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• History of club involvement in hut and track maintenance
• Long‐standing feeling we had lost something in our back‐
country culture through lack of, or patchy active involvement
• In some areas volunteer maintenance had been actively
• NZDA and FMC had not enjoyed good relations for over 20
Formation of the Outdoor Recreation
• Arose out of discussions between Kevin O’Connor (then D‐
DG), and Rob Brown, Geoff Spearpoint and myself over some
• 2014 DOC’s CCPF Fund (later to become the DOC Community
Fund) made available
• Partnership with NZDA and Trailfund NZ
• Granted $1.25 million to‐date, over two years.
Risks for FMC
• Are we supporting a neo‐liberalism paradigm?
• Is this the thin edge of the wedge for DOC to dump all its huts on us?
• Would it take us out if it went wrong?
• If FMC doesn’t take it on, would FMC still be relevant?
• The work must be on Public Conservation Land
• New assets cannot end up being owned by DOC
• We can’t prioritise projects – we can only fund projects that have
volunteer support and have genuine merit, with a focus on the
• We want to contribute to one new major infrastructure each year
• We have to keep the bureaucracy to a minimum
• We have to shield our volunteers from as much bureaucracy as possible
What we have learnt
‐ There is a lot of enthusiasm for the fund
‐ We could spend more money if we had it
‐ There is a lot of administrative overhead
‐ There is a need to share ideas (such as the Huts & Tracks Conference
and the website)
What we have achieved
‐ We have funded well over 100 projects all around the country
‐ We have helped volunteers who have inspired other volunteers who
have gone on to complete projects
‐ We are re‐creating the culture that the huts are ours, in the widest
sense, and we are richer for it.
‐ We are learning to work with DOC and shaping each other as we go.
What we have achieved
1. We have changed
“DOC should fix their huts, shouldn’t they”
“We can help DOC look after our huts, can’t we”.
2. The bridge between NZDA and FMC has been mended
3. We have some new, younger friends in TrailFund
Where to now?
We continue with the momentum we have.
We look to secure funding
We keep improving
We look to integrate the work volunteers do with the work DOC does
to a greater degree.