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Previous Issues:

Issue 59 - 12 March 2012
Issue 58 - 09 November 2011
Issue 57 - 09 September 2011
Issue 56 - 04 August 2011
Issue 55 - 14 July 2011
Issue 54 - 16 June 2011
Issue 53 - 16 May 2011
Issue 52 - 09 April 2011
Issue 51 - 02 March 2011


ISSUE 60         THURSDAY 10 MAY 2012...

Welcome to Issue of 60 Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club.

It appears to be shaping up for a mild May; will it be like last year, where we didn't get snow till early July, but then it didn't stop for 2 months? Is snow in June too soon?

Rest assured we will be geared up ready to go for the big snowfall (and good weather) that gets our season underway; whenever that may be...

the SMC Ski Swap is on the last day of May, May 31, at NP Yacht Club. This is our main fundraiser for the Jnr Ski Racing and Training Squad, so your attendance and donation at the door will be most appreciated!

In this issue...

Major Sponsor
of the SMC enewsletter

Contact Us:
06-759 4609
New Plymouth

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

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

When: 6pm, Thursday 31st May
Where: NP Yacht Club, Ocean View Parade, New Plymouth
Entry: Gold Coin donation, $10 for sellers

Drinks and nibbles will be available.

All proceeds go to the SMC Junior Ski Racing and Training Squad.

we will be drawing a season be at the ski/board swap to be in the draw!!!

this is your last chance to purchase a season pass (discounted if you have done working bees).

A History of Stratford Mtn Club books will be available for sale

Subs payments, $10 Levy on subs, for Insurance Premium Increases

Your subs are coming! Computer issues have slowed down our progress in getting these out.
Be expecting to see them soon by way of email as the first preference, otherwise they will be in the post.

You can process your subs at the ski swap if you wish, as was the case last year, Eftpos will be available - please bring your membership cards with you; you only get the sticker if you have your card!

SMC is imposing a $10 levy to all members on this seasons' subs, to help cover our insurance premiums, which have increased exponentially over the last few years; a result of, amongst other cost increases, the Whakapapa Knoll Ridge Cafe arson/fire of Feb 2009, and of course the Christchurch Earthquakes of 2010/2011.

(*that arson/fire was also the reason why SMC was required to extend our security system to the Warwick Brown building; thankfully we had surplus grant funds from the WB building upgrade project, that TSB Trust were happy for us to direct towards).

A sub committee dealing with our insurance premium has deliberated long and hard over this, with plenty of input from members alike. It was raised as a topic in the AGM of 2011. Currently the premium is in the range of $15-20k! On a good year the Lodge makes $8k in bookings; not including power etc. So you can see it costs us plenty to exist up there!

The levy is seen as our only way to maintain the insurance coverage we require to insure our Plant and Equipment, otherwise we would be dipping into our fixed deposit savings, which are set aside for Manganui Lodge Maintenance, and/or reduce our sum insured (which was dispelled by SMC and the insurance companies as an option). A recent survey has stated the value of our plant/equipment for insurance; even that was challenged, as a way to save on premium costs.

We hope you understand our necessity in imposing this levy, while trying to maintain the income we need to keep the field running and the plant in suitable condition, as is required for our continued operation on Mt. Taranaki.

Funding secured for Vegetation Report

NZCT has recently approved funding of the Vegetation Report, to be completed by Waikato University. This report is a DoC requirement, and covers amongst other things, the monitoring of erosion and usage effects on what is the unique alpine meadow of the t-bar slopes.

SMC thanks NZCT for the $4200 funding grant towards the cost of this Report.


As required by a clause in our Department of Conservation (DoC) Operating Concession, DoC have asked Stratford Mountain Club (SMC) to commission environmental monitoring to assess vegetation at the Ski Area Site.
This report was last commissioned in 1994, and involves the vegetation of the Manganui Ski Area and its adjacent undisturbed area of the Ngarara Bluffs being surveyed to monitor changes occurring since 1974, and to assess the impact of management strategies on vegetation composition. Method was by re-survey of permanent quadrants in conjunction with estimation of rates of change of species composition in both areas.

 The point of the survey is not just look for the sake of looking it is intended to result in the vegetation to be managed in a more effective way including how the impacts of tussock mowing and skifield use past, present and future are dealt with including rehabilitation.
The assessment is to examine, then recommend actions to minimize or correct: (utilising and comparing the current state to previous results of studies)

• damage or modification to vegetation
• damage or modification to ground form and drainage
• soil compaction
• the introduction and dispersal of non-indigenous plant species
• the contamination of water courses on the Land

This report is to be completed by Waikato University's Bruce Clarkson, who has visited the mountain annually since the mid 70's, and since 1999 has made annual visits with plant ecology students. 

supporting SMC junior ski racing and training


Remember, a working bee qualifier is now applied to 'discounted' member season passes. Working bees are required to be completed by 31 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 (Sunday)


Contact numbers Working Bee tasks
May 13 Mike Reeve
Jack Cran


  • T-Bar Maintenance (spring box repairs, T's on T-Bar)
  • Flying Fox maintenance.
May 20

Lars Binsbergen
Rhys Williams


  • Staff and Volunteer Staff Training (tbc)

May 27

Dean Ravin
Morgan Davies


  • Outstanding work from above tasks
June 03 (Queen's

Rob Needs
Justin Keenan


  • Outstanding work from above tasks
  • Webcam maintenance, testing
June 10
  • Contingency

Participation in scheduled working bees gets you ability to purchase a discounted season pass, as well as a working bee ticket. This ticket 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].


SMC acknowledges support given by NZ Community Trust, towards our Vegetation Report.

SMC acknowledges support given by Pub Charity, for the new Ski-doo purchased last season.



Hi all, winter feels like it is just around the corner and I’m hoping it will deliver this year.
Your subs are on their way to you by email, or post if we don’t yet have your email address. The club needs this sub and season pass to help the club survive during this difficult year.
We have our yearly ski swap at the end of May, this helps support our young ski training and racing program. I hope to see you there.
The committee has been very busy of late,  and I would like to say a big thank you to Lars Binsbergen and Nick Brown who have recently retired from the SMC committee.
Rhys Williams

Madwax is stocked at Kiwi Outdoors Centre and at Vertigo SH45


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

  • Vegetation Report - completion by Waikato University
  • Groomer Maintenance
  • Lodge Maintenance
  • General t-bar and top tow field maintenance, access tow maintenance

A-big-thank-you-for-all-the-hard-work goes out to Lars Binsbergen, who has served on the SMC committee for 12 years, and is taking a well deserved break from the committee; and also to Nick Brown; our ex Building and Maintenance man is moving on from TOPEC, to The Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre, just north of National Park.



GLIDE-ON snow riding hot wax

SMC have recently been sent some samples from GLIDE-ON, a company based in Southwest Colorado of all places.

Want top level wax on your snow riding tools this winter? then look them up. No word on a NZ distributor as yet, however.

The samples will be out on the waxing bench on occasion this winter - feel free to use, to keep those ski/snow boards well waxed.

GLIDE-ON is a specially formulated, non-toxic, hydrocarbon wax, handcrafted in Southwest Colorado, USA. Perfect for any 'glide' application on Skis or Snowboards, GLIDE-ON is smooth, easy to apply, and long lasting. In numerous field tests, GLIDE-ON consistantly outperfomed many of the more expensive hydrocarbons, incliding Swix CH. It is competitively priced, and a great alternative to the high-priced, big-name, toxic waxes on the market.

Life Out There?

NASA has confirmed that it has located a planet that could support skiing/riding.
Although there has long been speculation that 'frost' might be present on massive peaks on Mars and super-frozen surfaces on some of Saturn's moons, this is the first time that the administration has confirmed that a planet may have both decent powder and a breathable atmosphere.


Kepler 22b - 600 light years from Mt. Taranaki in the constellation of Cygnus, and first recorded in 2009 - has a 'habitable zone' which is the correct distance from its local star to potentially support water and thus snow - along with a suitable temperature and atmospheres to support life. More than double the size of our planet, it orbits its sun every 290 days, meaining shorter gaps between ski seasons than here on Earth!

source - Winter Sports Technology International April 2012.





Feature Article

Mounga to Maori - Mt. Taranaki Users and Iwi Hui - Progress and Implementation...
upcoming Hui discussing Iwi association with Mt. Taranaki, cultural affinity etc

SMC will be represented by members of the committee, at this Hui  currently scheduled for Wednesday 16th May...

This is an  opportunity for persons undertaking activities on Mount Taranaki (the Mounga/Mountain) and other people involved with Egmont National Park to meet to learn about and discuss the importance of this Mounga to Maori.

The Hui will enable local Iwi to disseminate information to users of the Mounga.

Dept of Conservation (DOC) will also have staff available to discuss the aspects of the Mounga that they are involved in.

It is envisaged that each Iwi (Ngati Ruanui, Nga Ruahine, Taranaki Iwi and Te Atiawa) will outline their association with the Mounga.

Then there will be an opportunity for each of the topics outlined below to be discussed initially with an outline by Iwi of their interests and concerns regarding these activities:

The Summit
This area is of special significance to Taranaki Iwi who are considered to have mana whenua (cultural affinity) to the summit and  all areas of the Mounga above 1500m
Waahi Tapu
There are numerous Waahi Tapu (culturally significant) sites on the Mounga. Some of these Iwi are happy to korero (discuss) others that they wish to remain silent on to minimise the chances of these sites being inappropriately disturbed.
There are a number of tracks that Iwi have considered and have acknowledged that they have no cultural reasons to oppose these sites for use. These are the conforming tracks (further information available on the DOC website).
Other tracks Iwi have assessed and they consider the impact of guided parties on a case by case basis. Some of these tracks are only suitable for infrequent use.
 The use of helicopters on and close to the Mounga is generally discouraged. The use of helicopters is generally limited to maintenance and rescue operations. Some areas of the Mounga are inappropriate to land upon.
The Mounga is of interest to a wide variety of people with studies of the plants and animals present and the geological processes that formed the Mounga. This research is generally of low impact to cultural values, however if it is to be undertaken in a sensitive area DOC works with Iwi to ensure that appropriate measures are undertaken to avoid any adverse impacts on these values.
There is a network of huts around the Mounga which are the preferred location for overnight visitors to stay within. Outside of these locations campers may inadvertently camp in areas which are culturally insensitive (and may also be unsafe or ecologically detrimental) and camping and associated activities may have adverse cultural (and other) impacts.
The Mounga is a preferred location for radio, telecommunication and television providers. This has led to the development of areas of the Mounga where towers and other infrastructure are present.
DOC has a wide variety of general information on the Mounga as well as some general information regarding the cultural values of the Mounga that has been supplied by Iwi. However, Iwi are the best source of cultural information and they are free to disseminate that information as they see appropriate.
DOC hopes that this meeting will facilitate communication between users of the Mounga and Iwi and also strengthen the relationship between the DOC and these groups.

It is hoped that this Hui will provide the opportunity to develop an information pack that can be available to all visitors to the Mounga.
Once this becomes available, you can be sure SMC will have it available to all through our website.

Follow-up DOC considers that if this Hui is successful the groups may wish to meet on a regular basis to discuss any issues or changes to the Mounga or the way it is managed.
DOC trusts that the proposed meeting will go someway towards enhancing and developing the relationship between users (SMC is one!), Iwi and DOC.

Chris Rendall
Department of Conservation
Ranger Community Relations

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.


Naki farmland below Mt Taranaki and Manganui Ski Area, Thursday morning 03 May

Our early May morning taken just south of Stratford - no snow as yet, Thursday 03 May.

Woiking Bees are underway once more!
SMC Management
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