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Bring Back Waitangi

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 4 March 2014, 11:06 AM  
What do to with Katoa Po?.. had me thinking and reminiscing about the old Addison/Flynn and Co Waitangi weekend fundraiser of old. Now sadly that the Morrison family are taking a well earned break from STB there is a gaping hole in the summer.
How about something like a NZOF Season Kick-Start celebration. BBQ's and Beer compulsory.
NZOF help sponsor the event, planners and setters volunteers from JWOC, WC, WOC or D-Squad as fundraising.
Taupo, and more specifically Kinloch as the perfect base.

I could see it having potential:
*Casual/fun orientated orienteering get together where there are plenty of other things to do in the area for outdoor fans with the fantastic mountain biking and walking tracks right from town, fishing, golfing, kayaking, and many more close by.
*A training weekend for schools/jwoc'ers etc.(Fitness coaching drills etc.).
*Fun Trail-running day or night.
*Katoa Po NZ Club Night Champs.
*Keeping events mostly either early morning or late evening allowing non orienteering geeks to do other things, which I think is important if you want to attract more people and justify them using up another Holiday Weekend.
*Mapping get-together?

Maps: Perhaps some old Taupo maps could be resurrected (surely they are under-used and available)and some new ones be produced sponsored by the NZOF for the annual Kick-Start to the season.
The town area of Kinloch itself may even have some potential (esp at night) with its many parks and golf course.
I know I've harked on about it before on some lost thread but there is a fantastic looking forest area near by off Hingare Road. Large mature pine forest with a mix of rock and small gullies. I fear this forest will be felled and never used for Orienteering. Equally there looks to be an amazing area west of Puketapu Road going unused Like Jamie has noted there are newly planted areas on the nearby Western Bays Road which look interesting(apparently they are a carbon sink and not to be felled)
Accommodation: Loads of Book-a-batches in Kinloch, Taupo isn't far away, or hardcore campers after some bush could head to the nearby Kokako Campsite. Perfect.
Or is my dream actually a nightmare...?

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 4 March 2014, 1:17 PM  
I think elites/juniors are better off working through their clubs (its taken me a long time to realise that).

I don't think the NZOF has a mandate to sponsor maps. They could obtain one, or in my view more sensibly clubs within reach of Taupo could look to suppport them to provide opportunities for their for example Dunedin Orienteering Club has done by developing orienteering in the Central Otago region.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 4 March 2014, 3:21 PM  
You are quite right about a much more supportive club environment right now, and it does seem to be creating a vibrant and enthusiastic scene bearing amazing results.
My proposal, though having flaws, especially including a training session, was aiming at creating something to support Katoa Po, fill a gap from STB, and reignite an event of old that seemed to be enjoyable.
Yeah NZOF don't have a mandate but I see something like this as giving back to the punters, creating an annual pin to the calendar event, facilitating and encouraging a fundraising event... a hand up not a hand out where the recipient's give back for the support of the O-public.
Your idea in regards of regional efforts to find and use terrain in this epic part of the country is of course a fair call, unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a ground swell of signs that this is going to happen any day soon as the clubs membership numbers are indeed quite modest these days. Sorry if I pre-empt something, there was talk of an Orienteering Waikato Nationals at one time but that came and went due to not enough expertise and/or numbers.

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 4 March 2014, 6:07 PM  
A lot of the potential maps aren't there. Some of the land is being converted to dairy farming. The earthscrapers destroy all the good control features (the mumbojumbo on Waihora is no more. 99 Hills is now a dairy farm. Others like on the Western Bays Rd are in trees for the nitrogen cap so no grazing is allowed under them and most is reverting to blackberry under the pines. Much of the rest is in various Maori Trust blocks which can have access problems. I have looked round the bottom of the Hingarae Rd block (the new Waihora bike track is on the bottom edge). There is a lot of thick undergrowth in there and near uncrossable gullies cut through the forest. There are other interesting rock outcrops like Tihoi adventure school and Kakapo Rd end, but they are small areas.
I'm not trying to put you off but it isn't as easy as some make out. We have been looking.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 4 March 2014, 7:14 PM  
Thanks Chris for some inside information. I was aware of the 99 gullies and Waihora developments, and as it sounds there are more local issues. I had a look at the northern end of Hingare road, it looked sweet there and as far as I know it is privately owned. The Puketapu road area I mentioned is like Waihora but looks larger and just as good if not better, however I don't know the station ownership details. Was hoping it was part of the Crown estate. If you're hunting for something special
have you thought about scouting out Poranui station?

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 4 March 2014, 7:27 PM  
I'm not certain of all the land ownership down Puketapu Road, but the top end is part of the Landcorp farm that Armor bought for dairying. Jocelyn is probably the best to talk to as she has had a look down there and knows many of the farmers. It is supposed to have a significant area in gums. Same with the farmland on Hingarae.
With regards Poronui, I had a look when we rode to Oamaru hut. The large area of gums down the bottom end has been felled and going back to pasture it seems. Some of the pines are being replanted. Most of them are on land too steep to farm. There is possible potential there but it is a long way out and the place is a very exclusive lodge as well as a working farm. They allow access but only under quite restrictive conditions (as is their right). The manuka and turpentine scrub flats down at the Mohaka would be very interesting but what isn't Station is Maori land with hunting rights attached and it has no real road access.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 4 March 2014, 7:54 PM  
A comment not a solution. I love orienteering and I love it even more when the weather is nice. Anyone prepared to work over the summer to bring me events during Jan or Feb has my gratitude.

Show Profile  Taupoite Posted: 4 March 2014, 8:34 PM  
It isn't summer everywhere. We had our first frost in town this morning. There was fresh snow on the mountains but I think it has probably washed off by now.
For Katoa Po, we don't want gratitude. We want people to come so we can keep the event viable.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 5 March 2014, 3:38 PM  
Sad to hear of so many land access issues down there too, unlike the good old days.
But it's great to hear you guys have your ear to the ground and are at least trying to remain active.
I'm beginning to think it is a nightmare, hopefully I'll wake soon and see that my spelling of Poronui Stn and Hingarae Road was correct.

Show Profile  Rolf Posted: 16 March 2014, 9:38 AM  
Nice Dreams Paul!
The Waitangi and STB were driven by enthusiastic and capable individuals who used their own initiative to make it happen. Anyone who has organised O events will know that that to organise put on such events takes a s**t load of work. To try and organise such things from the 'outside' doesn't seem like a likely winner to me!
Essentially you are wanting a few individuals to put on such an event so that people from outside the region can attend and enjoy an 'interesting' O area. Then once the event is over those few organisers have less energy to put on events for their local club members
It is debatable if this is good for the local club! They have a new map... hopefully made some money but I don't see how this sort of event would attract or maintain new membership!
I don't know all the facts about Waitangi, but as fun as it was for core NZ O community I am not sure it did much for the local clubs which are all struggling in the CD region. STB may have had a better long term impact .. certainly HB club have a stack of new Sprint maps that is now being enjoyed by the club membership. HB was already a strong club before STB so there is probably good upside for the club.

More beneficial to NZO than having weak clubs organising one off 'remote' events in 'interesting' terrain, is having strong clubs that are running stacks of local events.
The focus on urban events by STB and the current Jamie-led Urban Enduro seems to be the way to go and could achieve the double aim of provide high level events for enthusiastic O 'outsiders' but also provide for the local scene within the club.

Show Profile  nick Posted: 18 March 2014, 6:10 PM  
It seems to me that Waitangi changed the game. There was an atmosphere and a strong social feeling throughout the Waitangi Carnivals that I had not experienced previously. The bar was raised and, I'm pleased to say that for most part, NZ O has met and exceeded it since.

I don't know if Waitangi helped the local clubs or not - but then again they didn't organise it. IIRC a bunch of young elites did it on their own - Simon Addison, Greg Flynn, Neil Kerrison, Martin Peat were central. Apologies to anyone I've missed. Ask these guys about their motivation. I think the impact of those events has been profoundly beneficial at a national level. If the central NI clubs are struggling, I doubt it has anything to do with Waitangi. More likely to be blackberry, land access, and perhaps a loss of critical mass.

I suspect the wider impact of STB will become apparent in due course. It is bold in concept, cutting edge implementation (O-Lynx!), 21st century communication, and a lively social atmosphere which can even survive the rain. Couldn't tell you what impact its had locally, but again I kinda feel you'd be missing its value to characterise it as a counter-productive indulgence.

Nothing wrong with having strong healthy clubs though. Agree with you there!

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 18 March 2014, 7:03 PM  
Yeah echo those comments on Waitangi, it has had some great spin offs in opening peoples minds to different ways of doing things and different priorities.

Waitangi was probably never going to help Taupo club that much, but it did get a lot of assistance from some key Taupo members, and most importantly it used a legacy of maps made when Taupo was in its heyday. Waitangi was not sustainable because it depended on the energy of a small group of people (principally Greg and Simon) and didn't make enough to re-invest much into maps. The fellas certainly made the most of the opportunity that existed at the time though, which was great.

STB likewise dreamt an opportunity and ran with it. They probably would have been better off getting jobs than trying to fundraise through orienteering though, and that led to some issues. One key point though that others have made is that the outcome has been positive for HBOC with some great new maps, and the next generation of elites have been inspired....and it was a damn good time.

With the Urban Enduro we are trying to run a cool sprint event that also has real positive outcomes for our local club with investment in mapping that can be used heaps locally. To achieve this while maintaining a reasonable time commitment from organisers we are thinking pretty carefully about which part of the orienteering experience are the most important... time will tell if we get it right.

And great to see Chris and Co having a go at something different as well. I can't wait for Waitangi 2015...there should be plenty of fit people after Tasmania!




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