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Previous Issues:

Issue 50 - 21 Oct 2011
Issue 49 - 06 Sep 2010
Issue 48 - 21 July 2010

Issue 47 - 22 June 2010
Issue 46 - 04 June 2010
Issue 45 - 19 May 2010
Issue 44 - 20 April 2010
Issue 43 - 25 March 2010
Issue 42 - 05 February 2010

ISSUE 51           WEDNESDAY 02 MARCH 2011...

Welcome to the 1st 2011 edition of Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club.

We are well into pretty good local summer, but with winter around the corner, for some of us, thoughts of being back on the snow are becoming more prominent.

There is a certain symmetry between the surf and the snow; the waves are always regenerating and reforming, just like the snow on mountain slopes...

With the Christchurch earthquake, alot of what we may have held as important pales into insignificance; a sense of wanting to help is there for some of us. So how can you help?

You can help by making a donation to the New Zealand Red Cross earthquake fund.
You can also help by supporting Canterbury businesses in their attempts to get back up and running.
Kingswood Skis is one such business - NZ's only ski manufacturer. Their operation in Lyttleton has been affected...more in snippets of interest below.

A major working bee activity is heading your way soon - see working bees section for more...

In this issue...

Major Sponsor
of the SMC E-newsletter

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth

Get all your winter gear here.
New season Icebreaker now in store!

Kiwi Outdoors Centre
18 Ariki Street,  New Plymouth
Phone and Fax (06) 7584152

4 Mustang Dve Bell Block
New Plymouth
phone and fax (06)755 0005

GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

New Management for Stratford Mountain House...

Stratford Mountain House, on the road to Manganui Ski Area, has new Managers. Rod and Lynne Pulford, with previous projects being Rough Habits Sports Bar in Hawera, Zanziba cafe in New Plymouth, have returned to the hospitality industry once more.

SMC wishes them all the best, and we hope that ski area users, our members, and locals support their business.

Under new ownership, local Iwi Ngati Ruanui have invested in a substantial upmarket retrofit, with the renovations being a challenge for the new managers from Stratford.

The iconic facilities have been transformed, with a new entranceway, remodelled lounge, cafe and dining area, and updated rooms.
It is all outdoor footwear friendly, with seating and the bar located on comortable tiled areas.
So, a sublime apline setting, nice meal options, nice coffee, and a bar, all on the way to/from the ski area.

north wing lounge area - very alpine footwear friendly!

This is great news for regular mountain visitors, as after a long absence it is open once more for snacks and cofee, before or after your ski area visit! Takeaway coffee is available too.
The Mountain House oozes a sense of how NZ mountain lodges used to be, and with the upgrades, it is sure to be a step up to the modern conveniences while still maintaining that old charm.

As well as the accommodation and restaurant facilities, the cafe is open for brunch 7 days a week, with cabinet food available daily. In the evenings a fully licenced bar is in operation.

Nice new lounge area and bar.

They have a comprehensive all day menu:

  • breakfast menu (till 2:30pm) $11-$17.50:
    muesli with fruit/french toast/mountain house breakfast/eggs benedict
  • snacks menu (all day) $10.50-$13.50:
    wedges/beef nachos/vege nachos/bacon+egg sandwich
  • small fries $5; large fries $8
  • kids menu $8:
    chicken tenders/fish+fries/hot dog/pizza
  • pizzas $15.50:
    ham-pineapple-cheese/peperoni/garlic prawns+chilli/mushrooms+pesto+asparagus
  • lunch menu (till 2:30pm) $10.50-$17.50:
    soup/platters/turkish melt/prawn&avacado salad/chicken salad/steak sandwich/chicken sandwich/pasta of the day
  • dinner entree menu $8-$14.50:
    garlic pizza bread/brushetta/pork ribs/shrimp tower/salt+lemon pepper squid
  • dinner mains menu $24.50-$32.50 (all mains served with either seasonal veges or fresh salad):
    pasta/vege stack/salmon/mixed grill/chicken saltimbocca/sirloin steak
  • desert menu $12.50:
    mini lemon meringue pie/ice cream balls/cheesecake/mud cake/ice cream sundae

In the past the Mountain House ran a ski hire service. 
Just a reminder that Snowboard Rental gear is available at Cheapskates in New Plymouth, and at Kiwi Outdoors Centre for Snowboard and Ski rentals (there are no hire facilities at the Mountain House or at Manganui Ski Area).

Just as an aside, have you ever frequented the walks around the Stratford Mountain House?
The Potaema Walk is accessed from the road below the Mountain House, and is a short flat walk, through forest to one of the few natural mires (bobs) in the Egmont National Park. More on this in the Snippets of Interest section.

SMC Annual General meeting review 

Our AGM was held on Monday 6th December.

Incoming Officers for 2011:
President                                               Kev Rowlands
Lower Lifts Convenor                            Mario Padrutt
Customer Services Convenor                Jenni Fletcher
Machinery Convenor                             Christian Padrutt
Lodge Convenor                                   Rob Needs
Safety Services Convenor                     Lars Binsbergen
Ski Racing and Training Coordinator     Jack Cran
Building Services and Maintenance      Nick Brown

Patron          Chris Burr (replaces Bob Stokes)

 2010 Season Review (AGM Treasurer's Report) 

Gerald did such a great job with his Financial Review, encompassing most of our season summary, that it is fitting to repeat it here as a 2010 Season Review: 

The T Bar officially opened on June 9th with an early season teaser that was quickly followed by two consecutive days June 16 and 17th. With marginal snow conditions for the next 3 weeks, operations were suspended until the first decent fall which provided 5 consecutive days on July 10th through to the 14th.  If you didn’t get up during that period then you probably missed out this year!!  A number of day’s post this period saw the field open however issues with power supply (as had been experienced throughout the entire season) saw ticket sales reduced to half day prices or refunded in full with the field being forced to close.
It has been of concern to everyone that the field experienced these power outages and I can assure you, committee members have worked determinedly and kept the pressure on Genesis Energy and Powerco to resolve them. Ski area turnover was directly affected as a consequence, with low snow user numbers and income well down on last season.

Power issues aside, the Manganui ski area historically (and within any decade) experiences poor seasons with limited snow cover (you gotta take it while it is there) and it is years like this that the Club survival falls back on its membership contributions.
95% (plus) of SMC membership do not involve themselves with the administration of the Club but it is you and your membership that keeps the Club afloat and moving forward into another, and hopefully more prosperous year and for this the Club is indebted to you. Without your continued membership support, SMC would struggle to keep afloat.
We are fortunate that a number of trusts deem SMC a worthy cause and applications for funding towards the refurbishment of the Warwick Brown Building were successfully received. SMC acknowledges these generous grants/donations from:
NZ Community Trust        $20,000
TSB Trust                         $20,000
Taranaki Electricity Trust   $20,000
Additional funding towards full time employment for 4 months of a Safety Services Coordinator (Nic Fountain) were also received and are gratefully acknowledged from:
Southern Trust                $3,470
NZ Community Trust       $3,470
Stratford District Council Community Grants Pool.  $1,000

A further $1,000 was donated by The George Mason Trust towards avalanche training and awareness. Club member Thornton Davies was the recipient spending  7 days at Whakapapa on a course facilitated by the Ed Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre. 

In conclusion I again take this opportunity to thank the general membership for their continued support, the various trusts for their grants and individuals, all of whom have contributed to the Club’s well being this year. 
As we again wind up and ready ourselves for this season, I can report the Club remains debt free with sufficient reserves on hand to see us safely through into next season or two.
In closing I remind you that as a member you have access to a wonderful lodge and facilities 365 days of the year. If you didn’t get your mountain fix this winter may I suggest you book some time in the lodge and enjoy those facilities and what our wonderful mountain has to offer with friends and family over the coming summer months. 
Gerald Hood

Manganui Metservice weatherstation historical data now available on

Metservice have recently added historical weather data from Hawera and Manganui Ski Area to its New Plymouth City and Airport data.

You can find the Manganui Ski Area data under the New Plymouth Ten Day Forecast.
Use the pull down tab to select Manganui Ski Area.


what the installed 11Kv alu cable will look like, running on the surface in duct. Minimal ground and head clearing is required for the route, to allow good clear working space for contractors to lay cable duct on ground then pull the 11kV alu cable.



New ground laid aluminium power cable install, route clearing required!

Powerco is working with DOC and SMC on a plan to replace the overhead 11,000 volt line from the Stratford Mountain House to the communications hut approximately 2.5km up the road to improve network reliability and visual amenity in one of New Zealand ’s most picturesque national parks.

While details are still being finalised, SMC will be working under DoC’s guidance to cut a new access trail underneath the existing 11,000 volt overhead line. This access trail will be used when Powerco and Tenix come on site to install a polyethylene duct and pull through a new 11,000 volt aluminium armoured cable. The duct will be laid on the ground, but buried in locations where it crosses tracks or the access road.

The project represents a $200,000 investment from Powerco and is part of a longer term company objective to completely underground the network supply to the area, from the bush line at Pembroke Road.

Powerco says it is pleased to be able to support both the SMC through the improvement of the electricity supply and DoC by improving the visual amenity of the area. Powerco plans to complete the installation and connection of the new cable before the first winter snows, depending on how early they fall.

Neil Holdom
Corporate Affairs Manager

the bottom of the new cable run - 100m below the Mountain House car park

the top of the 2.3km cable run; at the CAA antennas site, above the last of the switchback corners (the antennas can be seen at the top of the bush skyline)

So this is to become one of our major working bee tasks over upcoming weekends. We are looking to have the full access trail completed by April 15 if not earlier. This is SMC's part of the deal to give better power quality on the ski area (last years' power outages were not ideal!).
SMC is gearing up for this working bee activity. We intend to commence as soon as we get DoC consent (being worked on at present) and will continue each weekend till we get it done. We are looking at approx 2.3k of route clearing. Manual clearing, machete and light chainsaw work would best describe the task; over moderate and not too dense terrain. Just some steep bits at the top of the route, that we will be well prepared for.
We'll be sending working bee email updates regularly with all the contacts. So please register your interest and help the club help Powerco in the install of this important 11kV aluminium replacement cable.

Remember, a working bee qualifier is now applied to 'discounted' member season passes. Working bees are required to be completed by 29 May to qualify for the 'discounted' season pass rate, otherwise full price season pass rate applies. 1 member working bee still qualifies for 1 free nights accommodation at SMC Lodge, or 1 free days skiing, whichever you chose.



Date (Weekend of)


Contact numbers Working Bee
March 05-06

Brooke Fletcher
Justin Keenan

m 0274398871
m 0272484085

  • Powero new cable route clearing (subject to DoC consent)
March 12-13

Mario Padrutt Christian Padrutt

m 0278251817
h 06 764 6845

  • Powero new cable route clearing (subject to DoC consent)
  • Machinery maintenance
  • general lower field clean up
  • T-bar towers 4-3 prep
March 19-20

Dave Smithers
Kevin Rowlands

m 0272243506
m 027 2550929

  • Powero new cable route clearing (subject to DoC consent)
  • Top Tow maintenance (safety fence maintenance, Meadows returns repairs, repair tow line ramp)
  • T-bar towers 4-3 sanding/painting
March 26-27

Mike Reeve
Nick Brown

m 0277424273
m 0272229832

  • Powero new cable route clearing (subject to DoC consent)
  • T-bar towers 4-3 sanding/painting
  • T-bar mowing trial
  •  Lower field rail slides (remove/repair)

April 02-03

Mario Padrutt
Rhys Williams

m 0278251817
h 7539627

  • Powero new cable route clearing
  • T-bar towers 4-3 sanding/painting
  • Top Tow maintenance (safety fence maintenance, Meadows returns repairs, repair tow line ramp)
  • Lower field erosion
April 09-10

Brooke Fletcher
Dave Smithers

m 0274398871
m 0272243506

  • Powero new cable route clearing (if required)
  • T-bar towers 4-3 sanding/painting
  • Warwick Brown bldg (repaint basement walls and doors)
  • Lower field erosion
  • Top Tow maintenance (safety fence maintenance, Meadows returns repairs, repair tow line ramp)
April 16-17

Lars Binsbergen
Rhys Williams

m 0273220092
h 7539627

  • T-bar mowing
  • T-bar towers 4-3 sanding/painting
  • Warwick Brown bldg (repaint basement walls and doors)
  • General lower field clean up/erosion management
  • Top Tow maintenance (safety fence maintenance, Meadows returns repairs, repair tow line ramp)
April 23-24

Kev Rowlands
Mario Padrutt

m 0272550929
m 0278251817

  • T-bar mowing
  • T-bar towers 4-3 sanding/painting
  • Learners tow out, service T-bar
April 30
May 01

Lars Binsbergen
Rhys Williams

m 0273220092
m 0274745242

  • Ski Patrol prep/maintenance
  • Learners tow out, service T-bar
May 07-08

Jenni Fletcher
Rob Needs

h 7588879
m 0272702932

  • Set up POS system & stock ticket office/canteen
  • Canteen pre-season work (organisation and stock-take, till & ticket pre-season prep)
May 14-15 Christian Padrutt
Jack Cran

h 06 764 6845

  • T-Bar Maintenance (spring box repairs, T's on T-Bar)
  • Flying Fox maintenance.
May 21-22

Lars Binsbergen
Mark Braddock

m 0273220092
m 0276898149

  • Staff and Volunteer Staff Training (tbc)

May 28-29

Jack Cran
Mike Reeve

m 0277424273

  • outstanding work from above tasks
June 04-05

Nick Brown
Justin Keenan

m 0272229832
m 0272484085

  • Lodge (window latch repairs, prep/paint reveals on Lodge windows)
June 11-12
  • contingency


SMC acknowledges support given by Southern Trust and NZ Community Trust, towards Safety Services Coordinator wages for last season.

supporting SMC junior ski racing and training


The new committee has met and it is once again it is previledge to work with a dedicated, keen team of people.
Already this season working bees are on the way.

A special thanks must go out George Mason and his team who have been putting many hours in applying another coat of stain on the Warrick Brown building new cladding, plus all the bits and pieces that George gets done over the summer months.

With the support of Power Co, we think we have come up with a solution to the power supply problems we encountered last year.

So please members could you put some time aside over the coming weekends to assist us in this very worthy project.

Check the working bee schedule,contact the project organisers to get advice as to what to bring, and enjoy meeting and working with new people.

Remember, that these working bees count for discounted rates to what is going  to be a magic snow season.

Hope to catch up soon.

Kevin Rowlands

Madwax is stocked at Kiwi Outdoors Centre and at Vertigo SH45


The SMC committee has and or is working on a number of projects.
These include…

  • Safety Services Coordinator employment
  • Working Bees organisation
  • Powerco new alu cable run route clearing project
  • Warwick Brown fire/security system implementation
  • Top Tow fences/get back trails maintenance.
  • funding applications for new ski-doo
  • Manganui Lodge general maintenance

Kingswood Factory building pre 22 Feb























Potoema track start


Kingswood Skis looks to rebuild their Lyttleton factory and business

This from Kris...Well, this is the bad news - the top floor of our building. The good news is that no one was inside - Alex in the surf and Kris out of town. The ski factory is in the basement below and miraculously seems relatively in tact. It will be a while before we know what the future holds, but we are optimistic and as the number of deaths continues to grow - are counting ourselves very much among the lucky.


We are now hopeful that the ski factory may be able to be rebuilt but it is so early that we don't have much information. We will be doing whatever we can to get up and running again and we would certainly appreciated the support when we are able to make skis again.

view from Lyttleton's Kingswood factory in winter.

In the mean time, we are looking for what we can do to help other people in our community and plan for the needs of our family over the next few days and weeks.

If you would like to help, we suggest making a donation to the New Zealand Red Cross earthquake fund.

You can keep up to date with developments on their website.
Note they also do other stuff, t-shirts, jackets etc.

Potoema Walk, a track you pass on the way to our ski area!

Time: 30 min max!

This wheelchair friendly track starts at the Potaema Picnic Area about 3km in from the park boundary on Pembroke Road (before The Mountain House).

Raised boardwalks take you through lush lowland forest made up of rimu-rata/kamahi, kahikatia and mountain totara/pokaka. The track leads to a large lowland bog/swamp/mire that sustains a wide variety of flora and fauna. Magnificent views of the mountain can be had across the swamp from the viewing area.

cool boardwalk

A wide variety of different scenery as one approaches the edge.  Swamps are areas where the normal sequence of vegetation is interrupted. The Taranaki swamps are, in effect, huge frost hollows, trapping cold air and creating completely different microclimates in the acidic conditions created by the high nutrient concentrations with abnormally cold temperatures for the height. The Potaema bog is surrounded by a forest of rimu, rata and Kamahi with kahikatea, New Zealand's highest growing tree growing at the edge. The forest quickly gives way manuka, lancewood, flax and large sedges with sharp cutting edges. The walk ends over the swamp on a boardwalk so one can see the rushes, sedges and blue flowered orchids. 

on a clear day the mountain views would be magnificent; that is the mire/swamp in front of the rail


Feature Article

Bob Stokes Tribute...

(Bob resigned from Patron at the 2010 AGM, a role he had held from 1994-2010).

In 1945 Bob began his association with the Stratford Mountain Club; other people of note to join in the same year, were Bob’s brother Wade and Bill Brown. Don  Dorflinger in 1945 was Club Captain.
The subsequent 65 years has seen an extraordinary amount accomplished by Bob. His enthusiasm and passion for SMC in association with other like minded members laid the foundation for the continual improvement in our skiing environment on Manganui.

Bob in his younger days was an excellent ski racer winning many races at club and national level, he still holds the record for the summit to Fanthoms Peak run done in an incredibly quick 71.3 seconds! Bob was also a member of the New Zealand Ski Team from 1953 to 1961. Ski racing has always been the hallmark of SMC and Bob upheld that fine tradition, it wasn’t until the South Island racers came to the fore in the late 1980s did the Clubs dominance start to wane.

Bob then turned his attention to administration, this saw him sitting not only on SMC committees but also the NZ Ski Council a position he held for many years.
Bob is best known to us all for his outstanding contribution to SMC and his role on the executive committee which began in 1953.
Bobs calm pragmatic approach and voice of reason generally won the day, he could assess situations very well, which generally meant he could understand both sides of the argument. His institutional knowledge and wisdom meant he has been the “go to guy” for Presidents and committee alike for a long number of years. In short- what Bob thought mattered.   

 Bob did have help along the way, he couldn’t do it all on his own and tribute must be paid to Nancie. They are a formidable team and together, they took on one of the biggest projects undertaken by the club in recent years, the outstanding publication on the History of the Stratford Mountain Club. This book really puts everything into perspective for new members joining our Club, just exactly how far we have come and the effort required getting to the present day.
This book encompasses every aspect of club life since its incorporation and can only be described as magnificent.

Bob maybe vacating his Patrons role but I hear, on very good authority, he has now joined George Mason's weekday work party, so rest assured, he will still be aware of progress  on his beloved Mountain, and within the Club that he and Nancie have contributed to tirelessly over many years.   

Chris Burr

Nancie & Bob on the Manganui Lodge deck

A sample of Bob's SMC honours boards:

  • 1948: SMC junior ski champion
  • 1952: National ski champion
  • 1953: 1st slalom NI
  • 1954: 1st slalom, combined NI
  • 1956: 1st giant slalom NI
  • 1958: 1st giant slalom NI
  • 1962: 1st downhill, combined NI
  • 1952-53: club captain
  • 1953-54: club captain
  • 1970-72: club president
  • 1976-78: club president
  • 1972: life member
  • 1996-2010: club patron


If you would like to post a classified advert (buy/sell gear etc), please post it on the SMC  'Garage Sale' page of our website.

We have a link from the Taranaki Daily News online website homepage direct to our Manganui Ski Area snow report/webcam page.
Thanks to


Karl Lapwood, ex SMC committee, now residing in Melbourne, on his winter trip to a very snowy Whistler

Summer is rolling on, winter is just around the corner!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007-2011 - Stratford Mountain Club