I’m unsure what to make of the latest happenings surrounding Kime Hut. This Saturday the TTC had been planning to host its own “opening ceremony” at the hut. If you haven’t heard, however, the TTC has been forced to abandon that ceremony because the hut is about to be locked. This comes nine months after the hut was all-but-completed, and nine months after people began using it unofficially, but the hut was never officially opened.
The reason? Kime Hut 3 hasn’t yet obtained its Building Certificate from the Kapiti Coast District Council. DOC has finally decided that it can’t legally allow people to use the hut until the Building Certificate has been issued, to the extent of needing to lock the door to keep people out.
Kime Hut is one of the more important huts in the Tararuas, both historically and also for its function. Since the hut’s inception it’s been used as an ad-hoc ski lodge, a stop-over point for many people walking the Southern Crossing and the Main Range, and also as a refrigerator. The exposure and cold of that region of the Tararuas means it’s not always the nicest place to spend a night, but on so many nights, and days, it’s far better to have a reliable hut with an inside that protects from chilling gale-force winds than it is to be stuck outside.
[Update 8-Mar-2014: After quite a big outcry, DOC has now said it will not lock the door of Kime Hut.]
More than a few people have also died in the vicinity through exposure to the elements, or come close to it. The most recent deaths occurred in the winter of 2010. Many more people have doubtless avoided a likely death by having the hut there as a refuge when plans went bad.