The Tararua Aorangi Remutaka Huts Committee (TARHC) held a good meeting this week at the Wellington NZDA clubrooms. Thirteen of the 17 clubs and volunteer groups and individuals that have management agreements with DOC to look after huts and also DOC Masterton and BC Trust staff managed to attend. Several did this using Zoom video conferencing.
Key topics were the allocation of funds for hut upkeep, reviewing the future of the TARHC and reports on last years hut upkeep by members.
Hut renovations funded last year by the TARHC were Burn hut by the Horowhenua Hunters Club and Mangahao Flats hut by the Manawatu Tramping and Ski Club.
An assessment of huts needing maintenance has been done by DOC Masterton, the TARHC and the Backcountry Trust that identified at least 24 huts need maintenance.
The TARHC approved the funding for six huts that were proposed for work.
Funding applications to the BC Trust or DOC will also be made by groups managing the other huts needing upkeep. Huts to be funded by the TARHC still depend on final costings and are Dorset Ridge, Waitewaewe, Nichols, Andersons and Waiotauru huts. Also funding has been set aside for Alpha hut to contribute to a project to do major repairs including replacement of the exterior walls.
Nearly all of the backcountry huts in the three forest parks are managed by clubs and volunteer groups/individuals under agreements with local DOC. (DOC look after the Serviced huts)
The TARHC have had a longstanding partnership with DOC to manage huts in the forest parks that began 33 years ago. The department passes on its funding for upkeep of these huts to the TARHC to use on hut maintenance.