For several years now there have been rumours that Kime Hut would be replaced, and they’ve been subsequently quashed or pushed back for one reason or another. (Budget issues and such.) This summer, the rumours seem to be formulating into something that actually occurring. Kime Hut is in a very exposed part of the Tararuas, and serves as a stopping point for some as part of the Tararua Southern Crossing. The hut has a big internal space and its reputation is one of being a very cold place to stay, and although it can keep off the most harsh aspects of a storm, it’s also sometimes referred to as the refrigerator—on this occasion in 2009, Craig measured the indoor temperature to be approximately 1°C warmer than the outdoor temperature. It’s fairly common to hear people pleading for some form of heating in the hut, but that’s never happened.
Last week (after I asked) I was very helpfully informed by one of the local staff at DoC’s Kapiti Conservancy that yes, Kime Hut is going to be replaced during the summer of 2012/2013.
The replacement hut will be in the same location, but not on the same footprint of the existing hut, and it should hopefully be available for use by “this time next year”. The existing hut will remain assembled until its replacement is finished, although I’d presume there’s likely to be reduced space available if a construction team is staying there.
I’ve been informed that there are no plans for extra heating facilities over the existing hut (which has none), but the new hut (based on an existing 20 bunk DoC design) will be thermo-wrapped and fully insulated, with double-glazed windows facing the sun.
There won’t be any official consultation direct to the public, just in case you were wondering. Local clubs and iwi will be consulted and updated through the Tararua Aorangi Rimutaka Huts Committee, so if you have something to say then make sure one of those organisations knows about it. The Tararua Tramping Club in particular (custodian club of the existing Kime Hut) has already been involved for consultation purposes, although won’t be involved in tendering or construction. That club will continue to be affiliated with the replacement hut.