Sometimes I write lengthier posts which fall into a different category. Here are some quick references to posts that I don’t think are necessarily of a chronological nature.

Department of Conservation

A Brief Question: Public Land Access Rights and DoC (posted January 2013)

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation often labels places as “closed”, even when they’re legally open. This article considers the public’s legal rights in Conservation Areas and National Parks, and compares them with DoC’s communications.


How the Cave Creek Accident Shaped DoC (posted April 2011)

Tracing some of the history of the Department of Conservation, from a recreation perspective, and particularly how the Cave Creek Tragedy of April 1995 had a revolutionary impact on the way that DoC works.

Outdoor Safety

Clarity on not charging for Search and Rescue in New Zealand (posted February 2013)

In February 2013, the Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand threatened to charge a man whom it alleged activated a Personal Locater Beacon unnecessarily. Such a charge is both unprecedented and legally ambiguous. This article considers how SAR is coordinated in New Zealand, potential risks which may be associated with the RCCNZ’s threats, and examines its recent media publicity promoting the use of EPIRBs.

Departing from South Crater

Heuristic Traps of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (posted May 2012)

The Tongariro Crossing attracts many novices in the outdoors, and late April 2012 saw a near-tragedy where up to 16 people might have died if things had worked out slightly differently.

Kime Hut, Tararua Range

The Hut Fallacy (posted February 2010)

Just an argument in favour of always having back-up shelter, which is something that doesn’t always occur in New Zealand.

The Next Three Hours (posted September 2010)

A look at reading the weather versus trusting forecasts.


Let’s Acknowledge Some Avoidable Mistakes (posted August 2011)

Considering a collection of recent back-country rescues that were likely consequential of collections of mistakes.

History / Newspaper Clippings

A Crossing to Remember: A Tararua Southern Crossing in 1920 (posted January 2012)

In the early years of the 20th century, a group of pioneers imagined and created a route across the southern end of the Tararua Range. Then they produced a promotional book about it, which is in part reproduced here.

Kime Hut, Tararua Range

In Search of Esmond J. Kime (posted August 2010)

In the winter of 1922, two young men went missing on the newly formed Tararua Southern Crossing. This post collects together some newspaper clippings of the day that tell a narrative of one of the more famous stories of the range as it played out.

Re-living The Sutch Search (posted August 2010) [Part One] [Part Two] [Part Three]

In its day, the search for four people in the Tararuas became the largest back-country search operation that the country had ever seen, and was a turning point in the formation of an organised Land Search and Rescue system. These three posts collect together newspaper clippings of the Evening Post that narrates the search, the immediate aftermath, and the weeks of debate and argument that followed regarding responsibility in the outdoors.

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