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ISSUE 1            WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH 2007

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the NEW e-newsletter of the Stratford Mountain Club inc., operators of the Manganui Ski Area, Taranaki, NZ. This e-newsletter has been formed in tandem with our NEW website due for launch mid-April. The new website will incorporate a host of new features including a Manganui Lodge booking enquiry form and e-mail addresses.

In this issue:

Contact Us:
06-759 9943 bus
06-752 7697 a/h


Contact Us:
06-757 9880
New Plymouth



Proud to be supporting the Stratford Mountain Club.

Buying or selling Real Estate, call Clive Saleman AREINZ

06-758 7113 b/h
06-752 7140 a/h
027-290 6636 m


GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

Swipe Card System

Lodge swipe cards are available for $20 to SMC members. Please contact:
Rhys Williams on 753 9627


Another 10 aluminium full length lockers are being mobilised for the 2007 season. Currently all other lockers are taken. If you would like to go on the waiting list for a locker contact:
Rhys Williams on 753 9627

Lodge Bookings

It is still a great time to stay at the Lodge! The field is currently in full bloom. If you would like to book accommodation in the lodge, please contact:
Ben Plummer-Butt 027-477 6271

A new feature of our website will be a lodge booking enquiry form. This will be another way of getting your enquiry off to the booking officer.

Lodge Security

We have had some problems lately with people not ensuring the lodge is locked properly on leaving. Our system works on doors being closed not on the lock, i.e. alarm can be activated with unlocked doors. So ‘hand checking’ each door is locked is essential before setting the alarm.

Lodge Overnight Stays

When staying overnight in the lodge, please ensure your car is not left in the plateau car park overnight to avoid break-ins. There is limited space in the fox car park therefore is advisable to park your car down at the Mountain House and get a lift back up where possible.

SMC Ski Swap

The SMC Ski Swap is set for Thursday 17th May 6pm at the New Plymouth Yacht Club, Ngamotu Beach New Plymouth. $10 for Sellers. This year we are asking for a gold coin donation from all who attend. All proceeds from the evening go to the SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training program, its main fundraiser for the season.

For further details contact:
Clive Saleman on 752 7140, m 027-290 6636.

This will also be the last chance to purchase your season passes at the normal rate. Payment can be made on the night.

Avalanche Awareness Course

This is the NZ Mountain Safety Council Avalanche Awareness course. Offered subject to numbers, this course starts in the classroom and then moves out onto the mountain. Avalanche Awareness courses are for skiers, snowboarders and climbers, and provide a first step to gaining an appreciation of the avalanche phenomenon and what is needed to make decisions about personal safety when travelling in avalanche terrain. The Avalanche Awareness course involves both a lecture and a field day and covers:

  • Mountain weather
  • Identification of avalanche terrain
  • Basic route finding and decision making
  • Companion rescue
  • Safety equipment (including use of transceivers)

We are able to facilitate this course locally, as Todd Cations-Velvin is an instructor. SMC are also keen to have as many members as we can doing the courses (actually a requirement of our Ski Area Safety Plan).

For an expression of interest in the next course and further course details, contact Todd Cations-Velvin on 021-704 014, e-mail

Membership Cards

This coming season we encourage you to display your membership card by wearing on a neck band. Elastic loops will be available at the ticket office.

Brown Bear Ski & Snowboard NZ 2007

We have recently updated our data for this season’s publication. Pick up a free copy (50,000 minimum distributed) and check us and other fields out for 2007. Brown Bear have also revamped their website.

Flying Fox (goods lift)

The electrical system has been repaired and The Fox is now fully operational. We should get a smooth running fox through the season.


‘History of the Club’ books are still available for sale from Bruce Richards on 7580956 or Keith Plummer on 7527050.


Ben is after some old photos of the lodge, please contact. Ben Plummer-Butt on 027 4776 271.

Mountain House Motor Lodge

Taranaki's Swiss Alpine Restaurant and Accommodation

Contact Us:
0800 Mountain
0800-66 86 82
06-765 6100
Pembroke Rd, Stratford






Our annual maintenance schedule is now well underway.

If you are keen in assisting in one of the scheduled working bees contact the organisers below or just turn up on the day.




Working Bee

March 4 Mark Braddock Ben- Plummer Butt 7527039 7527050 As per list in lodge
March 18 Phil Powell Brett Manning 7527039 7527050 As per list in lodge
March 25 Karl Lapwood Rhys Williams    
April 1 Chris Burr 7578668  
April 15 Dirk Schmidt-Rittershaus Lars Binsbergen 7527488 7524424 Lodge inside maintenance as per list
April 22 Brooke Fletcher Chris Burr 7588879 7578668 General lower field clean up and Top Tow fences and come back trails
April 29 Mario Padrutt Mitchell Dyer 7550236 7513927 Put T’s on T-Bar, learners tow out, service T-Bar, check Skidoo/Groomer
May 6 Todd Velvin   Warwick Brown Building & Ski Patrol
May 13 Chris Burr Dave Smithers 7578668 7527728 Set up & stock Canteen gorge track, drains and general work


Schedule repeats until work completed    

Participation in one of the scheduled working bee gets you a working bee ticket. This can be exchanged for a lift pass, or accommodation at the Manganui Lodge, should you already hold an SMC season pass [working bee ticket is valid till the opening day of the following season].




Welcome to the inaugural email based SMC newsletter. This initiative has been driven by Justin Keenan and Mark Braddock our Financial planner and Newsletter/publicity conveners. This is a fantastic move for the club as the concept enables a greater and easier level of communication with members. It also means that in the future we will be able to facilitate a whole range of activity over the medium to long term that can save the club money eg: on-line accounts, on-line bookings for the lodge, payment of subs, lodge fees, working bee progress and real time winter updates, skiing and avalanche advisories to name a few.

As this is our club's official website, contributions from all members are welcome, photos, notices or articles of interest please send them to Justin or Mark for editing and inclusion.

With a slight dusting of snow last week and the air temperature dropping we are reminded winter is not far away and we still have our summer programme to complete around the lodge, lower field and on the top tow, safety fences, tower foundations and comeback trails. Brooke and Biggy NEED a CREW if you can help give Brooke 027 439 8871, 7588879 (home) or Biggy Dave 027 2243506, 7527728 (home) a ring they would love to hear from you. The sooner we get the work done while it’s fine and at least a little warm the better.

I hope you enjoy the new format, any suggestions contributions or ideas you may have please forward to Justin or Mark.

Chris Burr

Upcoming Events…

Sunday 1 April 07 - Working Bee
Sunday 15 April 07- Working Bee
Thursday 17 May 07 - SMC Ski Swap



The SMC committee is dealing with lots of issues at present. Below are just a few issues we are working on…

  • Updating the SMC 10 year plan
  • Reviewing SMC Snow Safety Programme audit (Peak Risk), and acting on recommendations for next audit (this winter)
  • funding applications for new junior ski racing gates and timing system
  • researching the skidoo replacement
  • Warwick Brown cladding upgrade
  • Feasibility of a bar code style season pass and lift pass-ticketing system.

Images of 2006…

Satellite image of South Island, 14 June 2006

Mt Ruapehu Crater, 18 October 2006

Manganui - another awesome day


Successful Winter Season for Ski Resorts In Wanaka

Increased visitor numbers, great snow conditions and successful events all contributed to a sensational winter season for all four of Wanaka’s ski resorts.

Treble Cone, Snow Park NZ, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm all noticed a boost in visitor numbers this year, with some saying the 2006 season has been the best yet.

Snow Park NZ had a record 38,000 people visit the resort this year, up significantly on the last few years. “We have grown each year exponentially, and we are still on the up and up,” brand manager Claire Jackson said.

The resort has also grown with the September opening of Snow Park Village, which includes overnight backpacker-style accommodation as well as the first on-mountain luxury apartments in New Zealand. Snow Park NZ also hosted several events, including the Burton NZ Open and the New Zealand launch of MTV.

Treble Cone’s 2006 skier visits surpassed numbers from 2004 (a record year) by 10%, as well as a huge 40% increase on 2005 visitor numbers.

Cardrona Alpine Resort had a huge snowfall at the start of the season and regular top-ups ever since, which saw great conditions last through to spring. The actual number of skiers that came to Cardrona had yet to be confirmed, but overall it has been a very successful season, marketing manager Bruce McGechan said.

Snowboarding Monopoly USAopoly.

That’s right, following closely behind Junior Monopoly and NZ Monopoly, A Snowboarding version is now out there…

GO BIG! It’s a snowboarder’s dream to shred North America’s best runs and terrain parks, but what if you owned them? Here is your chance to buy, sell and trade the top 22 snowboarding destinations! Buy Whistler Blackcomb, Park City Mountain Resort and Breckenridge®! Sell Aspen, Mammoth and Stratton! Trade Timberline, Vail® or Mt. Baker! Own them all in the Snowboarding edition of the MONOPOLY game. If you love to carve or ride park, this game provides an unreal experience that you won’t want to miss out on. Grab your board, boots and goggles and get ready for the ride of your life!

US$29.95 + p&p

No word if a NZ snowboarding monopoly game is in the pipeline.

Media & Marketing Contacts

If you have a question regarding marketing or press related issues please contact:

SMC Media/Website
Justin Keenan

Contact Us:
ph 06-759 6448 b/h
ph 06 752 7034 a/h
PO Box 3271
New Plymouth

Send Us Your Work

After your visit to Manganui Ski Area, please send us a copy of your finished or any other unused work.  Manganui would appreciate any photos, articles, film/video or other media that you have for our own library and files. 


With a few ski area expansion proposals in the planning or nearing completion, the discussion inevitably comes back to Mt. Taranaki’s own failed attempts to get a Gondola in the Egmont National Park.

Meanwhile, Improvements scheduled this season for NZ ski areas include

  • Coronet Peak – double its beginner area, by addition of a new slope equipped with a Magic Carpet Lift.
  • The Remarkables - summer earthworks for the brand new UP & GO Terrain Park.
  • Treble Cone - trail improvement, sewage system upgrade
  • Turoa - 6 Speed detachable chair, increased snowmaking, expanded base café

Current Gondola plans include

  • Treble Cone access
  • Waiorau Snow Farm in the Cardrona Valley
  • Milford Sound access, from Glenorchy

Treble Cone upgrade continues

By now you may be aware of Treble Cone ski area’s plans to build a gondola accessing the ski area from the base of the mountain….

Artist's impression of the base complex; one of the options for the route of the gondola

The Treble Cone Gondola proposal will for the first time in New Zealand provide the level of service demanded by skiers and snowboarders at world-class resorts.

The gondola would have the capacity to transport 2000 passengers an hour, rising 945 metres vertically from Cattle Flat. The 3.3km trip would take just over 10 minutes and initial construction would take 10 months.

Gondola Statistics:

  • Top Elevation: 1,254m
  • Bottom Elevation: 309m
  • Vertical Drop: 945m
  • Travel Distance: 3,276m
  • Travel Time: 10 min 48 sec
  • Capacity: 2,000 per hour
  • Summit Elevation: 2088m (6,850 ft)

A charge will be added into the price of a ski pass.

Cost: approx $NZ20 million

The proposal will link the alpine ski area with Cattle Flat in the Matukituki Valley below.

A base station building planned for an area about 130m east of the road, would include ski rental area, retail activities, cafe, toilets and car parking for 1550 vehicles.

The developers feel that New Zealand needed to drop the mentality of expecting visitors to drive up its challenging alpine roads.

While ski area gondolas were generally misunderstood in a country with no experience of them, roads were an outdated means of access and, in that sense, New Zealand lagged behind the world.

It is a given that a gondola would not only be safer, it would provide an energy-efficient and sustainable transport system for the future.

The ski resort was under pressure to widen the road, which was constantly being repaired.

The gondola also offers safety advantages - in 2004 three Sydney students were killed when their vehicle plunged 180m off the ski field road

At present this proposal has stalled, after the resource consent hearing stage…

Commissioners involved in last year's resource consent hearing issued a memorandum to the applicant, Snowline Holdings Ltd, saying base facilities including a cafe, souvenir shop and ski hire base were an impediment to consent.

Commissioners said a base station would be better suited at an alternative site to the two options proposed, to align the gondola more directly over the existing skifield access road and to locate the base station closer to existing farm buildings and as close as possible to the base of the mountain.

After the hearing, developer Richard Hanson said new plans for the gondola were on hold.

He said the company did not have any immediate plans to resubmit the proposal.

Treble Cone ski area operators say mountain developments will continue this year "with or without a gondola".

Marketing manager Anna Yeates said the immediate goal was to increase intermediate ground terrain for a better experience.

"Our goal right now is to get ready for a winter season that doesn't include a gondola," she said.

New rules make hard work for Milford gondola plan

The controversial Queenstown-Milford gondola proposal could be derailed within six weeks if its backers are declined permission to build an "amenity area", says the Department of Conservation.

Skyline Enterprises announced plans for a $100 million gondola cableway from the head of Lake Wakatipu to Lake Gunn, alongside the Milford Road.

It is working on the project with Ngai Tahu Developments under the name Skytrail.

Last week the Conservation Authority released its new policies for national parks, which include tighter rules on gondolas, only allowing them in amenity areas.

DoC Southland Martin Rodd said granting an amenity area in Fiordland would be a major change and would represent a "very permissive" move in favour of development within the park.

Declining Ngai Tahu an amenity area would preclude the gondola development from going ahead.

Earlier this year, Ngai Tahu objected to a clause in the draft national park rules specifically banning gondolas in national parks and forced a change in wording.

Skytrail spokesman Adrian Januszkiewicz refused to comment on the effect the refusal of an amenity area would have on the development.

NZ Herald June 07, 2005

From: "Keith Blayney" <>

Egmont National Park Gondola

The idea of a Gondola gracing Mt Taranaki has been touted for some time.

The most recent idea was to have the gondola to Fantham's Peak.

Rangitoto Flat was seen potentially as an exciting ski area with a much better season than Manganui. A skifield would need more substantial shelter, catering and viewing facilities which would add to the attraction of a gondola ride at any time of the year.

As recently as 2004, a feasibility study was released. Its conclusions were not favourable…

Building a Gondola on the slopes of Mt. Taranaki is not economically viable and would not attract more international visitors to the region, according to a feasibility study released yesterday…”these are projects whose time has not yet come, but this study should not preclude smaller projects, such as cableway across the Manganui Gorge.”

Stratford Mayor Brian Jeffares, who has been a long-term supporter of the project, was disappointed with the news. “Unless we can find someone who is prepared to write a cheque out for $14millon and not expect a return, it’s not going to happen”, he said.

…this aside, it seems that the Department of Conservation’s Management Plan was not favourable either…

DoC Egmont National Park Management Plan 2002-2012

Page 29 of 40.

At present there is a cableway and power distribution line across the Manganui Gorge to the Ski field. This allows equipment and supplies to be transported across the gorge in a flying fox to Manganui Skifield and the Skifield.

Gondolas have been used elsewhere in New Zealand and overseas and have been suggested for use in Egmont National Park . Visual and other impacts, such as removal of vegetation and expansion of facilities, resulting from the construction and operation of a gondola are not considered to be compatible with the general purpose of preserving the park. Any applications for gondolas and aerial cableways will be considered under the concessions process, guided by all matters referred to in section 3.3.2. (section on concessions)


1. The building of further aerial cableways, including gondolas and flying foxes and associated activities, is considered inappropriate and will be discouraged.

2. Further development and intensification (not including maintenance) of existing cableways, except where development would increase safety to park users, is considered inappropriate and will be discouraged.

Advertising/Sponsorship with SMC

SMC is always open to and interested in advertising or sponsorship from companies, organizations and clubs for winter and summer opportunities. We appreciate any offers for potential sponsors and are always looking for other organisations, companies and clubs that might make a good fit for SMC and our guests.

If your company, organisation or club is interested in submitting a proposal please feel free to submit it to:

Subject: Advertising/Sponsorship Proposals

If you would like to post a classified advert (buy/sell gear etc), please post it on the 'Classifieds' page of our website (available mid April).


Gorge Track, late February 2007

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