December 2022 News

Published Thu 08 Dec 2022

Message from President Gene Beveridge

Kia Ora all. Thanks for joining us for another season and congrats to all the prize winners at prize giving. It’s naturally time to turn attention away from orienteering for a short while before we get into build-up events in mid February. Summer is a great time to reconnect with friends and family, because once the season gets going next year, you know where your weekends will be spent and NZ will be on the doorstep once again. See you next year. 

Newsletter Contents

  • Changes to the Calendar of Events in Auckland for 2023
  • First NWOC Events for 2023
  • Two events with a difference
  • Schools Orienteering
  • North West Club End of Year Event & Prize Giving
  • North West Prize Winners for 2023
  • Life Membership for Geoff & Lisa Mead
  • NZ Mountain Bike Orienteering Champs
  • New Members

Changes to the Auckland Calendar of Events for 2023

The three Auckland clubs have been working together to improve the way the Auckland calendar engages participants. The main idea guiding the construction of the 2023 calendar is a progression of competitiveness throughout the season. Read on for more details. 

Part 1 “Build-up” (Jan, Feb, Mar) is when schools are finding their feet and club orienteers are getting themselves ready for Nationals:

  • SummerNav park events
  • School Sprint Series events
  • 2 x Build-up Sprint and 2 x Build-up Forest events as training for NZ Champs
  • Easter Nationals

Part 2 “Development” (Apr, May)  is the time for schools to transition from sprint to forest orienteering and club orienteering, to reflect on what went right and what went wrong at Nationals, and the skills they want to improve over the season.

  • Rogaine Season (CMOC, NWOC and Lactic Turkey Rogaines)
  • Development events – training and event opportunities in AOS style
  • North Island Schools

Part 3 “Competition” (Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep) is the time to test those skills in competition:

  • King’s Birthday competition
  • Auckland Region Sprint Series - 6 events scoring points, prize giving after final
  • Auckland Region Forest Series - 4 events scoring points, prize giving after final
  • NZ Secondary Schools

Part 4 “Wrap-up” (Oct, Nov, Dec) allows time for some after-season fun events of a more social nature.

  • Labour Weekend
  • Auckland Region relays
  • SummerNav park events
  • Junior Camps

All upcoming events in the wider Auckland area for 2023 will soon be added to our NWOC website here
New Zealand wide events are on Orienteering New Zealand’s website here

First NWOC Events for 2023

Mark these dates in your calendar now and keep an eye on our North West website for more details. 

Sunday 12 February - Preseason Sprint 1
Sunday 26 February - Preseason Forest 1
Sunday 16 April - Development Forest 1

And we'll be back with our North West Rogaine series on Sundays 7 May, 21 May and 11 June. 

As always we are keen for members to get involved and help with the organisation of events hosted by North West - there is a lot to be learned from doing so whether in the role of Course Planner, Controller or Coordinator.  If you're interested, please contact Club Captain Rob Garden or 021597070 

Two events with a difference coming up early in 2023 

Taranaki Turkey Trot - Saturday 18 February 2023  
After a 14 year break, Orienteering Taranaki is bringing back the Taranaki Turkey trot - albeit with a modern twist!  Originally a Long O event,  next year’s event has a series of short sprints embedded into the courses which will test your legs and resolve. 
These will form an additional competition: the TURKEY KING & QUEEN of Sprints.
Course lengths are approximately : 17 km , 10 km and 8 Km.
There will be Open, Senior and Junior grades available and also a relay.
Entries will open on enter O mid-January
More information here
And keep an eye on Orienteering Taranaki’s facebook page here    

Katoa Po Night Relay, Explorer and National Sprint League - Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 March 2023   

 Katoa Po is te reo  for “all night” and the event is the annual interclub night relay hosted by the Taupo Orienteering Club. A weekend for all night owls and also a great option for adventure racers looking for navigation practice in night-time conditions. 
The relay features teams of 7 or 5 runners with courses suitable from younger runners to elite orienteers. The Night Explorer option features teams of 2-4 members and is not a relay.  

Typically North West enters teams in this event and members travel together to Taupo for a fun weekend.  If you're interested in being in a team, email us at

Schools Orienteering

February will see the return of the Auckland Secondary School Sprint Series (Years 7-13), run by Lactic Turkey Events, with Sport Ident equipment and support from North West. The sprint series programme is available now on the Lactic Turkey website here.  Entries must be submitted online via College Sport’s EnterNOW site. For more information email and/or talk with your School Orienteering Sport Coordinator.  You can also follow Auckland Schools' Orienteering on Facebook here.   And for regular updates about secondary school orienteering, subscribe to the mailing list via this link here 

North West Club End of Year Event & Prize Giving

On Sunday 4 December, around 80 North West members and family gathered at Mairetahi Forest, Wilson Road, South Head for our end of year Club gathering.  The afternoon started with a 60 minute rogaine planned and executed by Rob & Marquita in which competitors got to explore the beautiful park-like surroundings. Boasting a wonderful collection of trees including pine, eucalypts, redwoods and cedar plus New Zealand natives such as rimu and kauri and ornamentals such as magnolias, as well as wetlands and grassy park-like areas, exploring this ‘arboretum’ was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. A novel last control sited in the middle of a small pond involved getting wet in order to gain a handy 20 points and provided great spectator viewing.  Our annual prize-giving followed and then a shared dinner enjoyed amongst the trees. Special thanks to Rob & Marquita for facilitating our access to this beautiful place and for organising the rogaine. 

Images from our North West end of year gathering.  Photo credits Nick Monckton & Jenny Cade

North West Prize Winners for 2022

Age-grade winners*  

Grade Winner Grade Winner
M10 Daniel Ding W16 Charlotte Spence
M14 Zachary Boss W21AS Marit Moen
M21B Matthew Hopper W21B Beth Spence
M40 Glenn Robertson W40 Lise Turner
M50 Nick Monckton W50 Marquita Gelderman
M60 Owen Means W60 Lisa Mead
M70 Dave Middleton   W70 Mary Moen
M80 Chris Gelderman W21E Tegan Knightbridge
M21E Daniel Monckton    

*not all grades were contested

2022 Special Prize Winners

Each year North West awards trophies to club members to recognise special service to the club or excellence in orienteering.  2022 recipients are:

* Most Improved Junior Male           Zachary Boss
Zachary is one of a group of students at Pinehurst School who have been assisted by Heidi & Liam Stolberger and Kaye Griffiths over the past few years.  Zachary has been completing yellow courses and then stepped up to do his first orange event for the club champs placing 3rd on the course (1st in his grade). 

* Top Junior Male          Cameron Bonar
Cameron, now a student at Canterbury University, was part of North West’s team that placed 2nd in the Open relay event at Nationals.  Cam also represented NZ at JWOC this year – the only North West member in the team.

* Top Junior Female            Charlotte Spence      
Another Pinehurst student, Charlotte was a member of the NZ Secondary School's Junior girls team that competed in the Australian Champs in September.  

 * North West Shield for Most Improved Senior     Beth Spence
A member of North West since 2019, Beth has been steadily improving and achieved her best result at the recent Tuaraki Northern Regional Champs when she won the Women’s 40B grade for her combined results over the 3 days of competition.

* King Trophy for most Improved Newcomer     Matthew Hopper
Matt joined North West earlier this year and has been a regular at events and we’ve watched him steadily improve.  He says he is hooked and really enjoying orienteering and this shows in his results.  

* Stone Trophy for most Outstanding Performance of the Year Nick Harris
Nick is this year’s winner of the Stone Trophy for his performances at Nationals 2022 where he placed first in the Sprint, Middle and Long events in the hotly contested M45 grade. 

* North West Shield for Valuable Service to the Club    Lisa Mead
Where do we start with explaining why Lisa is the recipient of the Most Valuable Service Award?  Lisa is the first to put her hand up to help with events and other Club business – actually she has often thought of what needs to be done and has started doing it long before anyone else.  From helping keep the Club’s finances in good order to being an Event Coordinator to liaising with other clubs and everything in between, Lisa is extremely generous with her time and everything she does is well planned and executed. Lisa is a very worthy recipient of the Most Valuable Service Award for 2022.

 * Bert Chapman Junior Service Award                 Rosie Monckton
Rosie is the youngest of the Monckton family who have all contributed to the success of many North West events with their expertise in technical matters helping to make sure events run smoothly.  Now travelling from Whangarei to Woodhill for events, that means some very early starts and long days and we are very grateful that Rosie has continued to come and help at many events.

* Westie Kindness Award      Robyn Christie
This award, first given in 2020, is symbolised by the NWOC teddy bear mascot 'Westie', dressed in North West colours and with a compass aiming North-West. This prize, devised by Annemarie Hogenbirk, is intended to honour a North-West club member who performed a kind deed before, during or after an orienteering event. This year’s recipient is Robyn Christie, who at the end of day 2 of Tuaraki encountered a rather unpleasant mess in a port-a-loo and went about finding the cleaning gear and cleaning up the mess herself and then cleaning all the other port-a-loos too, a selfless act showing extraordinary courage, and kindness. Thank you Robyn.
The recipient of this prize keeps Westie until he or she in turn decides who the next club-member recipient is, without any time limit. Fellow club members are free to make suggestions and the current holder doesn't need to have witnessed the next kind deed personally.

Congratulations to all our 2022 Prize Winners

Images of some of our 2022 winners.  L to R  Daniel Ding, Zachary Boss, Beth & Charlie Spence, Tegan Knightbridge, Nick Harris. 

Life Membership of North West

A special award for two special North West members - Lisa & Geoff Mead. 

We are delighted to announce that Lisa & Geoff Mead were recently awarded Life Membership of North West.
Geoff & Lisa have been members of North West for around 40 years and Life Membership is in recognition of their valuable contribution to the Club and their ongoing readiness to take on roles and responsibilities for all aspects of Club business. They have been and still are tireless in their support of North West.
Lisa has held several formal roles such as Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, President, and Vice-President and some simultaneously.  She has been Event Coordinator numerous times and always puts her hand up to help others. And despite no longer being the Treasurer, Lisa continues to assist with financial matters and with our President being overseas, she readily helps out ‘on the ground’ with many aspects of Club business. 
Geoff has contributed much to North West by way of scouting new maps, fostering new members, planning the annual calendar, event organisation, for which he frequently takes on the role of Course Controller or Planner, and helping and organising School events and more.
Geoff & Lisa have both been loyal North West members for many years. They demonstrate a 'can do' attitude and provide wise counsel on matters of Club business, always acting in the best interests of North West.  And we love how they work together and support each other.  Lisa & Geoff are warm, welcoming and wonderful ambassadors for our Club and thoroughly deserving of Life Membership.

Lisa & Geoff Mead - North West Life Members

At our recent end of year gathering, we acknowledged the presence of 4 other Life Members of North West - Rob Garden, Marquita Gelderman, Rolf Wagner and Mike Beveridge. Other Life Members not present include Ann Fettes & Matt Ogden. 

L to R -Mike Beveridge, Rob Garden, Marquita Gelderman, Lisa Mead, Geoff Mead & Rolf Wagner

NZMBTO Champs 2022

The 2022 NZ MTBO Champs was hosted by OBOP over the weekend of 19th and 20th November and attended by about 80 competitors. Riders came from all corners of NZ, a small contingent from Australia, two from Denmark and included 8 keen NWOC members. The weekend kicked off with the middle distance race held in a smallish MTB park called Onepu near Kawerau. Torrential overnight rain made the tracks a bit greasy but thankfully the rain held off while we raced. Pete Swanson and Dennis de Monchy set some very challenging courses with lots of route choice and quick decision making required. NWOC finished up with 4 wins – Stu Lynch in M-open, Marquita Gelderman in W-open, Rob Garden M60 and Lesa Lomas, in her first ever MTBO event, taking out the Rec 2 class. Meanwhile Allan Janes was 5th in M50, Steve Pyatt 9th in M60, Chris Gelderman 7th in M70 and Owen Means unfortunately mis-punched.
The rainclouds were gathering as we scoffed down lunches before driving back to Rotorua for the afternoon’s sprint event. Before long the heavens opened and monsoon-like rain pelted down. It wasn’t looking good for those of us who needed glasses to read the map! Fortunately the rain sort of cleared for the duration of the race but the area had turned into a giant puddle! The event was held in the “dog walking” area of the Redwoods forest, a flat area with lots of tracks and grass areas, where it was allowed to ride “cross-country” for the most part. Normally in MTBO you have to ride only on the tracks but in some areas it is allowed to ride anywhere and this was one. It makes for more challenging route choice although given how wet it was, the grass was super soft and slushy and it was probably quicker to stay on tracks. Added entertainment was provided by a car driver who somehow managed to crash their car on the map and ended up nose down in a stream! The emergency services looked a bit bemused as riders charged past staring intently at their map. Again, we were treated to great, challenging courses made even more tricky by the surface water. Only two wins for NWOC riders this time with Stu taking out M-open again and Lesa making it 2 wins from 2, a 100% success rate for her MTBO career so far! Marquita failed to notice no. 14 on the map (☹) and mis-punched, Rob was only 46 seconds down but in 4th place in M60, Allan, Owen and Chris were 5th in M50, M60 and M70 respectively while Steve, a little worse for wear after a crash in the morning race, placed 7th in M60. Everyone enjoyed blue sky and sunshine for the post-race banter but the rain clouds were gathering again. Somehow Rob and Marquita ended up helping with the packing up (!) and before long we were back in a monsoon! Sigh…. At least we didn’t need to dry the tents.
Sunday saw us travel to Tokoroa for the long distance race at a MTB park called Cougar Park. We had raced here before but many new tracks had been made since then which opened up some surprise route choices. The weather was sunny and warm and the tracks were amazingly dry. Jacqui Sinclair and Chris Morris had planned some tough courses with plenty of challenges. Stu completed the hat trick in M-open with another win, while Allan broke Lesa’s winning streak by beating her to 2nd place in Rec 2. Marquita managed 2nd in W-open, Steve and Chris were 5th in M60 and M70, Owen 7th in M60 and Rob unfortunately had a MP.
All in all a very successful and enjoyable weekend! As we dispersed after the presentations, the heavens opened again leaving us to feel slightly sorry for the organisers who were out there getting  drenched while collecting controls!       
                                                                                                          Marquita Gelderman  
Images from the NZMBTO Champs 2022.  Photo Credits Allan Janes, Joolz Moore

A final word from NWOC member & MBTO enthusiast, Steve Pyatt, 'it was great to be doing MTBO again after so long. We need some Auckland events to get more people involved!

New Members

A warm welcome to new member Tom Paul.  Tom is a Godzone competitor seeking opportunities to practice his navigational skills and we look forward to seeing him at more events in 2023.