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