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INSIDE The Capital Connection: Taking Risks, Responsibly Congratulations Mike Atkinson: NZOIA Tall Totara 2014 Profile: Peel Forest Outdoor Centre Congratulations Alan Haslip: NZOIA Emerging Instructor 2014 “Nice Figure”, “Get Knotted” Using Spine Boards Bush Magic with Marj Climbing, Climbing, Climbing Towards Rock 2 Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Developing 30 Climbs in 30 Days


Excellence in Outdoor Leadership

NZOIA QUARTERLY ISSUE 69: MARCH 2015 ISSN 1175-2068 PUBLICATION The NZOIA Quarterly is published four times a year by: New Zealand Outdoor Instructors Association Inc. PO Box 1620 Nelson 7040 New Zealand © NEW ZEALAND OUTDOOR INSTRUCTORS ASSOCIATION Except where followed by a copyright statement, articles from the NZOIA Quarterly may be reprinted without permission, provided that the name and date of our newsletter are mentioned.

DISCLAIMER Opinions expressed in the NZOIA Quarterly are those of the writers and may not necessarily be those of the NZOIA Executive or the editorial team.

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Member Organisation

Chairperson’s Report Kia ora all I’m just back from an amazing Antarctica and the Southern Ocean trip – over 11,000kms from Tierra del Fuego to Bluff via the Antarctic Peninsula, then as far south as a ship can go in the Southern Ocean (78014’ S at the Bay of Whales), and east to McMurdo Sound and the Ross Sea – working as a guide and lecturer with 90 passengers on a converted Russian research vessel. Not good training for the Motatapu mountain bike ride, but a great trip to have done. While I’ve been drifting around the Southern Ocean, the team in Nelson, and Andrew and James at the NZRA office in Wellington have been busy working for NZOIA. Penny has got 12 NZOIA assessments, pre-assessment training courses and refresher workshops organised as well as progressing the caving qualifications review, revising the NZOIA Safety Management Plan for an Adventure Activities auditor to check over, and getting a process in place for the transitioning of MSC qualifications to NZOIA. Natalie has the Symposium organisation for this year (1st-4th October at the Peel Forest Outdoor Centre) well underway, and the first booking is in. She’s also been working on our reports to funding bodies – SportNZ, Water Safety NZ and the NZ Community Trust, organising the transfer of our web site to a new provider following our existing provider going into liquidation, and keeping an eye on our finances – still looking good for the year to 30 June 2015. And Shona and Steff have been competently supporting them in their part time roles. Working for NZRA, James Heffield of Last Word Writing Services, with help from Natalie, has pulled together a flyer on NZOIA (see the NZOIA website). This was included in the December mail out of the EONZ Newsletter – “Out & About”. He and Natalie are also working on some Powerpoint presentations for profiling NZOIA qualifications and the value in using / employing NZOIA members, at appropriate conferences, courses etc. We’ll update you in NZOIA 4YA as these are completed. James’ other task is developing the survey on the impact of the Adventure Activity Regulations on NZOIA members. Andrew’s Wellington location and connections are being put to good use with conversations with Skills Active, Sport NZ and WorkSafe NZ. He and I met with Sport NZ’s new Performance

and Strategic Investment Manager, Rodger Thompson, in midFebruary when I was in Wellington on other business. Andrew has organised with Rachel Moore, who looks after adventure tourism in the Tourism Industry Association, to have joint monthly meetings with WorkSafe NZ. Response to the survey, that we hope to get out in the next couple of weeks, will provide valuable information for these discussions. So the NZOIA support team are working hard on your behalf. My final comment relates to the membership support for the qualifications that various NZOIA members have worked hard to establish over a 25 year period and you have worked hard to gain. I am hearing that some members are concerned that actions of others may be unwittingly undermining the value of the NZOIA qualifications – food for thought from a recent NZOIA 4YA:

How much do you value the NZOIA qualification system? If you are in a position to employ staff, do you seek current NZOIA qualification holders?   If you are a technical expert for auditing purposes, do you use the presence of NZOIA qualified employees to make the auditing process quicker / more cost effective for the business you are auditing?   If you are an employee do you seek to work alongside other NZOIA qualified staff? If you are an employer do you encourage and support your staff with time-off and resources to gain NZOIA qualifications? If you are a teacher do you encourage your students to gain NZOIA qualifications? Have you asked yourself – How did I get this job or position?  Was it because I had a NZOIA qualification? I am not an instructor, but I have been around the outdoors since before NZOIA was set up, and see this Association as an impressive development of self-regulation and professionalism in outdoor instruction. Be an advocate for your association with your voice and most importantly your actions. 

Gillian Wratt, Chairperson


The Capital Connection: Taking risks, responsibly Abseiling, bungy jumping, skydiving, rock climbing, rafting, canyoning, heli-skiing and zip lining – an A to Z of adventure. What do they have in common? All of these activities – and many more – are inherently risky. For many, that’s part of the thrill. However, both the government and the industry have been under increased pressure to demonstrate that we take safety seriously following several high profile and tragic incidents in New Zealand’s adventure activities sector. The Adventure Activity Regulations 2011, which were drafted in consultation with the adventure activities sector, have made it a legal requirement for operators who ”deliberately expose participants to a risk of serious harm” to undertake an external audit and become registered. There is no doubt this has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on our industry. However, there is similarly no doubt that, as those responsible for the safety and quality of experience for participants, we understand the need to ensure the highest levels of care and professionalism are adhered to. Most adventure activity operators in New Zealand do a stellar job. They are passionate and committed to ensuring the best, and safest, experience possible for participants. But adventure is by its very nature, risky. Risk cannot be completely eliminated from what we do. The question is how we minimise the risks, without compromising the experience or our ability to deliver it. Unfortunately, for many smaller adventure activity operators the monetary and financial costs of compliance with the regulations may be prohibitive. This is a problem. There is, however, a flipside to this. The increased costs, coupled with the regulatory and time requirements, may help to deter ‘cowboy’ operators – the same ones that put our industry

at risk. The regulations also help to provide assurance to the rest of the world that New Zealand is a good, safe place to experience adventure, and therefore help to protect one of New Zealand’s largest export industries, tourism. While the regulations are well intended, we will need to track their long term impact. For example, if the increased costs of compliance lead to a drop in the number of operators offering adventure activities, less people will have the opportunity to experience them. In the long term, this could result in more injuries because many people who attempt these activities on their own time will lack the relevant skills and experience to undertake these activities safely. A parallel could be drawn to the water safety debate – much of the recent research has shown that many of those who drown have underestimated the risk, or overestimated their ability. Without practice or exposure, gauging risk and developing the relevant skills is difficult. Having said all this, it makes sense for our industry to consider whether the Adventure Activity Regulations are the best, or only, way of achieving the intended objectives. We are currently undertaking a survey of NZOIA members to gather your thoughts on the regulations. We want to know what works for you and what doesn’t, how you’ve found the process, what ideas you have for doing it differently, and whether you think the regulations are effective at achieving their objectives. One of the great things about NZOIA is its ability to speak for the industry. One voice with the backing of many. I encourage you to visit the NZOIA website noticeboard for a link to the survey and make sure your voice is heard. Andrew Leslie, Executive Support Services

New Board member: Matt Barker

Dr. Matt Barker has been coaching white water kayaking for 30 years. After working in schools and outdoor centres in the UK he moved to New Zealand in 1999 and is still gobsmacked by the quality of the outdoor opportunities that abound in this great country. He holds NZOIA Level 2 Kayak and is a regular trainer and assessor for NZOIA. He has served on many steering committees including the executive of White water New Zealand. His day job is working for Auckland University of Technology as a Senior Lecturer and researches into technical rope-work and teaching and learning in high stressed environments. AUT offer diploma and degree level programmes in outdoor leadership and outdoor education that keep him on his toes.

Matt brings a wealth of experience to the role of board member for NZOIA in education, recreation, training and advocacy roles. He shares an advocacy/ stakeholder management portfolio with Ajah and is looking forward to supporting stakeholders (that’s you) and working with the board to steer the association along a positive track in the next couple of years.



Mark Johnson

Well…no. It is true that Mike Atkinson has completed the list above and many other things but merely completing a list does not create a Tall Totara. How one goes about doing their list is what creates a Tall Totara. It’s not necessarily about what you’ve done, but about how you’ve done it. After collating some the nomination letters for Mike some common threads came through. See if you can spot them...

“Mike is very well grounded, positive, and has a great sense of humour.”

Dave Irwin, CPIT

“At a personal and professional level I have enjoyed working with Mike immensely. Mike is first and foremost a good bloke, a man of principle, a person who is easy to get on with and a pleasure to work with.” Matt Cant, former NZOIA CE and a NZOIA Life Member

“As members of NZOIA, Adventure Specialties Trust have seen Mike Atkinson’s name and face come up in a number of different places, always with a smile, a can do attitude and positively promoting our association.“ Adventure Specialties Trust

I see the common thread as character. Character is what personifies excellence in outdoor instruction. For without character, one would merely have completed a list. It is hard to know where to start when it comes to Mike’s involvement with NZOIA. Matt Cant, who has worked with Mike for a number of years gave a rundown of Mike’s considerable involvement in many aspects of NZOIA:

Tall Totara: Awarded to a current instructor who personifies ‘excellence in outdoor instruction’. A highly respected role model, someone who has contributed significantly to outdoor education in New Zealand through both work with clients and with aspirant instructors. Have you climbed Aoraki Mt Cook? Have you have instructed in Antarctica? Does your name appear in numerous guidebooks for first ascents on rock climbing routes? Maybe you have instructed at tertiary level for over a decade? Or perhaps you have assessed more than your fair share of emerging NZOIA instructors? Have you been an NZOIA Board member and a chair of a subcommittee? Surely this is the recipe to become a Tall Totara?

Governance Within the administration of NZOIA Mike has made a substantial contribution as Director and as Convener of the Technical Sub-Committee (TSC). Mike came onto the Board as co-opted Director in 2010 and as an elected Director in 2011. Over the period of his Directorship Mike was fully committed to the good governance of NZOIA.

Assessor Mike is a senior and well respected member of the assessor pool. As the Convener of the TSC, he effectively oversaw the entire assessment and assessor programme. Mike also took on the role of developing and implementing the current induction and training programme for new assessors, a task critical to the continuation of the NZOIA ethos. u   


tertiary education. Dave Irwin, who currently works with Mike at CPIT says that “Mike is a very skilled educator and his classes are always highly valued by students”. This has been echoed by many others in the industry including those I have worked alongside. Mike has developed numerous new climbs around Christchurch and beyond, specifically with teaching and instructing in mind. A number of years ago he noticed that some low to moderate grade climbs, put up by reacreational climbers, had been developed without the student / instructor perspective.

Accident investigation Accident investigation is a difficult and unenviable task that fortunately few people are called upon to do. Within a professional association it is of critical importance in maintaining standards and reputation, and in extracting positive learning outcomes from tragic events that benefit the profession as a whole. In many ways the ability to impartially, objectively and sensitively investigate one of your peers and fellow members is the pinnacle of professionalism. Mike willingly accepted this responsibility and applied his considerable technical expertise to the task. His thoughtful, well considered and constructive approach to this challenging role resulted in excellent outcomes and beneficial learning for all parties. On top of the work Mike has done for NZOIA, there are the hundreds students that he has taught in over a decade of

Along with his ability to teach and inspire students, he also has many academic achievements including a Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management degree followed with Post-graduate Diploma in the USA and a Masters Degree in Applied Science in Outdoor Education at Lincoln in 2008. Matt Cant says “Mike has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to learning and development, and a dedication to encouraging this in others through his teaching, technical articles and research.” A Tall Totara is a person who inspires and leads, a person who understands their own giftings and abilities and uses them wisely in the development of others, a person who has contributed to outdoor education in Aotearoa in a meaningful way, a person whose personal commitment to adventure, grows and transforms them, paving the way and inspiring others to do the same. Mike Atkinson is a Tall Totara. Mark Johnson, South Island Operations Manager, Adventure Specialties Trust

New Board member: Stu Allan

I’ve written previously about how the NZOIA seeds were planted in my time at OPC in 1985, which partly explains why I’m excited to be involved three decades later. In the meantime, I’ve managed AFS Intercultural Programmes NZ and IHC Canterbury, been on various boards such as OPC, seen a lot of the outdoor sector, studied some more, seen four kids off, and kept on climbing and walking. I don’t hold a single NZOIA qualification. They didn’t exist when I was instructing, but I did acquire some qualifications when I was instructing and guiding in the UK, NZ, and the Antarctica. These days, I find it challenging enough looking after myself, let alone clients.

Over the past decade, I’ve consulted in the outdoors, advised WorkSafe and Sport NZ, written documents for NZOIA and other organisations, surveyed NZOIA members, and been on the safety auditing gig. I make regular pilgrimages to Arapiles and, last year, Ali and I had a nostalgia trip climbing and walking in the USA. More of these ways to pass the time are in the pipeline. NZOIA is at an exciting stage. You’ve a record number of members, highly competent staff and assessors, a financial balance, and a board that’s ready to look at the big picture and build on an impressive reputation for professionalism. I’m honoured to be invited to be part of that, taking responsibility for the Strategy and Finance portfolio, shared with Gill Wratt. Awards: MA Hons (Linguistics); Dip Teaching; Grad Dip Information Design; UK Mountain Leadership Certificates Summer & Winter; IFMGA Certificate; Winston Churchill Fellowship (to study outdoor safety and environmental practices in USA and Canada); Sport NZ Supreme Award.


Peel Forest Outdoor Centre

Situated at the base of the Canterbury foothills and in the largest podocarp remnant in Canterbury, Peel Forest Outdoor Centre is excited to be hosting the 2015 NZOIA Symposium. We have a venue that allows easy access to the bush, mountains and rivers, while being only 90 minutes drive from Christchurch Airport.

has both wood fired and gas cooking, as well as an impressive pizza oven capable of cooking up to five pizzas at a time! The Strawbale Cabin is a standalone building, demonstrating what can be achieved with traditional building techniques, while the two remaining cabins feature vault composting toilets and solar power.

The Centre has been operating since 1994. We grew out of Rangitata Rafts, a commercial raft operator, which had an outdoor education division. When the rafting company decided to concentrate on the tourism market, a trust was formed to take on the educational aspects. Our clients include schools, community groups, corporate and government departments in a range of day and residential programmes. They are mainly from Canterbury but we have some clients from Otago, the West Coast and Auckland. Our office is based in the old Department of Conservation headquarters in Peel Forest Village, just down from the village hall, which will be the central hub for the Symposium. As well as our site in the Village, the Centre owns a 20 hectare QEII covenanted bush block, which we are regenerating back to native forest. We also have an active pest and weed control programme, which is supported by both the Department of Conservation and Environment Canterbury. Peel Forest sits beneath the Canterbury Foothills and enjoys a near continental climate, with hot dry summers and cool clear winters. Sitting at 300m above sea level, we have snow in the Village two or three days a year. Fortunately, it’s a clear run through to Geraldine and we are rarely cut off. While access to Peel Forest is easy, it is also possible to cross the road near the office and then continue walking to Mount Cook National Park without another road crossing! The Centre is on the south side of the Rangitata River and there is easy access to water from grade 1 to grade 5. Being glacier fed from the NW ‘breeze’ we are pretty well assured of water throughout summer. A corner stone of our philosophy is our commitment to environmental sustainability. This is reflected in our accommodation being off-grid and self-sufficient. The buildings utilise composting toilets and greywater disposal systems, solar and wetback water heating, as well as solar electrical power. The EcoLodge is the centrepiece of this complex and

The accommodation is designed to make those who stay there consider their impacts on the environment. Restricted power supply means people need to consider which appliances use most power and to consider alternatives. This means there are no electrically driven drying rooms – if you want to dry your clothes you need to light the fire! It also exposes people to technologies such as solar water heating, grey water reed beds and composting systems that they may not otherwise encounter. Metering systems allow residents to judge what appliances use most power and to control resources such as hot water. Peel Forest Outdoor Centre is in the unusual position of being covered by both Maritime NZ regulations for rafting and by the WorkSafe Adventure Activity Regulations. As a result, we hold both OutdoorsMark and a Certificate of Compliance for Commercial Rafting. In 2006, the innovative EcoLodge complex won the Sustainable Business Southern Region Innovation Award and was the runner up to the national award. We also won the Outdoors New Zealand Best Outdoor Facility Award in 2010. With our roots in the rafting community, the Centre has always had a strong water focus. We run whitewater kayaking courses for a number of schools, as well as for

u      7.

We are also committed to bringing new instructors into the industry and are proud to have a number of staff who have gone on to tutor at Polytechs and work at other centres, such as Outward Bound. We run a successful Gateway programme that has inspired a number of students to take on careers in the outdoors. During the Symposium, most revalidation venues will be local, so hopefully we can maximise learning time and opportunities. Weather is sure to be good, and the Rangitata is guaranteed to be cold, so bring a drysuit if you’re planning to hit the river. With a cafe and bar in the Village and Geraldine a short drive away, there are plenty of opportunities for those wanting to relax. For those keen on activity, check out one of our local skifields – Hutt, Dobson or Fox, jump on a raft or in a kayak, leap down a canyon or take a walk to the summit of Little Mount Peel.

Coast to Coast competitors. Our river safety courses are run for a diverse range of clients, from primary schools to Department of Conservation staff. One of our strengths is our rafting programme, allowing students who would not usually participate in river activities to be actively engaged in this environment. As well as whitewater, the Centre also offers tramping, mountaineering and snowshoeing, rock climbing and abseiling. We utilise the Challenge Ropes Course at Geraldine High School frequently, as well as running adventure based learning activities at our Peel Forest site. Sitting midway between the Mount Hutt and Two Thumb Ranges, we are fortunate in being able to easily access different snow conditions and weather options for our alpine activities. As well as activities run from the local skifields, we have great off-field opportunities for extended alpine expeditions, in areas with gentle slopes, old musterers huts and lots of 2000m peaks to climb! We aren’t restricted to Peel Forest and frequently meet clients at their location or at other venues. This sees us travelling to places like Lake Sumner, the Hurunui, Clarence and Waimakariri Rivers, Arthurs Pass and the Craigieburn Range. We support a number of groups on Coast to Coast journeys, as well as providing supervision and training for Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award Adventurous Journeys. Our staff hold a range of NZOIA awards, covering Rock, Alpine, Bush, Cave and Kayak. Because of our rafting programme, the majority also hold a New Zealand Raft Guide Award. Our philosophy is to endeavour to have instructors who are well qualified and experienced, so that we are operating at a level well above what is required, giving us a good margin to deal with changing weather, and that great variable – clients!


We look forward to seeing you all, both old friends and new, in October.

Andre Shoneveld, Director, Peel Forst Outdoor Centre

Photo: Toine Houtenbous

Congratulations on these recently gained NZOIA Qualifications!

Alpine 1

Tim Shaw, Amy Dunis, Neal McAloon.

Abseil Leader

Jerry Seagar-Linton, Helen King, Marama Jelf, Caitlin Bedlington, Luke Purcell, Peter Richards, Dan Toi-Custer, Sebastian Grewe, Nathanael Sage, Michael Howard, Natasha Johnson, Sophie Ayoub, Mark Bielby, , Blake Knight, Carina Pearson, Devin Falvey, Logan Laws, Christopher Butlin, Simone Curd, Rory Davidson, Tristan Gorst, Kaitlyn Hamilton, Alicia McCarthy, Hannah O’Connell, Andrew Read, Rebecca Reidie, James Smith, Keiran Winitana, Hayley Fisher, Olivia Gray, Tom Hurley, Robert McCaw, Dermot Mayock, John Harris, Brent Martin, Conrad Newbold.

Bush Walking Leader

Peter Choate, Helen King, Marma Jelf, Caitlin Bedlington, Luke Purcell, Peter Richards, Georgina Tarr, Johnathan Christie, Tim Boon, Sebastian Grewe, Nathanael Sage, Michael Howard, Natasha Johnson, Mark Bielby, Phillipa Bowker-Napp, Alexander Davis, Matiu Kapa, Lacey Beadle, Ben Young, James Tulloch, Brendan Kerr, Kaitlyn Hamilton, James Smith, Tristan Gorst, Jessica Single, Dale Bradley, Sam Haigh-Ward, Matt Kirkwood, Summer McKinnon, Hayley Fisher, Josh Robles-McGill, Chin-Ling Chen, Olivia Gray, Tom Hurley, Nathan Roberts, Scott Bickley, Joel Linscott, Heather Andrews, Derek Mustelik, Dermot Mayock, Lisa Te Moananui, Alister Holmes, Harry Haywood, Heather Morris.

Bush 1

Geoff Ockwell, Michael Brown, Ben Smedley, Gavin Barry-Morgan, Amy Dunis, Daniel Little, Nikki Whitehead, Neal McAloon, Andrew Stuart, Kevin Webb, Jonathan Harding, Simon Craggs, Doug Sowerby, Sam Cottrell-Davis, John Harris, Maika Hemera, Paul Stevens.

Bush 2

Rupert Gardiner, David Williams, Lindsay Froggatt.

Climbing Wall Supervisor

Aaron Leech, Tim Smith, Jennifer Rutherford, Philip Washbourn, Julie Robinson, Nia O’Connor.

CWS with Monitor Lead Climbing Endorsement

Jean-Baptiste Natali, Sarah Rose O’Neill.

Kayak Leader

Christine Cloke, Pawel Wypych, Craig Morrison, Owen Lee, Sebastian Grewe, Richard Walmisley, Tim Boon, Amelia Grant, Blake Knight, Carina Pearson, Devin Falvey, Jayden Hodgson, Logan Laws, Scott Parker, Ethann Lange, Alexander Davis, Matiu Kapa, Lacey Beadle, Ben Young, Caitlin Sprunt, James Tulloch, James Smith, Ben Watson, Derek Mustelik, Scott Bickley, Lisa Te Moananui, Harry Haywood.

Kayak 1

John Harding.

Rock Climbing Leader

Jerry Seagar-Linton, Shaun Brown, Helen King, Marama Jelf, Caitlin Bedlington, Luke Purcell, Peter Richards, Dan Toi-Custer, Sebastian Grewe, Nathanael Sage, Michael Howard, Natasha Johnson, Sophie Ayoub, Mark Bielby, Amelia Grant, Blake Knight, Devin Falvey, Jayden Hodgson, Logan Laws, Scott Parker, Christopher Butlin, Simone Curd, Rory Davidson, Tristan Gorst, Kaitlyn Hamilton, Alicia McCarthy, Hannah O’Connell, Andrew Read, Rebecca Reidie, James Smith, Keiran Winitana, Reece Birnie, Dale Bradley, Sam Haigh-Ward, Matt Kirkwood, Morgan Larkins, Tanawut Nitayawan, Josh Robles-McGill, Patrick Rose, Libby SmithKapralos, Adam Stockman, Alex Westrupp, Nathan Roberts, Alister Holmes, Heather Morris.

Rock 1

Natasha Smith, Hugo Verhagen, Mike Zandvoort, Grant Metcalfe, Gavin Bensemann, Frankie Sanders, Kathryn Vollinger, Timothy Hargrave, Ben Smedley, Lossie Maafu, Joshua Benninson.

Rock 1 – Sport Climbing Endorsement

Greg O’Donnell, Richard Jacomb, Tony Popenhagen, Louise Henderson, Timothy O’Sullivan, Annelise Impelmans.

Rock 2

Simon O’Donnell.

Sea Kayak Leader

Bobby Newport, Amelia Herbert, Taaria Wise, Peter Choate, Marama Jelf, Paige Deverson, Caitlin Bedlington, Peter Richards, Georgina Tarr, Johnathan Christie, Richard Walmisley, Tim Boon, Dylan Grimwood, Nathanael Sage, Sophie Ayoub, Mark Bielby, Phillipa Bowker-Napp, Patrick Pradel, Rachel O’Neill, Nicholas de Vries, Matthew Pitts, Michelle Campbell, Reece Birnie, Patrick Rose, Adam Stockman, Libby Smith-Kapralos, Robert McCaw, Nathan Roberts, Scott Bickley, Heather Andrews, Ben Pearson, Suria Erasmus, Pernilla Soderqvist, Ethann Lange.

Sea Kayak 1

Luke Kirner.

We want your story! We are looking for contributions from you, the NZOIA members, for the NZOIA Quarterly. Do you have a story to tell? Do you know someone who has thoughts to share? Articles could be: A personal adventure and how your experiences have impacted your instruction of others. / An incident, near miss or accident that others could learn from. / A personal profile - an interesting tale about how you got to be where you are now in the world of outdoor instructing. / An organisation that is doing innovative and interesting things - with its programme, philosophy, direction and instruction. / A reflection on any aspect of outdoor instruction that you think would be educational and beneficial for others to hear.

Contact Jen Riley the editor with your ideas and for guidelines:



NZOIA EMERGING INSTRUCTOR 2014 Awarded to an instructor who displays great potential for the future, and who demonstrates strong commitment to professional development and qualification acquisition. The ideal recipient should preferably have at least one NZOIA qualification and be recognised as a talented instructor who stands out from the crowd. ‘Alan will look to others who are more experienced and have a strong knowledge in order to develop and grow his knowledge and skill base. However his personal ethic does not see him regurgitate information, rather he will test and challenge it until he has something which has been researched and experienced. This way he allows for the best practice of the skill to develop and his own personal style can be added to it before he runs this with students Alan’s approach to maintaining competency in industry standards does not stop at holding awards. He ensures his logs are maintained by spending time in each discipline to stay fresh in his technical skill and familiar with the environments he instructs in. He works hard to keep up with any changes by watching new information as it comes through from bodies such as NZOIA and talking to those in the industry that are familiar with the standards and the changes that may take place.’ David Irwin, Sustainability and Outdoor Education Programmes, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT)

Alan – where are you now? A couple of years ago I set up a business “OENZ- Outdoor Education New Zealand Ltd” with my partner Sarah. This keeps me rather busy juggling office and field work. We’re based in Christchurch but find there is variety of work that sends us all around the South Island. I also work with World Challenge and spend a couple of months a year working overseas with New Zealand and Australian high school students. The variety of short term and long term contact with students is great and I’ve learnt a whole heap of valuable skills along the way.

How did you get there? A few years ago I was sat on a sleeper train in northern Vietnam reflecting on 6 months of backpacking through NZ, Australia and SE Asia. It was about then I decided that I would like to work in the outdoors. My initial idea was that I would set up an adventure tourism operation offering rock climbing and tramping. Two years and a hand full of meaningless jobs came and went. Although traveling was education in itself, I


was rather uneducated having left school early to work in the family automotive business. I recalled a conversation from years earlier with one of my Outward Bound instructors about a course at C.P.I.T. I posted my enrolment papers from Scotland and booked a ticket home. Three years later having completed a Bachelor of Adventure Education and Outdoor Education and collecting a couple of NZOIA awards I found myself balancing a job in mechanical assembly as well as contract instructing. I joined forces with Sarah not long after this and we went about setting up OENZOutdoor Education New Zealand Ltd in October 2012. We really haven’t looked back.

What is it about instructing that you enjoy? Instructing isn’t my job, it’s my lifestyle. I get to hang out in the most stunning areas of New Zealand, design programmes and camps as well as travel abroad to developing countries….and I get paid for it! I really enjoy just being out there, working with small groups and sharing my passion with as many people as possible. I like the challenges faced by working with different groups and experiencing a variety of programmes. I’ve found over time that the activities / programmes can be very similar but the learning outcomes vary, which stops the work from becoming repetitive and keeps me trying to find new ways to deliver the students to success

Advice to other emerging instructors? If you’re still studying or training, treat it like a job interview. A good reference from your training provider can be your ticket into the industry. If you’re already out there working and trying to step forward in your instructional career, make the move towards your NZOIA level one awards (if you don’t already have these). I’ve found Bush 1 to be the most useful. If you’re thinking about contracting, talk to those that have been out there doing this kind of work for a while, you can gain a lot of insight to the industry this way. The challenge is finding work all year round; being available and having a diverse range of skills is important. Try not to break a leg!

“Nice figure”,“Get knotted” Keith Riley

A knot not neat is a knot not needed! But a knot used wrongly means you won’t live longley. The bowline and Figure 8 are both tried and true knots of the rope practitioner. Neat, one handed, eyes closed, naked. We’ve got those knots dialed! What seems a little less dialed is using them in the wrong way. Surely if we just tie it right, and neatly, it will hold…won’t it?

The Bowline

Figure 8 knot tying two ropes together.

Used in the traditional application, it is sound as a pound. Weight the hell out of it and the knot will hold perfectly, whilst still undoing easily. If however you decide to weight the knot sideways by pulling sideways on the main loop, (Figure A) you are rolling the dice as to whether the knot will hold or slip. A classic example of ‘wrong’ bowline use would be with the use of that knot to create a loop around a tree, then connecting the abseil line to this loop. This sideways force on the bowline can cause the knot to fail.

m X don’t do this!! Figure A – DO NOT clip into the loop of a bowline – it could cause the knot to slip and untie, and always do a stopper knot!

When two ropes pull apart, the Figure 8 knot could invert…

…and continue to roll and eventually untie. Figure B – When two ropes are joined together with a Figure 8 knot then pulled apart, the knot could invert, roll and untie. Use two overhand knots to tie two ropes together – with a long tail!

A Google search (statistics?) of knot failure has numerous incidents relating to bowline failure and not a lot relating to double figure eight failure.

A stopper knot is cheap insurance to ensure the bowline will not fail. Some would even argue, the bowline is not finished until the stopper knot is tied.

The reality is both knots will hold fine if tied correctly. But… the human factor will ensure mistakes are made. More recently, some very experienced climbers have made such mistakes tying in with a bowline and paid with their lives or their bones.

The Figure 8 knot

So why is a figure 8 safer?

It seems so damn fine at everything that we could get away with using it as our only knot. Unless we decided to join two ropes and abseil off them. The generally accepted method of joining two ropes for abseil is the overhand knot with long tails; simple, and the least likely to snag. It wouldn’t be out of the question to think, “figure eights are so damn fine, I’ll use that instead, one more twist must mean it will be stronger” Alas this thinking, as sound as it may seem, is a dice rolling exercise.


Lets say on either method of tie in we forgot our stopper knot. Without a stopper knot, the figure eight will remain secure throughout a weighting /unweighting episode. The bowline without a stopper knot during a similar episode is likely to come undone.


An unfinished bowline is very unlikely to hold any weight. An unfinished follow through figure eight can, and has held a fall.


Debatably, the figure eight is more common and easier to identify than a bowline. Therefore, theoretically any buddy check system will have a greater chance of identifying an incorrect figure eight over a bowline.

When the figure eight is weighted in this way (pulled in two opposite directions), the knot has a tendency to invert, or flip – (Figure B). Essentially the lobe closest to the long ends is pulled over the main body of the knot, this can happen again and again sucking up the tails until there are none left. Then disaster will strike. And now that I’m warmed on this knot rant… this tying in to a harness with a bowline business? The reasons for slipping away from the traditional figure eight to the sportier bowline, (easy to undo after a good fall) have been valid and justifiable reasons since the application’s inception. As time has gone by, accident numbers slowly increase, and statistics are born.

It seems wrong to base your knot choice on what will work better if you mess it up. But statistics don’t lie, some of the most experienced climbers have messed it up. If you are human, even if you are a very experienced human, don’t pretend you are immune to mistakes, lapses in judgment and general stuff ups. If knot choice gives you a greater chance to enjoy the fall without the landing, should you knot take it? Keith Riley, NZOIA Rock 2, Alpine2, Bush 2 and Kayak 2


USING SPINE BOARDS The forest Kindergarten: x

It’s healthy for any organisation to review its procedures regarding the effectiveness of its systems and processes and so we, at Peak Safety, have recently assessed how and why we use spine boards in the outdoors.

Lucy Aitken Read

We treat trauma patients as though they have a spinal injury that could compromise their spinal cord if they have any of the following: •

a substantial mechanism of injury (high speed impacts, landing on head etc)

midline point tenderness

neurological deficit

a lowered level of consciousness (are they orientated enough to register spinal pain?)

any significant distraction (could they be distracted from spinal pain?)

Treatment typically involves immobilising their spine (C spine in particular), fitting a C spine stiff collar, carefully positioning them on a spine board and extracting them to hospital – usually via the ambulance service. The objective is to minimise the possibility of the patient sustaining a spinal cord injury (SCI) on their way to hospital before undergoing a more comprehensive spinal assessment, potentially including X-Rays. It is useful to note that around 3-25% of SCI’s occur after the initial trauma – meaning that when the patient moves themselves or is moved by others their spinal cord is damaged. There are, however, downsides to using spine boards. They are often uncomfortable for the patient, they can cause pressure ulcers to develop on pressure points, lying in the supine position can make breathing more difficult and head injured patients often become more agitated when positioned on a spine board. It also takes a reasonable amount of time to immobilise someone on a spine board – delaying their arrival at hospital. A study in 2013 out of the USA measured the amount of cervical spine movement when extracting patients from a motor vehicle. The study compared the amount of movement while on a spine board to the movement when the patient was allowed to remove themselves from the vehicle with a C collar already fitted. Interestingly when the patient removed themselves from the vehicle the amount of bend in their C spine was only 6% compared with up to 20% when the car was cut to pieces and trained paramedics used a spine board to move the patient. Given these risks, it is important we make informed decisions about whether to use spine boards or not. The National Association of EMS Physicians and the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma stated that, “patients for whom spinal immobilization has not been deemed necessary include those with all of the following: normal level of consciousness (Glasgow Coma Score [GCS] 15), no spine tenderness or anatomic abnormality, no neurologic findings or complaints, no distracting injury, and no intoxication.” Our experience, however, is that we have used spine boards to immobilise patients on ski areas or at events, who present with


none of the above signs or symptoms but who have turned out to have unstable spinal fractures following a significant mechanism of injury. Overall our take is that spine boards are a useful tool for extracting patients with potential spinal injuries from the outdoor environment to hospital. The ambulance service often will not transport patients on spine boards given the risks mentioned above. However we consider our job to deliver the patient to the emergency services at the road end as safely and efficiently as possible. I would not use a spine board for people who do not meet the criteria to be suspected of having a spinal injury, anyone who’s airway, breathing or circulatory system management is compromised by being positioned on a board, anyone who becomes excessively agitated by being on a board (sometimes the patient can put more force into their spine struggling to get a collar off or remove themselves from a board than if they were left to walk around!!) or anyone for whom the pain of being on a spine board is unbearable. For everyone else we still firmly advocate the use of spine boards. Pressure sores are less of a concern for us than SCI’s and generally we find most patients have no huge discomfort being on a board for up to an hour at a time. We have positioned hundreds of patients on spine boards, some end up having unstable spinal fractures and some do not. In order to be conservative we will continue to keep using spine boards to extract patients from the outdoor environment until research shows convincingly otherwise. Henry Worsp, Peak Safety

Bush Magic

with Marj When we go walking in the bush our eyes tend to be directed forwards and downwards for selfpreservation. We need to see the best route to our destination and not trip over in the process of getting there. Are we missing anything? Yes. Always we will miss seeing fascinating plants, insects, birds and growth phenomena. Hopefully you will be able to find some of those I mention and share them with your clients to increase their appreciation of the New Zealand bush. 1. Canopy Shyness This is the tendency of trees to reduce competition between adjacent trees by maintaining a space between the foliage of each branch. To fully appreciate it you must lie flat on your back under the leaves and look straight up. What you see looks just like a map with rivers running between islands of foliage. I had heard about it occurring in the tropical rain forest of Malaysia and Borneo and there it was in the tall manuka growing on the Freshwater Flats on the way to Masons Bay, Stewart Island. There was no mud, it was a good day to lie down and contemplate the canopy and there it was, just like the photos I’d seen of tropical rainforests . Theories vary explaining the phenomenon. Does it prevent shading of the forest floor and allow regeneration? Does it reduce damage to foliage in the wind? Does it reduce the spread of pests or disease? Or all three? It is certainly easier to see in a single species forest where the trees are of similar age and size. Keep your eyes open, and look up when it’s scroggen time. You may be rewarded. I’d be interested to hear of and see other examples of canopy shyness in the New Zealand forest.

Canopy shyness.

2. Easter Orchid – Earina autumnalis Use your nose to find this autumn flowering beauty. The sweet smell of this orchid is a delight in the bush and often you smell it before you see it. Stems of leathery leaves hang down from branches with up to forty tiny creamy flowers with a light orange centre. Plants usually perch on high branches but occasionally can be found on the ground flowering where they have been blown down in the wind, handy for photographers!. In Fiordland and at Stewart Island I have seen them flowering on rocks just above the high tide mark in somewhat stunted form yet with the same amazing perfume. 3. Can you tell what is above you without looking up? Even with eyes down as you tramp, you can learn what is above you. A sprinkling of red from rata flowers is a sure sign of the tree somewhere close. Tiny sprigs of foliage on the track from the upper canopy trees makes you want to have a better knowledge of identification by the bark of the trunk. Rimu, Miro, Matai and others all leave telltale tips on the path especially after strong wind. Are those red berries Supplejack (Ripogonum scandens), Miro (Podocarpus ferrugineus) or has someone spilt their jaffas? Without tasting, how do you differentiate? Freshly cut leaves on the track probably indicate a well fed possum somewhere snoozing. u     


4. Fascinating fungi Autumn is the season for fungi and our bush is rich in different species. Which ones are edible? It’s probably worth finding out. On the Kepler track one April we counted fifteen different varieties without even trying! A young Belgian lad trusted his book and cooked up ten different varieties with his meal. We don’t appreciate the goodies in our forest supermarket. One of the most spectacular coloured fungi is the Blue Toadstool (Entoloma hochsetteri). Enthusiasts come from the world over to see this treasure. It featured on New Zealand stamps in 2002 along with five other species of fungus, and on our fifty dollar note. The most spectacular shaped one is the Basket fungus (Ileodictyon cibarium). The white loosely-woven ball sitting on the forest floor is a surprise. It can become a smelly surprise as it passes maturity.

5. What’s been eating the harakeke? (NZ flax – Phormium tenax) Two little critters are purpose built for marring the perfection of a flax leaf – and frustrating weavers. Keep an eye out for evidence of their presence. Take a torch to see them at work. The Flax Notch Caterpillar – Tmetolophota steropastis nibbles notches along the edges of the leaf. The Flax Looper Caterpillar – Orthoclydon praefactata grazes a window or a complete hole in the body of the leaf. Keep alert for exciting discoveries in the bush. See it through new eyes next time you’re out; the eyes of a small child or those of a city dwelling Shanghai resident. Smell the dampness and maybe the flowers. Spot some of the small treasures. Be proud to take ownership and be able to share the magic with others. Marj Riley, keen botanist, flax weaver and mother of 3 NZOIA members

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The call is out for guest speakers and training workshop facilitators – could this be you?

Registration closes 1 August 2015


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Andy Fullerton climbing at Pohara – Henry Tomsett.

His answer was immediate when I asked what he’d been doing to prepare; “Climbing, climbing, climbing!” He’s found trad cracks to climb at Paynes, he’s spent a couple of evenings a week ‘faffing around’ at Vertical Limits gym in Nelson, he’s climbed every weekend (yes every weekend) and he’s teaching second year Adventure Tourism diploma students leading and rescues.

Climbing, climbing, climbing

towards Rock 2 Jen Riley

Andy Fullerton is hoping to gain his NZOIA Rock 2 award in two weeks. At the end of a day teaching climbing with him at Pohara, over a cup of tea he tells me why he’s going this assessment and what he’s done to get ready for it. Andy started out cutting steps on the Fox Glacier in the mid 90s. In 2000 he gained his NZMGA Assistant Climbing Guide qualification (more commonly known as Summer One). For the next 6 years he ran the high guiding for Alpine Guides in Fox Glacier and did lots of contract mountain guiding to Aspiring Guides’ ‘Alpinism and Ski’. Timaru then became home for 12 years while working on the Aoraki Polytechnic mountain and bush programmes. Three years ago, with his wife and daughter, he moved to Nelson where he contracts to Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) teaching Rock and Bush. He has been working under his Summer One qualification for 15 years, guiding and instructing. NZMGA have introduced a 5 year time frame into their qualification system; once you start the pathway you have 5 years in which to be fully qualified. Andy says that because he does not intend to return to guiding and that most of his work now is instructing, he does not want to progress to Summer Two, so will soon lose his NZMGA qualification. Andy says ‘given this day and age, we need to have industry recognized qualifications and NZOIA is really the only one there in terms of rock instruction.’ He committed to gaining his Rock 2 when NMIT offered him more work for 2015; ‘I pulled my finger out and started to train for Rock 2 in December’. Although he is doing a RCC (Recognition of Current Competency), he is aware that ‘ I actually have to pass; I have to meet the standard: grade 20 on placed pro and teach an interactive leading session’.

He’s happy with how he’s progressed. He hadn’t climbed 20s on trad for quite a few years, so started right back at grade 16. ‘I spent a month getting a good foundation, another month on 18s and 19s and now this month doing 20’s and 21s’. He’s enjoyed seeing areas and climbing new routes that he was not capable of before. “Initially I was concerned; I’m a particularly average climber so I was worried about getting back to climbing 20s on placed pro. There were definitely moments, resting on 16s, that I was thinking what the hell am I doing this for?’ Now he’s feeling happy with his climbing, rescues and teaching in terms of the standard. With two weeks to go until A day, he’s planning to do lots of climbing and recapping instructional points with students while teaching on the NMIT AVT programme, he might ‘find some more cracks to throw a bit of gear into’, practice some rescues then take a weekend off to go sailing. I asked him if the preparation had been fun. ‘Yes! I was kind of dreading having to climb every weekend, not being able to go away windsurfing, surfing, tramping or sailing, but I knew that’s what I needed to do. It’s been cool to see the progress and see different places.’ As our conversation ends, Andy pauses and as an afterthought says: “to future NZOIA-ites thinking of going forRock 2 but are put off by the grade: it’s just a bit of hard work, discipline, focus and it’s a good challenge, something to make you take it seriously. It forces you to sharpen up, which is quite good. You’ve got to have a plan and prepare for it, then it’s achievable. I’ve never been a sport climber, actually I’m really quite a talentless climber, but with some hard work I’m back to leading 20s.” His assessment is at Payne’s Ford near Takaka in two weeks. I wish him well and will catch up on the other side. I see Andy the day after his assessment. He says he enjoyed the process and it was pretty much what he’d expected. He felt well prepared, ‘I felt I could relax and get learning out of the assessment rather than freaking out about not being at the standard’. He smiles, suggesting his name should now have letters after it; Andy Fullerton, R2. Congratulations! Jen Riley, Editor, NZOIA


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This could be you!! 16.


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Between a Rock and a Hard Place:

Developing 30 Climbs in 30 Days Lauren Kelley, with Neil Silverwood

Neil Warrington on Nelly’s nut, a 2 pitch route at the Colosseum Crag (Arboretum Crag in the background).

I’m standing on a small, densely vegetated ledge near the top of an immense limestone cliff taking down the last of the expedition ropes. Two metres below me are the anchor rings of the historic 30th route – developed, cleaned, and recently sent by Troy Mattingley. In front of me is the rebelay for the rope Troy used to abseil while working on the route, and below it all stretches a vast, primordial West Coast forest. As I stand there, wobbly-knee’d, contemplating the big swing I’m about to take when I remove the rebelay en-route to the anchor above, a wood pigeon takes flight sending a thumping echo of wing-beats across the valley and I wonder, “how on earth did I end up here?”

get to 30 climbs by the end. By the start of the final week there were around 20 climbs finished and a few projects waiting to be sent – it was getting down to the wire but an enthusiastic group of climbers were on their way to help out for the final few days.

The expedition was based at the aptly named Paradise Crag which has a spacious rock bivvy for camping, a stunning view to the sea, and now nearly thirty new climbs, mostly sport routes with a few trad and mixed lines. Paradise is a 1.9 km drive up Bullock Creek Road and a steep 20-30 minute hike up a well marked track. While the focus was at Paradise Crag, Bullock Creek and the Punakaiki River Valley are full of beautiful limestone cliffs and new climbs were also established at nearby Hanging Gardens, Rewind 31 days. Neil Silverwood and Neil Colosseum, Dolomite Point, and Pitta Patta Warrington have dreamed up an expedition to crags. The rock is bursting with possibility develop their favourite West Coast climbing and ranges from spotless, white rectangles spot, Bullock Creek, near Punakaiki. The duo of climbable goodness to mossy, chossy are shouldering their packs and heading up overhangs and even a little bit of slab. It’s the track to camp at the crag for 30 days and a route developer’s dream. The rock is the put up 30 new climbing routes in that time. It’s same as Paynes Ford and Pohara in Golden the beginning of an ambitious undertaking but Bay but on a grander scale. Reflecting back they’re dedicated and they’ve been awarded a on the expedition, Silverwood says, “When I Sport New Zealand Hillary Expedition Grant to learned to develop with Lindsay Main and Joe put towards the cost of bolting the climbs and Antics on a rest day at the Paradise Arts in Christchurch, we were picking at the some food and developing equipment. Biv -– Neil Warrington. remnants of lines that hadn’t been climbed in During the expedition their days were filled between all the good routes that were already with the hard work of living in the dust and grime of a rock established, but at Bullock Creek we have the pick of the bunch bivvy, bush bashing around cliff tops to put down anchors, and and there are plenty of clean, fun lines to choose from, it was cleaning project climbs. There were lots of choice moments too, great to be able to develop the most aesthetic ones. There like the feeling of satisfaction after completing each first ascent. are around 100 routes at Bullock Creek now but the potential Friends and team members came along when they could to help is there for thousands and it could really become a climbing out and be the first to jump on new lines never climbed before. Mecca in NZ.” “The reason I took on Bullock Creek,” he says, I spent the first week and last week of the expedition with them “is because it was a real underdog, people struggled to find and enjoyed every minute of it from the grit in my morning tea to their way around the area but I saw so much potential there and the terror of stepping off that ledge to take down the last rope my main goal was to put up some classic climbs and produce at the end. When I left after the first week, five climbs had been a guidebook so people would come and have an enjoyable finished between four people and I wasn’t sure if they’d really experience.” u     


teams receiving grants. They are doing some incredible expeditions. I guess the learning for us is: don’t be afraid to apply for a grant, just go for it and see what happens; you never know unless you try.” “Looking back at the experience,” Warrington reflects, “part of me is glad it’s over, there were a lot of ups and down. But In the end I didn’t want to leave, there’s just so much more to do.” Bullock Creek is the first of the current Hillary expeditions to be completed and Silverwood, Warrington, and the rest of the team are excited to see the outcomes of the other upcoming expeditions. “Like us, the others will have days of big ups and days of big downs,” say Silverwood and Warrington, “but we wish them every success. We’d also like to give a big thank you to Sport NZ for their support.” On behalf of Silverwood, Warrington and everyone who helped, I’d encourage you all to go check out Bullock Creek. There are two rock bivvies at the crags suitable for camping as well as grassy space for pitching a tent at the road end and a comfy campground, cold beer, and hot chips nearby in Punakaiki for those who prefer a softer adventure or are taking customers on a tour of the area. Michael’s website,, will have information up soon about the guidebook. When you go just remember, real adventure is not polished – don’t be turned off by the dusty rock, it’s adventure climbing at its best and the more people visit the better it will get – so bring along your cleaning brush, your gumboots, and your enthusiasm.

Troy Mattingley on a new unnamed climb (grade 21) – The White Wall of Goodness, Paradise Crag.

Lauren Kelley spent two weeks with the team during their Bullock Creek expedition. She is from Florida and works as a GIS analyst / cartographer in Christchurch.

Not everyone sees the development in such a positive light. There’s a lot of debate about bolting in national parks and in the past, the Department of Conservation has discouraged bolting activity in the Paparoa National Park because it degrades the Park’s pristine environment. But Silverwood hopes that with the success of the expedition and the opening up of Bullock Creek as a climbing destination, people will have more opportunity to recreate in the Park and form a connection with it. “From a West Coast perspective, anything that brings people into the area is good, I really want this place to be utilised by climbers,” says Silverwood. He and Warrington may well see their dream become a reality with the completion of a new guidebook produced jointly with climber and publisher Michael Cartwright. The Bullock Creek team were one of seven selected in the latest round of Sport NZ’s Hillary Expedition Grants. Other expeditions awarded funding include paddling five unexplored class V rivers in Brazil, multiple new canyon descents across the South Island, making a landmark ascent of Peru’s notoriously technical Mount Taulliraju’s West Ridge, establishing a new rock climbing route on an iconic 313m sea stack known as Troll Finger in Denmark, running the full length of the South Island consecutively with a snow dog team, and skiing one of the world’s largest ice caps in the South Pole. Sport NZ awards $100,000 every two years to expeditions that inspire New Zealanders into the outdoors with an emphasis on world firsts and pioneering projects ( In addition to awarding money, Sport NZ requires funded teams to put together a risk management plan and attend a weekend workshop on how to organize an expedition. It’s a rigorous process that gives teams the tools to complete their journeys safely and successfully. Silverwood says, “we were really humbled after we looked at the other


Left section of Paradise Crag climbing routes. See for more info. Lauren Kelley, GIS analyst / cartographer

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NZOIA Quarterly March 2015  
NZOIA Quarterly March 2015