dinner to follow. The business will undoubtedly be of great importance so make sure you are keeping that date free. John Rockell, Secretary Treasurer.