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Previous Issues:

Issue 61 - 29 June 2012

Issue 60 - 10 May 2012

Issue 59 - 12 March 2012


ISSUE 62        SATURDAY 04 AUGUST 2012...

Welcome to Issue of 62 Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club.

So more snow dumped on us on the first Tuesday of the school holidays; Northerly snow with not much wind that coated all aspects with 20-50cm of great snow. Off of that we were able to operate the following 7 of 8 days, before rain put paid to the snowpack, as can and does happen at Manganui; though we weren't the only ski area to suffer in the warm heavy rain!...

Wednesday 04!

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

local wildlife

Mountain Manager Brooke and President Rhys

Smiles all round

GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

Part time mid-week Canteen worker wanted!

If Interested, then please contact Jenni Fletcher m 027 4449475 or Rob Needs 027 2702932

Staying at Manganui Lodge? What we want you to do - book it!

In order to better manage the lodge bookings, and gather revenue required for the lodge upkeep, a reminder that we require all lodge stays to be booked through Rob our Lodge convenor. He is easily accessable via mobile or at Kiwi Outdoors Centre.

It is not OK to rock up on the day and sort it out on the hill afterwards.

To maximise the beds usable on the busy stays (like the school holidays just recently) this is most important.

If you have working bee tickets to redeem then we need to know about those as well. 
This is revenue vital to the upkeep of the lodge; with a $15k annual insurance fee, you can see why we are keen to recoup lodge stay payments, from members and the paying public.

Consider that other members are subsidising your stay if you do not sort this out before your stay. As well as not being fair to those who have booked and paid in the correct manner.

Again, an on-line booking enquiry form is available. The Lodge convenor will get back and confirm your booking. Or Ring Rob on his mobile...

Please use our Manganui Lodge booking enquiry form as a preference, email for further queries, or call to discuss your requirements:

Robert Needs
(Lodge Convenor)
m 027 2702932

Photos from July days...

Staff on the walk up

looking back down the gorge

top tow Wednesday July 4

the crew

New Manganui Ski Area Application for your Android smartphone!!!!

We have just completed our lite site

This is a basic low data site designed with your smartphone in mind.
It is linked to this QR code:

Any QR code or barcode scanner can be used to scan this image and bring up your smartphone browser with the new lite site (barcode scanners are free in your App Store for Apple, or Play Store for Android).
Bookmark it, then you'll always have it close by...
In this site you will find the following core info:

  • snow report data (including LIVE weatherstation data)
  • forecast data
  • latest webcam image
  • location
  • basic contact info
  • easy button to the snowphone

So, now you're only as far away from Manganui's snow report page and webcam image, as that smartphone in your pocket!

This QR code will load up our lite site from any iPhone, Android, Blackberry; if scanning from PC or Tablet, it will load the full website.

Site developed by Mobi NZ


Christina was busy with race training for those that were keen over 4 days of the school holiday skiing period we got here. Builing the atmosphere in a fun setting. Great fun and practice for Primary/Int and Sec schools - hopefully we can stage them again this year!

moritz and Lenny taking advantage of race training by Christina in the holiday period

Upcoming Events

2012 Northern Interfield Race - Turoa - 12 August

SMC Race Training

Most Race Training is done at Manganui Ski Area (on good snow years), usually on Saturdays or Sundays when the field is operating.
Progression follows on to Mt. Ruapehu, as below:

Race Training participation Manganui
Junior Series participation Ruapehu
National Series competition Ruapehu
F.I.S. Series competition Ruapehu

Once progression is made to the Junior Series, competitors are required to become members of SnowSports New Zealand.
Registration is taken care of by us.

For further information please contact
our Racing and Training coordinator
Clive Saleman or our Coach Christina Binsbergen

The Taranaki Secondary Schools Ski/Board Champs

held on the first suitable day of next term, after July holidays 
The event is held at the Manganui Ski area on Mt Taranaki a suitable day means adequate snow cover and fair weather.

Please refer to this event information for the latest info as it comes to hand. We will work towards having resources available from this website such as entry forms and whatever we can do to assist you all. The site has links to the snow report and webcam on the field…and information is posted on the Snowphone 7591119.

The SMC racing & training coordinator Clive Saleman will attend to set the race course, and we will have a Ski Patrol on hand for any first aid requirements.

Also contact  Mr. Richard (Titch) Turner at NPBHS for further details.


SMC will provide ONE complimentary (free) lift ticket voucher for each team manager from each school …on application to the race coordinator.
SMC will provide COMPETITORS lift tickets at members rate ($15), providing that each school get their manager to buy all competitors lift  tickets (ie organize total payment for all their schools competitors).

Taranaki Primary and Intermediate Schools Snowboard and Ski Race Day

Maybe this year it might happen again, after sucessful staging last year. The race day this year will be held on a suitable school day early in the third term, the secondary schools taking the first suitable day. “Suitable” means adequate snow cover and fair weather. We should be ready to go any time from the first week on. We will need to be ready to move at a couple of days notice. Clive Saleman, the Stratford Mountain Club Racing Coordinator, has kindly offered to assist us in this race day as he has in previous years. The event will take place on the Manganui Skifield as in previous years.

The format will be:

• Intermediate Girls Ski
• Intermediate Boys Ski
• Primary Girls Ski
• Primary Boys Ski
• Open Girls Snowboard
• Open Boys Snowboard

In some previous years we have not had huge numbers participating, so schools have entered as many competitors as they have wanted to. Last time there were about 50 entries. If the numbers are similar the status quo will remain. I will let you know definitely once I have had feedback from schools who wish to compete.

Competitors will need to be able to use the T-bar with confidence, independently, and have access to gear.

All competitors, teachers and adults will be entitled to buy tow tickets at club prices, unless you already have a season pass.

If your school wishes to send a team to these races, please ring, fax or email, as soon as possible, to the following address. Please include Name, Gender, Class level, Category (Skiing or Snowboarding) of students participating.

Phone: 06 7527719 (Oakura School, attn Ray Priest)
Fax: 067527951
Or contact Ray Priest after hours 067527684 or email

As it can be changeable, risky environment, we need to ensure that you have a ratio of at least one competent mountain adult per child during the whole day, supervising from start to finish. It is your responsibility to ensure all children are suitably dressed, equipped and have their own food and drink supplies. The sun leaves the mountain early in the afternoon and it can get cold quickly, so warm weatherproof jackets, pants and hats are a must! A spare pair of gloves / mittens is a good idea in case they get wet. All competitors must wear a helmet when racing. The mountain club does have some available to borrow. Appropriate footwear with good grip to walk around the gorge is essential. Walk quickly round the avalanche area.

The Ski Patrol will be on duty during the event and the club facilities will be at our disposal.

Please be very clear in your communications with those people taking part that, while all care will be taken for the children’s safety, neither the organisers nor schools can take responsibility for accidents that may occur either on the ski-field or in transport and walking to and from the ski-field and mountain.

Please keep an eye on the Stratford Mountain Club’s website for ongoing news and updates (members can also check email newsletters from the club) or

• Or the snowphone: 7591119

Thanks to Clive and Christina for his assistance in running this event. It is always rather difficult getting information out quickly to all the schools involved, especially if we get very little advance notice about weather and snow conditions. So please frequently check the website and the snowphone. I’m hopeful we can have yet another wonderful day’s skiing and boarding on our beautiful Maunga Taranaki with our upcoming snowsport stars.

Looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible if your school is wishing to participate.

Ray Priest 


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


Hi everyone, what a yo-yo season – snow -  then no snow.
Luckily, the last snow fall lasted 7 days and into the middle of the school holidays which helped to replenish the coffers. It’s now washed off, with most of the other commercial and club ski fields around the country suffering as well.
So, as I recommended in the last newsletter, when we get the snow back be sure to take full advantage of our facilities, make the most of your membership and get up there and have some fun.
We really need the white stuff back so we can run the secondary and primary ski/board champs, which last year had great support from most Taranaki schools. We always like seeing new participants on our field giving it their all around the flagged race course.
Our Department of Conservation required a formal vegetation report for the ski field which has been completed by Waikato University; some extracts are included in this enewsletter.
(for the full document, you can request an email pdf copy, or hard copy, from the Secretary (too large to post on website sorry!)

Also in regards to maintenance, our committee is busy applying for funding for the T-Bar tower replacement/maintenance project which we hope will be successful and enable a summer start. This project will help future-proof the T-Bar and secure many more years of operating for the Taranaki public.
Hope to see you up on the slopes next snow fall!
Rhys Williams

Madwax is stocked at Kiwi Outdoors Centre and at Vertigo SH45

Access Tow ramp realignment - no we are not drilling for oil! Once again the local O&G industry helping out with a surplus drill head, used as a counterweight.


The SMC committee is working on:

  • Insurance, assessment of latest quotes
  • Vegetation Report - completion by Waikato University
  • 3-YEAR MAJOR FUNDING PROJECT - 2012 – T-BAR TOWERS REPLACEMENT - costing quotes and planning 
  • Groomer Maintenance completed and is working well 
  • General Lodge Maintenance on going 
  • access tow maintenance - new get-on ramp completed
  • Hired Coffee Machine for Canteen - investigation
  • t-bar maintenance, purchase of minor items
  • ski racing - purchase of smaller jackets
  • Lodge bookings - on line bookings/payment system investigation



Eftpos Specialists (Taranaki) Ltd

Eftpos Specialists provide mobile eftpos to Manganui's Canteen/Ticket Office...

Shoreline Complex,
 46 Molesworth Street
 New Plymouth 4310
Sales/Service 24 hrs: 0800 42 66 99
Office: 06 759 4148
 Sales: 06 759 4148
 Facsimile: 06 759 4143
Eftpos Specialists (Taranaki) Ltd is locally owned and operated by Russell and Tania Atkinson, who bought the business at the start of 2009. They joined Michelle and Viv, who between them have 12 years and a wealth of experience with Eftpos Specialists (Taranaki). The entire Taranaki team believe in delivering top class service to their customers.
They pride themselves on their professional, friendly and responsive approach and they are very much business solutions providers, not just product sellers.  They won’t just sell you a terminal and forget all about you – they are expert account managers and will be there to provide you on-site service within 4 hours, available via telephone 24/7, throughout the term of your rental contract.
Eftpos Specialists (Taranaki) Ltd is also well known for supporting the local community, sponsoring schools and sports clubs through the use of short term rentals for gala days and other fund raising events. They also support the fight against cancer – donating 50c per roll of pink paper sold to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation and 50c per yellow roll to the Taranaki Cancer Society.

Russell and Tania Atkinson Directors
M 027 452 5544 (Russell) E

Michelle Lord Sales & Service
M 027 260 9429 E

Janelle Baker Administration & Sales

Considering travel insurance for your next ski holiday? then check this out; now available to other outdoor club members...

Mobile phone sites are increasing in number everyday. It is now as important to have a mobile site as it is to have a standard website. Like any website it is vitally important to have a mobile site that functions correctly or you can find your marketing dollar is not producing the results you had hoped for. Mobi specialise in mobile sites that produce results when combined with our mobile marketing techniques. At Mobi we don't just build you a site and leave it with you, we sit down and discuss how to make it work best for your business.

Mobile sites are a great and inexpensive way to market your products or services using QR technology. We can create a complete mobile marketing campaign package tailor made for your business.

Businesses that have embraced mobile marketing have seen significant growth in sales and product awareness using this technology. Mobile marketing can be a fun way to interact with existing and potential customers and at mobi this is what we love to do and have some great ideas to get you going.

Mobi NZ have developed the Manganui Ski Area lite site and Android App



Feature Article

Vegetation Report - extracts from document

ERI report number: 003
Prepared for the Stratford Mountain Club
By Jackson T. Efford, Rebecca J. Bylsma & Bruce D. Clarkson

Executive Summary

During May 2012, the environmental effects of the Manganui ski field were examined. Permanent quadrats first established in 1974 to monitor vegetation changes were re-measured, vegetation mapping was conducted, modifications to ground form and drainage were identified, soil compaction was examined, and stream water from the ski field catchment was tested for nutrient enrichment.
This report focusses primarily on the lower Manganui ski field, as the upper Manganui ski field consists mostly of unmodified herbfield or gravelfield, protected by a sufficient snow base over the winter months.
The lower Manganui ski field has a long history of modification spanning from the early 1900s. Vegetation types mapped on the lower field included unmown tussockfield, mown tussock-herbfield, shrubland and exotics (not native).
The re-measurement of vegetation in permanent quadrats on the lower field suggests that the abundance of several exotic species including Carex ovalis, Poa annua, and Agrostis capillaris has increased since the last re-measurement in 1994. Vegetation mapping and historic photographs indicate that the lower ski field sits within the elevational belt of shrubland vegetation, little of which remains due to regular mowing conducted on the field since 1947.
Shrubs which have been largely excluded from the field through mowing include Brachyglottis elaeagnifolius, Hebe odora, Ozothamnus vauvilliersii, Dracophyllum filifolium, Pseudopanax colensoi, Raukaua simplex and Hebe stricta var. egmontiana. Areas of the ski field dominated by exotic vegetation were predominantly associated with historic culvert construction and rock dynamiting. Compaction by machinery was confined to the sensitive mossfield area at the base of the lower field.

1 Introduction

The Manganui ski field is managed by the Stratford Mountain Club and is situated on the eastern slopes of Mt Taranaki, Egmont National Park. The ski field can be separated into two main parts, the lower field and the upper field. The lower ski field is situated directly above the Stratford Mountain Club lodge between 1250-1360 m above sea level (asl), and is bounded by the Manganui Gorge to the south and the Ngarara Bluff to the north. It is of gentle gradient (<20°), approximately 5 ha in size, and is serviced by a modern T-bar ski-lift.
The upper ski field, between 1400-1680 m asl, is serviced by a long rope tow referred to as the “top tow”, and a number of steep (>25°) ski runs are available over an area of approximately 40 ha.
The ski fields have been in existence since the 1920s when the first service hut was established near to the present day facilities. Vegetation of the lower ski field has a long history of modification spanning from the 1920s when vegetation was first slashed and pulled (Stratford Mountain Club 1984). At the time the lower ski field was established, snow depths were customarily greater than today. With the declining snow falls, the club has instituted further management of the field to remove shrubby vegetation from the favoured ski-runs to allow skiing on thinner snow-bases. Since 1947, tussock and low-growing shrubs have been regularly mown to improve the skiing conditions (Stratford Mountain Club 1984). The upper ski field is largely unmodified; experiencing lesser volumes of foot traffic and usually being protected by a thick covering of snow over the winter months.

1.1 Summary of previous vegetation reports

following the upgrade to a higher capacity T-bar tow on the lower ski field in 1974, concern was raised over what effects increased ski field use may have on the vegetation. This led to the Egmont National Park Board initiating a vegetation study (Popay & Ritchie 1975) which established a small network of permanent quadrats in high-use areas on the lower field in order to monitor vegetation changes. In addition to this, by comparing a combination of areas outside of the ski field, areas of the ski field which had been mown continuously, and others which had been mown and then left to regenerate, Popay & Ritchie (1975) concluded that mowing was having little effect on the vegetation, other than eliminating the larger shrubby species, and in a few restricted areas, wearing the vegetation down to the extent that some underlying soil had become exposed. They also noted that within 20 years, areas which had been previously mown and then left to regenerate had returned back to a ‘normal’ state. At the request of the Park Board, Popay & Ritchie (1977) conducted an additional botanical survey of an area between Warwick Castle and Ngarara Bluffs which was proposed as an extension of the existing Manganui ski field. To our knowledge, this proposal has since been abandoned or put on hold.
A re-measurement of the permanent quadrats on the lower field was first conducted in 1982 by Popay & Ritchie (1985). They concluded that overall, there had been little change in the vegetation cover within the quadrats. At this time, it was also noted that mowing had become less frequent and less rigorous
than in the preceding years, and as a result, very little ‘scalping’ of the vegetation was occurring. Scalping occurs when the mower is set to mow too close, and as a result vegetation (particularly on humps) is completely removed, leaving only roots or bare soil behind. The permanent quadrats were again re-measured by Rapson et al. (1994), who observed that although the vegetation cover had increased within quadrats, some invasion of exotic species was occurring, and none of the plant communities present were in a stable state. In their report recommendations, Rapson et al. (1994) also suggested that fertiliser broadcasting on the field should cease. Concern over ‘scalping’, the abundance of exotics and fertiliser use on the field was again raised by Bruce Clarkson in an email to the Department of Conservation, 2007. At this time, it was thought that the portion of bare ground on the lower ski field was the highest it had been since the 1970s, probably as a result of a combination of scalping by the mower, the removal of plants from the field for planting around the new lodge, and the high numbers of hares/rabbits present on the field.

2 Objectives

In 2012, the Department of Conservation requested that the Stratford Mountain Club commission an assessment of the environmental effects of the Manganui ski field area, including a re-measurement of the permanent quadrats originally established in 1975, and re-measured most recently by Rapson et al. (1994). The work was subsequently contracted to the Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato. The Department of Conservation provided a brief requiring that the cause and extent of the changes on the ski field be examined (as listed below), and provision of recommendations for mitigation.

  • Damage or modification to the vegetation
  • Introduction and dispersal of non-indigenous plant species present
  • Damage or modification to ground form and drainage
  • Soil compaction by machines and vehicles
  • Contamination (nutrient enrichment) of water courses

3 Vegetation

This section addresses the first two points of the brief relating to the vegetation. At the altitudinal range of the lower ski field (1250-1360 m) elsewhere on the mountain, vegetation typically consists of a belt of tight-knit subalpine scrub and shrubland 1-2 m in height. Within this zone, the dominant species is usually Brachyglottis elaeagnifolia, intermixed with the shrubs Pseudopanax colensoi, Raukaua simplex, Dracophyllum filifolium, Hebe stricta var. egmontiana, Coprosma pseudocuneata and Coprosma dumosa. With increasing elevation, and on poorly drained sites, this shrubland gives way to shrub-tussockland, in which Chionochloa rubra is the most common tussock species. Between 1400-1600 m asl, dense mats of low growing alpine herbfield exist along with patches of moss-herbfield and mossfield. Common alpine herbs include Celmisia gracilenta var. (C. major var. brevis), Celmisia glandulosa var. latifolia, Anaphalioides alpina, Anisotome aromatica, Forstera bidwillii var. densifolia, Coprosma perpusilla and Gaultheria depressa var. novae-zelandiae. Above 1600 m asl, plant cover becomes patchy and the dominant surface is often bare substrate which is named gravelfield, stonefield, boulderfield etc. depending on the substrate size (Clarkson 1986).
The site of the Manganui ski field historically consisted of a mixture of shrub and tussock around 1 m in height before it was first cleared for skiing in the 1920s (Figure 1a). A photograph from the same location (Figure 1b) shows the full extent of shrub clearance which has occurred in the subsequent decades.

Figure 1: Historic photograph (Stokes & Stokes 2001) showing the vegetation of Manganui ski field in 1934 soon after clearing of shrubs had commenced (a),

and from the same location in 2012 (b).

 Although tussock is still present, virtually all shrubby species have been removed to the extent that when viewed from a distance, the ski field is quite distinct from the surrounding belts of vegetation. The lower ski field is situated on a gently sloping debris fan distinct from surrounding areas, which inhibits drainage compared to on the steeper slopes. For this reason, prior to any vegetation clearance, this area would have probably supported a shorter shrub community than the surrounding areas, and the poorer drainage would have also permitted red tussock to be more common than elsewhere on the mountain at the equivalent elevation. The clearance of shrubs has had the effect of inducing a vegetation type not usually found at the elevation of the lower ski field, in which a carpet of alpine herbs (usually restricted to higher elevations) exists amongst tufts of tussock. Grasses of exotic species have also colonised and established.

3.3 Recommendations

  • A re-measurement of the permanent quadrats should be conducted again in five years from now
  • At this stage, removing exotic species either mechanically or with herbicide is not considered appropriate because of the increased risk of erosion and the high likelihood that exotics will simply reinvade. Five-yearly monitoring of the distribution of exotics is considered the best practice.
  • Although unlikely, if any future re-contouring or drainage modification is to be undertaken on the lower ski field, consultation on use of appropriate native species is recommended to ensure that exotic species do not increase their dominance on the field further.
  • No fertiliser or seed should be broadcast on the field in future.
  • The high numbers of visitors to the Plateau and ski field area each year have probably been an inevitable source of exotic seed introduction. A sign in the car park reminding visitors to check that their boots and clothing are clean and free of any seed may be appropriate.
  • The mower should continue to be set at a height at which no scalping of the vegetation can occur.
  • Exclusion of the mower from the sensitive moss area at the base of the ski field should continue.

example of permanent quadrat (quadrat 3)

4 Ground form and drainage

This aspect of the brief requested that we examine damage or modification to ground form and drainage, and recommend actions to minimise or correct any damage or modification. It would appear that very little baseline information on the historic ground form and drainage of the ski field is in existence.

4.3 Recommendations

  • Increased hare control on the ski field would be beneficial.
  • There is little that can be done to rectify historic modifications to the ground form and drainage on the ski field, but no further major developments (re-contouring, drains etc.) should be permitted without consultation.

5 Soil compaction

The Manganui Ski Club currently uses several items of machinery capable of causing compaction in the ski field area: a quad bike with trailer, a tractor with mowing attachment, a skidoo and a snow groomer. With the exception of the skidoo, this equipment is probably confined to operating on the lower ski field only. To a lesser extent, people walking across some sensitive areas would also be capable of causing a degree of compaction on the ski field.

Mossfield (light green vegetation) at the base of lower ski field; a poorly drained area susceptible to compaction by people and machinery.

5.3 Recommendations

  • The current practise of hand mowing the sensitive mossfield at the base of the lower ski field should continue because compaction is more prevalent in waterlogged soils.
  • Mowing of the wider ski field should continue to be conducted in summer, when the soil is at its driest and thus least susceptible to compaction.
  • Because prior research has found the first pass of over-snow vehicles causes the most compaction, localisation of over-snow traffic should reduce its impact on the soil and vegetation. Encouraging the use of tracks and trails is more appropriate than attempting to diffuse use.
  • During the snow season, over-snow vehicles should not be allowed in areas of, or at times of, shallow snow pack (e.g. exposed ridges; low snow years). Wardle & Fahey (1999) have suggested a snow pack depth of 20 cm is sufficient to protect underlying vegetation from damage, however a greater snow depth of 50 cm may be required to avoid impacting the soil below (Felix & Raynolds1989).

6 Contamination of water courses

6.1 Methods

To investigate potential contamination (nutrient enrichment) of water courses in the ski field area, water samples were collected from seven locations and analysed for nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fractions.

One of 7 locations around lower ski field where water samples were collected

6.2 Results

No previous data on water nutrient levels were available from the area for comparison. Both nitrogen and phosphorus levels were found to be extremely low, and no major differences between the sites were apparent. It is therefore unlikely that stream nutrient levels in the area have increased as a result of ski field management practices such as mowing or historic fertiliser addition.

for the full document, you can request an email pdf copy, or hard copy, from the Secretary (too large to post on website sorry!)

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.


Sunrise, Thursday July 5th

See you at the next snowfall!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007-2012 - Stratford Mountain Club