Tongariro Times October 2011

Tongariro Times October 2011

Fabulous AGM

The Society's 27th AGM was a great success. Members enjoyed staying at the superb new Forest & Bird Lodge at Whakapapa Village which was a beautiful venue for the weekend.  The meeting was very well attended (44).

After the meeting, volunteers helped weed the Alpine Garden in the village established in the early 1960s by Lands & Survey to make beautiful and unusual alpine plants easily accessible to visitors.   The heather continues to be the major problem in the Alpine Garden.  This year our band of 17 weeders pulled out waist-high flowering plants from the uphill section of the area as well as the well-managed lower section.  Thanks to Margi Keys for coordinating this activity. 

In the evening, we enjoyed a lovely dinner prepared by National Park School as a fundraiser for school camp and listened intently to Harry Keys' entertaining Erebus talk.  A huge thanks for the efficient and thorough clean-up of the lodge in the morning prior to departure - scrubbed, vacuumed, mopped from top to toe with all rubbish removed. Brilliant!

Forty-one members enjoyed the trip into see the Kaimanawa horses. The outing was a real beauty!  Special thanks to the NZ Army who kindly allowed us to access this area, to Peter McNaughton, from our executive, who organised the field trip and to Bill Fleury from DOC Wanganui who shared his years of expertise in the management of the wild horse herd (full article to follow in the next newsletter).

We've had great reports on the weekend including this from life member and former society president Bob Stothart to say "I just wanted to congratulate everyone involved in the planning and leadership of the weekend.  We loved every minute of it.  I thought the Sunday trip to see the horses was just what a natural history day should be: history, geology, geography, botany, ecology, environmental issues and wild horse!"  

If you were unable to attend the AGM, please download the 2010 - 2011 Annual Report   HERE

'Adopt a Hectare'- Restoring Rotopounamu

Members and supporters please consider getting behind this initiative!  Make a donation of $100.00 to adopt a hectare and you will receive a certificate that acknowledges your valuable contribution and identifies the location of your ‘adopted’ hectare. Recently launched and so far proving popular, our 'adopt a hectare' campaign has been developed so that Project Tongariro can continue to sustain the ongoing good work that has been happening at Rotopounamu over the last seven years.  The aim is to build our profile and to raise funds, so start spreading the word.  To become a kaitiaki (guardian) of a hectare hop online to view the map and to select your hectare - lakefront hectares are going fast!

Hectare by hectare, Project Tongariro is restoring the bush environment surrounding Lake Rotopouanamu, Tongariro National Park. You can directly help the Restoring Rotopounamu Project by “Adopting a Hectare”. It takes roughly $100.00 per annum to maintain one hectare of native bush at Lake Rotopounamu. By adopting a hectare you have the opportunity to bring back the birdsong back to this remarkable and accessible example of New Zealand biodiversity.

You can be confident that your contribution will make a meaningful difference to the quality of the native bush surrounding Lake Rotopounamu so that it can continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. The beauty of Lake Rotopounamu is its accessibility. The track entrance is located only 10 to 15 minutes from Turangi township and almost everyone can enjoy the walk, either to the lake or right around it.

Project Tongariro is grateful for your donation and will put your money to work for the upcoming season. However, this project requires ongoing commitment and, if at all possible, Project Tongariro asks that you adopt a hectare long term. Project Tongariro will be in touch annually to ask that you renew your adoption.

Please note that by adopting a hectare you are making a donation to assist the Restoring Rotopounamu Project and you become a figurative guardian of that hectare. In doing so you have not purchased ownership, entitlement or rights to the land but what you have done is make both a visible and audible difference to this jewel of a place.

Funding for Rotopounamu Project

Huckleberrys Sports & Charitable Trust is supporting Project Tongariro for our Rotopounamu Programme for 2011 / 12 and are providing us with a grant of $5000.

Tussock Planting - Volunteer Opportunity - 29th October 2011

Planting tussocks from the Tussock Traverse event  - plants donated by entrants from event.

Where: Tukino Mountain Road, Desert Road (SH 1)
When: 29th October 2011
Equipment: Gloves, hand shovel or shovel, food, water
Interested in helping?: Please contact or phone 07 386 6499 for more information

Help Clean Up Around the Old Taonui Rail Viaduct - 3rd/4th December 2011
We are embarking on another project between Horopito and Ohakune - this involves clearing the vegetation from around the columns of the historic Taonui Rail Viaduct which is accessed via the Old Coach Road and new cycleway. Tools required will be loppers, pruning shears, spades etc. DOC will supply us with most of the tools, but if you have your favourites, bring them along. Don’t forget gardening gloves.


There’s room for a few at Frank's house in Ohakune. If the numbers grow too high, we have access to the old railway shed, which is part of the Ohakune Museum & Gallery, near the current railway station. This building is very basic, almost like a back country hut with bunk rooms, kitchen, shower and a cosy lounge. Our cost if we use this shed is $10.00 per person per night.  Meals can be organised as we go along - eg shared cooking or visit one of the many local restaurants.

For any enquiries or to join in on this volunteer activity, contact Frank Katavich on 09 620 6650 or

The Goat Alpine Adventure Run - Saturday 3rd December 2011

The Goat is an epic 21 km alpine adventure run around the base of imposing Mt Ruapehu on the Round the Mountain track.  It's an exhilarating journey from Whakapapa to Turoa Ski Areas with captivating views of Mount Taranaki and the Central Plateau. The Goat traverses a diversity of terrain, starting and finishing on the ski access roads - covering a stunning array of volcanic landforms, mountain beech forest, alpine herb fields and spectacular glacial river valleys.

This event would not be possible without marshals from Project Tongariro. The Goat is an adventurous and enjoyable day out for volunteers on the Round the Mountain track. The competitors revel in the encouragement and support from the marshaling team which is one of the highlights of their day for many competitors.

It is expected The Goat will field close to the limit of 500 athletes this year.

Should the weather not be suitable to stage the event on Saturday a reserve day is in place on Sunday 4th December. If you are not able to commit to marshalling on Sunday, can you please advise us so we can make alternative arrangements.

This event is a great little earner for Project Tongariro as we get a payment for all our marshalling efforts so get involved and support PT and these crazy runners.  If interested in helping, please email or phone 07 386 6499.

Local Business Info Evenings - A Success!

Many local businesses recently attended the series of local business evenings at Taupo, Turangi, National Park and Ohakune to find out what Project Tongariro is all about.  This was a great way for Project Tongariro to build its local profile and to invite local businesses to stand up and support the awesome work we do right in their own backyard.  We launched the 'Adopt a Hectare' campaign and gave a sneak preview of the new Tongariro Alpine Crossing smartphone app (more info to follow on this exciting project!).   We are pleased to say that many local businesses have come to the party and joined Project Tongariro in an ongoing partnership agreement to provide marketing and financial support as well as making a long-term commitment to the Project Tongariro mission and philosophy.

Planting Day at Te Matapuna O Taupo Moana Wetland

Despite the bad weather forecast, several committed volunteers including some children and DOC staff turned up at the Waimarino Wetland and planted over 450 native trees.  It is going to be really neat to see the progress of these plants as this area is so visible and accessible from the road.  Good on ya guys!

Sika Show

We recently had a stand at the Sika Show held in Taupo.  Thanks to the volunteers that manned the stand to help spread the word about Project Tongariro - another great profiling opportunity!  Linda and Selwyn Bullock, Shirley Potter, Karen Ardin (Ardy), Noel and Linda Thomas, Karen Williams, Kim Manunui and Nina Manning.

Remember ! Project Tongariro is on Facebook - Like it to get all the newsfeeds!
Go ahead and 'like' us on Facebook to keep updated on everything going on with Project Tongariro from news updates to upcoming events and trips - it will all be on Facebook! 

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Event Calendar

Check out the Event Calendar on our website so you can find out about members’ field trips and volunteers activities and plan to be involved in all our upcoming events!

Posted: Mon 24 Oct 2011

Roel Michels