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Wellington Caving Group

2015 AGM Minutes

Held: August 12, 2015 at Ignite Sport's office: Level 1, 73 -75 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt from 19:45-21:30
Present : Gavin, Barry, Sue, Fuzzy, Nicole, Walter, Arvid, Jay, Jez, John, Pru, Simon, Rob

Apologies from : Anna, Anne, Adrian, Siân, Alex, Gareth, Anna

  1. AGM meeting minutes of 2014 were read by Arvid and seconded by Sue, no further action necessary
  2. Gareth was absent due to working commitments overseas, Presidents and Safety coordinator report was read by Barry, for details see attached texts, whole club thank Gareth for his great work last year especially the rescue gear getting sorted out
    • Secretary and Librarain report was read by Arvid, details see attached texts
    • Treasures report was read and accounts seconded by Walter :
      • Despite losing subs for 5 members (6 leaving/life member, 1 resigning, total number 30) we made a surplus bit higher than 2014 434 $, gear hire was bit lower ok 104 $, highest expenditure was equipment and tags to tag our Wairarapa caves, tagging equipment will be in WCG inventory
      • 219 $ paid to 24/7 for web account in 2014 (ses last year’s report) couldn’t be recovered due to bankruptcy of the company
    • SumpThink editor thanked for submission, but unfortunately due to low stream of articles only possible to have sum think every 2 months, hopefully more reports will come next year
    • Gear officer : gear hire was quite ok, Walter mentioned that it is sometimes hard to follow up who has paid when, Simon hint to the website and reminded members to send a mail to the treasurer and gear officer when gear hire is paid
    • Webmaster : no report since Alex was overseas
  3. Election of officers :
    • President : Arvid was elected unopposed, with very strong hope to get the support to held a full WCG SAREX exercise coming year, possible teaming up with MSG and going to Paterau, Arvied will talk to Graham form MSG and propose Pohanga as location at the weekends 30/31 Januray or even better Waitangi day weekend 6- 8 Feb, Arvid will contact Oz/Pete Corbett (LandSAR for possible support for accommodation fee)
Secretary: Sue was elected unopposed as secretary
Treasurer : Barry was elected unopposed as treasurer
Gear officer : Sue was elected unopposed as gear officer, gear and rescue equipment will be stored at Sues house, club agreed that we will buy storage boxes for our rescue gear
Webmaster :Simon was elected unopposed as webmaster
Librarian : Arvid was elected unopposed as Librarian
Safety Coordinator : : Gavin was elected unopposed as Safety coordinator
Additional committee members : Walter, Pru Rob, were elected as additional committee members
  1. Subscriptions : Sue proposed to have subscriptions unchanged, seconded by Barry
  2. Other business :
    • Barry mentioned that constitution needs to be recheck and discussed, will be during committee meeting probably in September, officers hold office for 3 years, life membership, balance sheet for club assets
    • Old gear unfit for use mentioned in president reports will be clarified what it means with Gareth and reported next committee meeting
    • Michie phones : some bits and pieces at Arvids, Arvid checked with NZSS for funding but not available for this purpose, Arvid will check if it vis possible how to build a set for WCG, still 600 $% reserved for that, could cashed up to 1000 $
    • Wellington call out list : Arvid is updating the WCG call out list and will send it to NZSS
    • Cave maps ; discussion how to proceed with our cave maps especially for scientific purposes, Club was in favour that if our friendly hosts agree to a publication, the organization or person could go forward with that. without exact geo referencing Sue reminded us of our promise not disseminate any location information
    • Club trips : Arvid is organizing possible Paturau trip (~ 1 week) probably Oct/Nov, AGM will be held at Labour day in Charleston, Arvid very likely to go, Arvid/Sue : Plunge pool/30 min Sump (beginner friendly cave) tip hopefully with Photo for our farmers planned for weekend 29/30 Aug weather and permission pending, 26-28 Feb deep cave Sarex – Arvid Gavin planning to attend so far

Planned club talks, please watch changes and announcements:

Planned club talks, please watch changes and announcements:

9 Sept : Barry/Gavin : basics of rescue rigging
14 Oct : Marcus: Bulmer dye trace
11 Nov : : SRT basics and training (not Ignite sports but Arvids place, need a good supervisor Gav is out of the country though)
Dec/Jan – no club nights
10 Feb :: John : History of WCG
9 March : Simon : make your own prusiks and how to use them, need bit more planning beforehand because we will have probably to buy some rope and will have some costs incurred for your own prusiks (Access gear 6 mm PMI prusik cord: 2.5 $/m + bit heat shrinking tape)
13 April : Arvid/Gavin : learnings from surveys+ therion and lesson how to use a disto

President's Report

I cannot believe that another year has passed by and my list of expected caving activities has not been ticked. Unfortunately I have not been in NZ much over the past year due to work commitments in Indonesia and the UK.

The club has been active in a range of areas and has been supported by those able to keep on exploring, but just as importantly, by those who are not able to attend meets but willing to keep paying their subscriptions; thankyou. We have had new members joining the club which is fantastic and WCG give a big welcome to you and hope you can stay and be part of a select NZ caving community.

Attendance at some of the indoor meets has been a bit hit and miss on attendance and latterly we have encouraged committee members to prepare topics for evening talks. We have some fascinating talks covering a range of topics. External talks from Victoria University on Pacific island caves and how these have informed of historical climate change and how this links in with recent caving discoveries; club member talks on success in surveying at our “home” caves in Wairarapa; cave photography; SRT etc. These talks do take time to prepare and I appreciate the effort to those who volunteered. For those that missed out I encourage you to attend future talks in the coming year.

Over the year there have been regular trips to Wairarapa caves to try and push that bit further to see how each cave system interconnects. This is by no means complete and there is plenty of opportunity for more finds by new and more experienced members.

Caving is not all about exploring and a key part of the club activities is to survey our finds as this is the only way to preserve a record for the future. Arvid and Gavin have been actively surveying various caves using a mixture of the latest point and shoot laser survey to the tried and tested tape and clinometers. Surveying caves is the key to unlocking the underground labyrinth and takes perseverance especially when the cave is wet and narrow (translated to cold and awkward!). Getting the survey data onto paper is by no means easy and Arvid has got to grips with the complex software to produce some great looking maps. Please help out on surveys and your name will be added to the printed survey.

Training and skills is very important to ensure that we are able to support on cave rescues. NZSS runs an annual SAREX and this year this was held via NSG at Takaka and was a successful range of activities and importantly reinforcing and learning skills that one day may help to save someone’s life. You do not need to be an experienced caver to attend the annual SAREX as there is support. from all attending.

WCG have been on a range of trips to the West Coast, Buller, Wairarapa, Waitomo – fantastic locations. I look forward to seeing a new trip list for the coming year. Bob Wellington’s anniversary was well attended at Wairarapa caves and a fitting tribute on ANZAC weekend.

SumpThink issues have been a little thin over the year due to lack of trip reports- the more info we get in the better the issues – please fire in those reports. Along with all club members I appreciate the time and effort the WCG Committee has put in to keeping the club ticking along over the past year.

Finally we should not forget what this club is about – CAVING. The club is at it’s best when we are just “out there, somewhere” in a fantastic cave, exploring a new route, banter and laugh with friends and experiencing the ups and downs (literally) of caving challenges.

For the club to survive requires the support of all members (active and passive) to ensure that we carry on the long history of our involvement in the NZ caving scene.
Thanks to all for your support over the past year.

Gareth Penhale
WCG President

Safety Coordinator Report, August 2015

This is a brief report on the safety coordination within the club.
It has been a long journey but we have recently managed to secure funding from NZSS to purchase rescue gear. The shiny gear has now arrived and will be tagged and stored for use in training, exercises and for rescues. The club gear is likely to be stored at Sue’s house in the meantime. The gear shall not be used for anything other than official exercises, training or on rescues.

NZSS support is fantastic but WCG needs to ensure that we are playing our part to have as many trained so that the club can support in cave rescues in WCG patch as well as other parts of NZ.

I have tried to coordinate training through the NZSS training officer but this failed to get sufficient response from club members to warrant a training session in Wellington. It is hoped that alternative dates will be set for later this year or early 2016.

The club does have some old gear which cannot be used as rescue gear and this will be marked as unfit for use.

There are a number of training exercises and later this month another course is being run at Waitomo and I encourage as many to attend, maybe as a refresher or to learn new skills.

In addition LandSAR run training courses on a range of topics, some of which have close links to cave rescue. Training programme notifications have been issued to via the club email system.

At the end of February 2016 there will be a Deep cave SAREX being held in the South Island. This is a great opportunity to get involved in a simulated rescue involving Police, Air Force and other agencies. This only takes place once every 3 years and if you can please attend. It is open to everyone from new members to the experienced.

We have not had any incidents in the club over the past year (not ones that I have been made aware of) which is great but please don’t get too complacent. Any rescue involves a huge amount of resource and cost so please take extra time to check those belays, knots, loose rocks etc before you make the plunge. > Gareth Penhale

Safety Coordinator

Statement Secretary/Librarian

Last year was definitely a very good caving year for me. Not only I attended 4 expeditions (2 to Megamania , Bulmer and Te Mahanui) but we also extended and surveyed a larger cave – Windfall - in Paturau which will have close to 1 km of new passage when completely surveyed with potential for more stuff going on in the valley. I am more than happy to go back before Easter for a week to finish the job , next possible time is around 12 Sept.

I also helped Neil Silverwood with the calendar and now with new book which gets me to more cool caves. Many thanks to Barry for helping with the WCG account to process the calendar payments. The nearly 3000 $ for the Charleston were well received from Christchurch. Apart from that we had some good local trips to Martinborough and Makuri and got finally also our best cave Plunge Pool surveyed. Next trip to plunge pool maybe with photography with Marcus Thomas is weather depended planned for end of August. Still there is room for more caving i was not every weekend busy with it, so let’s concentrate on that next year.

Also finishing rigging my garage and attending several courses got my caving skills up to speed, still not as good as I want to be. I am more than happy to offer my place for training which I think would be good for the club. I am also looking forward to train with the new shiney rescue gear, many thanks to Gareth and everybody involved in that.

Next year looking forward to the AGM at Labour day in Charleston, Bulmer expedition 6-16 Jan and deep cave Sarex in Ellis Basin 26-28 Feb. I am also hoping to get as much a possible underground closer to home, there is still flower cave on my to do list and never been to Pipopio and Martin borough is just 1 h away. Anyway my club functions


Was a quiet year again. Had to answer a few mails and help with organizing bits and pieces so that was fine. Main point was probably taking meeting minutes at AGM, meetings and underground committee last month and also passing on information I got over different media like the club magazines and Facebook. So not much to report rather than encouraging other people to take up the job to get involved in the club


I further sorted the library and added some new books, maps and magazines I regularly get also e.g. from ASG who is not publishing their magazine online.

I also tried to encourage more members to borrow books by bringing the librarians pick every month but apart form 1 member (thanks Sue) nobody took the offer, so I am the main user at the moment but please just let me now if you want a book or DVD, more than happy to bring it and collect it at club meeting again.

I am happy to host the library another year in its warm and dry shelf in my second bedroom. In my unofficial role as map officer I also want to get more caves surveyed and drawn up whereby there is a bit of a backlog at my side at the moment will get on the coming weekend I hope.