Trouble viewing this mail? Read it online

430 subscribers were sent this email!

Membership Nomination Form

5 Day Snow Forecast


Change your email address

Manganui Snow Report/Webcam

Previous Issues:

Issue 70 - 21 Aug 2014

Issue 69 - 28 Jun 2014

Issue 68 - 15 Mar 2014

Issue 67 - 22 Sep 2013

Issue 66 - 12 July 2013

Issue 65 - 16 May 2013

Issue 64 - 20 March 2013

the view down the Manganui, Friday Nov 7

Peter Marsh, long time club skier and prospective SMC member! Friday Nov 7


Welcome to Issue of 71 Manganui Notes, the e-newsletter of Manganui Ski Area and Stratford Mountain Club...

so another season has ended; we hope you managed to get up to your local this season, and had some good tbar or top tow days; if not we appreciate your support and without your continued support our humble little ski area in the province that has everything wouldn't be here...
and we even got going in November! For 3 days from Friday to Sunday; if you managed to get up there, a good time as had by all...
so what does the long term future hold for Manganui? in our snippets of interest section, 'An Investigation into how climate change is affecting North Island Ski Fields and the Tourism Industry', by Kathryn Kennedy discusses the issues and draws some conclusions...

In this issue...

Saturday, NOVEMBER 8TH!!!

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

SMC acknowledges support given by NZ Community Trust, towards our new Quad bike.

GOINGS ON’ Around the Manganui Ski Area

Always a nice sign when you are heading towards this, and it's looking like this...

The traverse back to the lift line, Friday Nov 7

The SMC 2014 AGM

WED 3rd DEC at 7:30pm at the NP Boardriders, Fitzroy Beach Reserve, New Plymouth.

The SMC 2014 AGM is Wednesday 3rd Dec at 7:30pm at the NP Boardriders, Beach Street Fitzroy, New Plymouth.
(the bar will be open for liquid refreshments)

Confirmation of 2013 AGM Minutes


Presentation of the Annual Report
Financial Statement
Election of: Honorary Surgeons, Auditor, and Honorary Solicitor
Election of Officers: The following positions are up this year; nominations have been invited for:
• Lodge Convenor
• Lower Lifts
• Machinery
• Social Convenor
• Safety Services
• Canteen
• Secretary
• Vice-‐President

General Business

Nominations close 20 November but can be accepted on the night, if no written nominations for a position are received prior.
Interested in running for a commitee position?
Nominations close 20 November!

New Quad bike ordered

So we were sucessful to the tune of $10,000 from NZCT towards a new QUAD. A new safer machine for our working bee attendees to help them in their work around the lower mountain. Will safely carry 2 passengers.
Total cost was $14,000.
We intend to sell the old Quad on Trade Me to offset some of the cost.
Splendid in ITM Cup Champion Taranaki Colours!!, just like our Ski-doo!
Thanks again to NZCT.

Brian Lloyd 1928-2014

On Wednesday 22 October, past SMC member, Brian Lloyd passed away at the ripe old age of 86. Brian was a quiet achiever, whose contributions were significant in the development of the modern facilities we enjoy today.

Brian was part of the team that built the old lodge - he laid the block work for the foundations in 1966. He helped David Thatcher (David's right hand man) to get rid of the old diesel motor and establish electric power to the new lodge in 1968.
Brian was SMC Club Secretary from 1959-62 and from 1964-67, SMC Club Treasurer from 1966-79.

He won the Carryer Cup (Intermediate Downhill), the Curtis - Penn handicap in 1958, and the McCormick Cup (Senior B Grade) in 1960.

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Rhys Williams
SMC President

Action Pics mid-late season...

some great action shots here thanks to Rhys and co...looked like an epic top tow session...missed out, again...

Ben Willis

Dave Barrell

Sydney Williams

Dave Barrell again

Dave Barrell rides the top tow


Taranaki Primary & Intermediate Schools Snowboard and Ski Race Day at Manganui Ski Area, Thursday 23rd July 2014

Some star performances here; Lenny Binsbergen won the Int Boys Skiing AND Snowboarding; Robbie White won the Primary Boys Ski; Julia Padrutt won the Primary Girls Ski...


The trophies that were up for grabs; no action pics sorry - you can blame Rhys' portable harddrive...

The crew at the prize giving afterwards


Ski-ing 2014 - Taranaki (Primary GIRLS)
Julia Padrutt Ski Bell Block 31.25 31.44 31.25 25.00
Taylor Mitchell Ski Oakura 35.87 35.36 35.36 24.00
Mia Padrutt Ski Bell Block 36.14 36.98 36.14 23.00
Sage Piebanga Ski Mangorei 36.50 40.04 36.50 22.00
Nell Brown Ski St John Boscoe 36.75 37.38 36.75 21.00
Lillian Brown Ski St John Boscoe 38.82 39.78 38.82 20.00
Ellie Trobridge Ski Bell Block 40.89 39.97 39.97 19.00
Holly Stoddart Ski Oakura 43.06 40.12 40.12 18.00
Mary Brown Ski St John Boscoe 58.66 112.30 58.66 17.00
Ski-ing 2014 - Taranaki (Int GIRLS)
Francesca Padrutt Ski Matapu 31.08 32.90 31.08 25.00
Millie Askin Ski Sacred Heart 34.23 34.88 34.23 24.00
Keeva Hintz Ski Ngaere 34.31 34.49 34.31 23.00
Sasha Reid Ski Sacred Heart 34.55 34.68 34.55 22.00
Ella Wood Ski Highlands 36.08 37.54 36.08 21.00
Jana Nietermayr Ski Sacred Heart 37.39 37.72 37.39 20.00
Sophie Clegg Ski Highlands 38.21 38.28 38.21 19.00

Ski-ing 2014 - Taranaki (Primary BOYS)
Robbie White Ski Oakura 31.41 31.87 31.41 25.00
Jacques Piebenga Ski Mangorei 32.11 32.14 32.11 24.00
Laurie Nicholls Ski Welbourn 33.69 32.43 32.43 23.00
Joel Van Beers Ski Fitzroy 35.93 36.05 35.93 22.00
Boston Farquhar Ski Huirangi 42.70 36.59 36.59 21.00
Sammy Lewis Ski Oakura 38.95 103.78 38.95 20.00
Seppy Binsbergen Ski Coastal 44.19 39.13 39.13 19.00
Jaram Ford Ski Frankley 1.11.81 50.43 50.43 18.00
Brayden Ford Ski Frankley 59.14 53.78 53.78 17.00
Ski-ing 2014 - Taranaki (Int BOYS)
Lenny Binsbergen Ski Coastal 24.91 25.83 24.91 25.00
Ben Willis Ski Highlands 25.08 27.30 25.08 24.00
Moritz Padrutt Ski Bell Block 26.05 26.33 26.05 23.00
Kieran Cullen Ski Francis D 28.75 29.32 28.75 22.00
Ben Wilson Ski Oakura 31.04 32.30 31.04 21.00
Adam Johnston Ski Francis D 31.15 31.37 31.15 20.00
Henry Samson Ski Highlands 32.67 31.29 31.29 19.00
Nedas Gavutis Ski Highlands 32.16 32.96 32.16 18.00
Oliver Silk Ski Francis D 32.99 32.49 32.49 17.00
Jack Mitchell Ski Oakura 32.65 33.27 32.65 16.00
Lucca Lind Ski Highlands 32.99 119.53 32.99 15.00
Lachie White Ski Oakura 33.28 33.82 33.28 14.00
Ben Brown Ski Highlands 34.18 33.52 33.52 13.00
Connor Nicholls Ski Highlands 33.95 34.62 33.95 12.00
Max Ray Ski Highlands 34.42 140.52 34.42 11.00
Oliver Wright Ski Francis D 36.70 37.01 36.70 10.00




Moana Te Ua, Sydney Williams, Terry McKenzie


Wow and now it's all over - this season seems to have come and gone in a flash for Mt Taranaki.

It all started at the beginning of July for a few days on and off, followed by a big dump which helped us remain open for 11 or so days, including some excellent Top Tow powder days. We were also able to hold the Taranaki ski and snowboard champs for secondary, intermediate and primary schools with all events run and trophies claimed during the prize-giving held in our club lodge.
We then scored a few days mid August and a few days in September.

With T-bar open days including weekends and school holidays on top of the school champs, operating revenue from mostly non-member ski pass and cafe takings was pretty pleasing. However, the majority of our income comes from you, the members, and I'd like to thank you all for your continued financial support by paying your subs and buying season passes.
The end result is money in the bank to help fund this summer's working bee projects.

I would also like to thank our SMC committee members, paid staff and volunteers for their efforts during the season - a great job done by all!!

We are holding the SMC Annual General Meeting on 3 December 7:30pm at the NP Surfriders clubrooms in Fitzroy. All members are welcome to attend. Committee members are elected via a nomination process. If you would like to enquire about becoming a committee member, please contact our Club Secretary, Morgan Davies. Hope to see you there.

Thank you all again for ensuring the continued operation of our awesome asset - Taranaki's only ski field!!!

Rhys Williams

Madwax is stocked at Kiwi Outdoors Centre and at Vertigo SH45


The SMC committee is working on:

  • Lodge entry/security system review
  • POS system investigation for next season
  • 3-year major funding - tbar drive station and goods lifts towers renewal
  • website revamp underway - Web Applications awarded

All Committee meeting minutes are posted on our website; check out our SMC Members Info/Club Documents page to see what we are up to...


'An Investigation into how climate change is affecting North Island Ski Fields and the Tourism Industry', by Kathryn Kennedy

Kathryn is a Taranaki local and WITT student in 2013-2014. Below are the main extracts from her Final Report as part of her diploma in Hotel Management...


The ski industry being a sub sector of the tourism industry is increasingly vulnerable to changes in weather and climate conditions. This paper is primarily focused on 3 of th 4 North Island ski areas (which includes both commercial and club ski areas) where qualitative semi structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders from the ski industry. This paper asks 2 questions:

  • What are the impacts of climate change on NI ski areas?
  • What strategies are NI ski areas using to manage climate change?

It finds that climate change is having or will have an impact on the ski areas studied in this research at some stage whether is is now or in the long term. It finds snowmaking to be an ongoing requirement due to the variability in weather conditions.


As a result of my data I have been able to answer my research questions due to the fact that I have found that overall the people from both the club ski area and commercial ski areas suggest that climate change must have an impact on their business, whether they fell it isi affecting them now or will affect them over a long term differs from the club ski area and the commercial ski areas. For the club ski area (your own Manganui) they feel that climate change is affecting them now due to their seasons being more sporadic. Whereas for the commercial ski areas they suggest that they currently get such variability of weather both associated with giving them natural snwo cover and asscociated with whether they get fine days or open days during their busiest periods which is school holidays and weekends so the cannot quantify what change in business they can attribute to climate change.

For the club ski area they feel that their ski area will be affected if global warming continues the way it is going. Since they are a small ski area and a non-profit society they do not have the money like the commercial ski areas to put into snowmaking facilities. However the club ski area is on Dept of Conservation (DoC) land and needs concession to put in a water reservior for snowmaking. DoC monitors the ski area closely for erosion effects. The club ski area suggests that they just have to be a little more strategic in the way they operate the field when they do have snow. So for example get the snow groomer out to pack down the snow to form a solid base so if it does become wet it can still manage to hold a base relatively well. For the commercial ski areas they have what the call snow management which includes snow making, snow fencing and snow shifting. They use snow making throughout their key main trails which tend to be from mid-mountain down. This is because they always get a good base accumulation of snow in the top 200-300m of the ski area. For their ski areas they see snow making as an ongoing requirement as it can guarantee them opening days. However they do not think it'so much a response to climate change as it's a response to the variability in weather patterns which just happen naturally. They normally begin snowmaking in early June and continue through mid-August so for them if climate change scenario comes into play (which is where the industry engaged NIWA to do some climate modelling for the next 30-60 years to see what the effects were on natural snow falls and their business, and even under the worst case scenario for them there is no suggestion that you will not be skiing there on the rest of NZ in 60 years' time). They would increase the capacity of the snowmaking system and make just as much snow. They use snow fencing and create places to capture the natural snowfall to stop it from blowing away. As their ski area has a lot of bluff systems and natural gullies and tend to catch wind driven snow, they use bulldozers, excavators, groomers, trucks and trailers to take snow from where it falls and settles and quarry it and bring it back to where they want it on the trails. So fore the commercial ski area they will put more resources into snow management techniques and suggest that these are all examples of ways that will mitigate the forecast of the variables they are going to get in natural climate from climate change.

The impact to changes in the NZ school terms from 3 to 4 have pushed the winter holidays forward from August to July. The best snow has generall been in late July and August. Ski areas have faced the delimma of lack of snow at the beginning of July holidays therefor the commercial ski areas have turned to snowmaking facilities to ensure a solid base to open in time for the July school holidays. These holidays are the busiest for NZ ski areas and therefor critical to the ski industry.


The findings of several climate change studies indicate a growing awareness of climate change and the impacts it has on businesses associated with the ski industry. Although some stakeholders do not recognise climate change as an immediate threat the acknowledge that it will have an impact in the future. Most see the variability in NZ climate, such as the effects of El Nino - Southern Oscillation and the Inter-decal Pacific Oscillation (Ministry for the Environment, 2014) which is also referred to as a quasi-cyclic factor in the changing weather patterns.

Due to this cyclic variability it is often difficult for the larger commercial businesses to accept that climate change is responsible for the changing weather conditions that they have been experiencing over the past years.

The increased use of snow making guns is an indication that ski areas are adapting to changing weather patterns and less reliable snowfall and attempting to 'manage' opening dates and 'guarantee' their snow cover on some slopes. For the commercial ski areas this is true as they increase their snow making guns by 2-3 per year and say that snowmaking guarantees opening dates.

With the ongoing technology into snowmaking it is now possible to make snow in temps 1-2 degrees warmer than 15 years ago. Commercial ski areas will be able to continually update snow making technology and therefor turn the lower elevations like the learners slopes into manmade snow rather than natural to combat any impacts of climate change in the future. Less snow on the lower elevations is in line with NIWA predictions based on snow modelling. NIWA predictions which are based on scientific models are that temperature is likely to increase in NZ over the next 5-10 years and there is likely to be a decrease in snow levels during the same period. This is also in line with climate modelling that the ski industry engaged NIWA to do for the next 30-60 years.

NIWA supports climate change through a number of scientific studies, the main one being temperature trends in the seven stations temperature series. These are records taken at seven areas around NZ since 1930. The science of the 2010 report of the seven stations temp series shows that NZ's temperature has risen by 0.9degC over the past 100 years (NIWA, 7 station series review, 2010).

According to NIWI July 2013 was the 4th warmest on record and August 2013 was the warmest on record (NIWA monthly summaries, 2013).


This research explores the impact of climate change on the NI ski areas. While the commercial ski areas indicate that climate change at present is not a real threat now or in the next 60 years, the club field believes that it is having an impact now as the seasons are more sporadic.

Awareness of climate change and it's impacts doesn't seem to be of concern yet and there doesn't appear to be any regional studies or action at this stage.

Although the commercial areas don't view climate change as a threat they have put strategies into place to combat the variability in weather conditions. For example, they use snow making guns to make sure they can open in time for the NZ July school holdiays. They now rely on snow making facilities to ensure a constant snow cover and less dependence on natural snowfalls. Snow management is another strategy being used to capture natural snowfall in gullies and by purpose built fences so that the snow groomer can push it around wherever it is needed on the field. Also fences are built to minimise snow loss due to wind.

Science backs up climate change in NZ but more up to date studies need to be undertaken at a national level.


To the Ski Industry:

  1. Ongoing investment in snowmaking guns, as part of snow management plan. Look at investing into fully automated snow making systems.
  2. Future investment in development of higher terrain, to minimise the effect of the rising elevation of the snow line predicted by NIWA through climate change.
  3. Consulation, discussion and research at a local/regional level of all ski industry related businesses needs to be undertaken to increase awareness of climate change and the impacts it could have on their region.
  4. Ski area data of weather patterns over a 5 year period need to be taken to determine climate change patterns. These need to be compared to NIWA data.
  5. Greater awareness of climate change issues need to be communicated to the general public at a local level to help them understand this isn't just a global problem and that the impacts it could have on them and their ski area. This needs to be in simple language not scientific jargon that is hard to comprehend.
  6. Sustainability of long term snowmaking needs researching due to factors such as water availability and rising temperatures
  7. Look at ways to reduce carbon emissions on the field that warm up the environment and attribute to climate change.

ps Peter Quinn has his own pet project into the feabibility of snowmaking at Manganui. He has just installed a temperature and humidity recording device at the lower mountain, which will provide a data log for those variables for the next 4 years.

Peter Quinn aka PQ, top tow, 25 August

Private Lance Gibson...Leaving New Zealand at 20 years old for the First World War, Lance left as a Private, earned a Military Medal for "conspicuous bravery", and came home a Sergeant after three years of active service on the Western Front.

Lance Gibson Memorial Plaque, was left on the little stone wall after the fire of 2002 destroyed the old Manganui Lodge; now located in the stone wall outside the new (2004) Manganui Lodge.
It was originally located beside the door on the north wall of the original Manganui Hut, that was situated by the top of the learners tow (in later years it was transferred to the basement wall of the 2nd Manganui Lodge, and when that was rebuilt from the fire, in 2004, was relocated there).
Lance Gibson's tragic death was the reason the first Lodge was built above the Plateau...and indirectly the establishment of the Manganui Ski Area.

Rowena Sanders,
Great Granddaughter of Lance Gibson, at Manganui this Labour Weekend

Feature Article

A Tribute to the memory of Lance V. Gibson...

So Rowena Sanders , Lance's great granddaughter, contacted SMC recently.
She is currently doing photographic research on her father’s family history in Stratford/Taranaki. She was staying at the Stratford Mountain House over Labour weekend...

Here is a history of Lance Gibson, as told by Rowena...

After reading Maunganui: A history of the Stratford Mtn Club, more was discovered about my great grandfather's relationship with the mountain and the Club. This led to your website and contact with SMC...

Mounted on the stone retaining wall at the Maunganui Ski Lodge, there is a plaque dedicated to my great grandfather, Lance Gibson.

He died on the mountain in 1930, aged 34, leaving behind a wife and three young children (my grandmother was the eldest and aged 9). We were told of a man who grew up in Kaimiro with a great love of the mountain, his community and family.

Leaving New Zealand at 20 years old for the First World War, Lance left as a Private, earned a Military Medal for "conspicuous bravery", and came home a Sergeant after three years of active service on the Western Front.

Private Lance Gibson.

After the war, Lance married Nellie Humphrey and settled in Stratford, working for Nell's father at his Printing workshop. Lance spent his spare time running a taxi service and acting as a guide up the mountain.

Lance Gibson looking at Mt Taranaki, from Rowan, circa 1928

On the Sunday 3rd August 1930, Lance was with a group of six in the Manganui Gorge, when they came across two men sent to raise the alarm of a seriously injured climber, Walter Hall. His group headed straight to Walter and the two men continued to the Stratford Mountain House to raise the alarm.

Lance Gibson on Mountain on the 3rd August 1930 (he is on the far left in shorts)

Once they found Walter and his party, they started the long trek off the mountain - it was decided Lance with two others would go on ahead to get more help. Unfortunately, the weather turned, Lance with his friends got lost and had to spend the night, with little shelter, on the mountain. Meanwhile the others, with the help of another rescue party brought Walter safely down the mountain in the early hours of Monday morning.

At first light, they started to make their way down the mountain. Unfortunately Lance was too weak from exposure, and on 4th August 1930, in the upper reaches of the Maketawa gorge, he lost his life... His two champion’s made it out and as news travelled fast of Lance's failure to return, a large group gathered, determined to bring Lance's body home.

some of the men that retrieved Lance’s body from the mountain on the 4th August 1930

Among the men was Percy Thomson, during WWI Lance had tried to save Arnold Thomson (Percy's brother), by carrying an injured Arnold to safety. Tragically, Arnold died of his wounds in hospital. My Great Grandfather and Great Uncles Pettigrew, were also part of the group.

The Taranaki Daily News described the day as, ".. a gruelling day in bitter weather they brought it in to North Egmont Hostelry as dusk was falling".

Lance's death emphasized the need for some sort of shelter above the Manganui Gorge, and a meeting was held by the Park Board to discuss options. The East Committee agreed to contribute 25 pounds towards the building of a hut, with the matter of size, site and materials left in the hands of the club. It was to be a club hut, but had to be available to the public in times of need.
p12, A History of the Stratford Mountain Club, Bob & Nancie Stokes)

The original Manganui Hut,circa 1932

According to the Maunganui Ski History, the plaque dedicated to Lance was made from Vickers Machine Gun shell casing. Lance's unit was the Machine Gun Corp and he was awarded a Military Medal after he took command of a German Vicker Machine Gun, reinstated it and held the position.

The Lance Gibson Memorial Plaque

I am currently researching my father’s family history, much of what we know is due to my Grandfather's collection of photo albums and newspaper articles - if anyone has more information we would be very interested. Grandfather: Allan Pettigrew and Grandmother:Kathleen Gibson, both sides were 3rd generation "Taranakians".

Steve Pettigrew (son of Kay, Father of Rowena Sanders), Kay Pettigrew (nee Gibson, daughter of Lance), David Pettigrew (son of Kay)

Rowena Sanders

'Lance Gibson's tragic death was the reason the first Lodge was built above the Plateau...and indirectly the establishment of the Manganui Ski Area.'
(A History of the Stratford Mountain Club, Bob & Nancie Stokes)


summoning the snow and weather Gods (and the punters for that matter!); the Swiss way, 24 August

we hope you had a great winter and got some turns in, now it's into summer mode!
SMC Management
© copyright 2007-2014 - Stratford Mountain Club