Decisions have now been taken by the Auckland Council councillors on the closing of tracks in the Waitakeres and the Hunuas. We have submitted and consulted, and received some assurances on the reopening criteria, but without at this point seeing an overall plan or a timetable. However, that is the way it is, and we must move on. Our position has always been to comply with the decisions of Auckland Council Parks management – and in due course they will have additional legal support for that as well.

In the background, via participation in the Track Users Forum, I am continuing dialogue with Auckland Council Parks management to better understand their priorities, and ways in which recreation users could assist them with a number of their priority work projects.

Individual park rangers are not decision makers in this process, and like us, no doubt have a range of personal views. Wherever you meet Auckland Council park rangers – on tracks that are open, or on club trips, PLEASE do not hassle them for the decisions taken by our Auckland Council councillors.

Our preparations for the transfer of ATC SnowSports Lodge to the Central Plateau Schools Trust are in hand, and are just waiting on some paperwork from them so that we can then process the lease reassignment with DOC. This is not as soon as originally hoped, so we are now expecting the transfer to be finalised by mid year.

It’s that time of year when we complete our annual reports, which are now going through their Financial Review process, prior to publication in the middle of May. This year there has been a significant loss on ATC SnowSports Lodge, before additionally writing off the remaining undepreciated assets, in preparation for transfer shortly to the Central Plateau Schools Trust. Our key focus from this point will be on our trips programmes. The day trips programme has been significantly challenged by the track closures, but now we need to ensure that it provides a rewarding variety of trips that encourages more people to join us. I have now sent an invite out to all of our trip leaders to discuss our trips programme, and determine together how to achieve that.

We are also into planning mode for our summer trips, so watch this space.

Our multi day trips programme for the rest of the year is busy with a great variety of options – do take the opportunity to take part as a trip leader, a trip member, and of course, as a bus driver.

A challenging year, but we can all work together to achieve the best possible results for you, our members. All views and suggestions are welcome – please be in touch.

We are now calling for nominations for committee members for 2018-9 and we continue to be keen to see new ideas and enthusiasm joining our committee. Personally I have been president for five years already, and am happy to take the club through this next transition year, but then it would be sensible for a new president to take the helm – that could be you, so join us this year to understand how the club operates. But if you are keen right now, of course put your presidential nomination forward this year !

As an experiment this month – in advance of our AGM where we can discuss this – we are printing Wanderlust with coloured pictures. Your feedback on this will be appreciated at the AGM.

Tony Walton