Compass Point – April 2021
By Christo Peters - Mon 3 May 2021 1:21am
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Orienteering NZ Compass Point


Note from the GM

It was fantastic to put so many names to faces during the recent national championships. Congratulations to North West Orienteering Club for hosting a fantastic event.

In this issue we cover our annual awards, a final summary of nationals, get to know ONZ Council member, emergency doctor and elite competitor Tom Reynolds, a paper team is named for this year’s JWOC and we cover the national knockout sprint event held in Auckland.
Ngā Mihi
Christo Peters | ONZ General Manager
027 714 0915


View from the chair

The future of our sport is bright! That is the big takeout from the last month’s competitions which included the NZ Foot Orienteering champs in Woodhill, and the NZ MTBO Champs in Otago. After a year of disruption and a reduced calendar of major events in 2020, we were treated to two very awesome events, and boy were people up for it!

The Foot Nationals at Easter were incredibly well organised, and the whole North West orienteering club team are to be commended for creating a very special experience with 4 events in close proximity to each other, on some spectacular maps and terrain of North Woodhill. The camping was especially good, arguably in one of the nicest camping areas I have been to in NZ, and created a kind of total immersion experience of orienteering competition and socialising, amplified by the lack of internet or phone connectivity! And the competition was fierce, with some great battles across the grades, especially amongst the juniors. I particularly loved how the youngsters who completed the white course all got to stand up and be recognised – a very clever addition to the prize giving process by North West which a) made those youngsters feel like heroes, and b) showcased who some of our future orienteers are – fantastic!

The MTBO Champs, whilst on a smaller scale than the foot champs, nonetheless had record numbers of entrants – the most at a Nationals for many years, which when you take into account the lack of Australian riders is especially impressive. MTBO has a different vibe to foot O – some would say it is more casual and relaxed, perhaps a reflection of the wider Mtb sport. Either way, whilst the vibe was relaxed, the competition was anything but, and there were some serious battles and racing across most of the grades. This was especially evident in the junior grades which this year saw record numbers of riders – if these juniors are motivated to do more MTBO, this would be very good for the future of the sport in NZ. For myself competing the MTBO champs provided a full spectrum of emotions, from the joy of riding in some fantastic terrain and the elation that comes from riding a pretty good race, through to the heart break that comes from messing things up and not adapting fast enough to the different map challenges – such is orienteering! These were some of the best maps I have competed on in NZ, so full credit to the team from Otago, Dunedin and PAPO who made this all happen.

So to conclude, these events showcased some great junior talent coming through, the people who are the future of the sport. However the events also showcased the enormous talent and capabilities of NZ clubs and event organisers who delivered top notch events, which had some new features, and also with the backdrop of Covid which demanded additional planning and effort. Whilst I have focused on the National champs in this article, I also want to acknowledge the organisers and clubs of other events in the last month or two, including the South Island champs which Dunedin put on in central Otago – this event sounded fantastic, and like the nationals, had very large numbers of entrants. With these all setting the scene for the start of the orienteering season, the rest of the year looks bright!

See you out there

Peter Swanson | Elected Chair of ONZ Council
027 302 4863


National Orienteering Awards Announced

This year’s ONZ Awards took place at the National Championships in South Head, north of Auckland on Sunday 4th April 2021. Congratulations to all the award recipients:

For a full list of recipients click here

Paper JWOC Team named

In March, ONZ’s Council made the decision not to send teams to the 2021 Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) in Turkey. Despite this, a paper team has been selected that would have represented New Zealand at the event.

For the full team list click here.

2021-2025 ONZ Strategic Plan released – a new focus for our sport

Orienteering club membership has increased 15% over the past five years and 40% over the last two decades. Our sport is one of a handful of New Zealand sports that can claim to be consistently growing – even last year during a global pandemic when national membership rose by 3.2% Other indicators like website traffic and even readership of this publication paint a similar picture of increased interest in our sport.

Orienteering New Zealand’s (ONZ) new strategic strategic direction builds on current success while recognising that that our sport is changing. Disciplines like rogaine and adventure racing, the increase of commercial operators and the increased member expectations in the secondary school space are all opportunities for our sport over the next five years. The new plan places more focus on member consultation, club support and is underpinned by the importance of the relationship between ONZ, clubs and members.

View the 2021-2025 ONZ Strategic Plan here.

Sports People

Tom Reynolds

Interview with ONZ Council Member Tom Reynolds

Tom Reynolds has recently moved to Hamilton to continue training as an emergency medicine specialist. Sportswise he is now currently at Godzone but looking forward to refocus on orienteering afterwards.

How did you start orienteering? What was the motivation? I started at high school. I had a friend at school who was into it, so I gave it a try. Initially it was just as a sport to complement mountain biking. I got lucky at my second forest event where we got chatting with Rob Garden and Mark Lawson. Mark took me out for my first bit of training after that event which got me going on the right foot. Things just grew from there, with the rest of the family getting involved too.
When did you join a club? What motivated you to join a club? I joined Northwest almost straight away, it was a no-brainer with the friendly welcome we had from other club members and the huge amount of help we had early on from people like Mark. Since then I moved to Rotorua and joined OBOP. Continue reading…


Orienteering Queens Birthday Weekend 5-7 June 2021

Queens Birthday Weekend

According to Buckingham Palace sources*, three days of orienteering is a perfectly respectable way to spend the Queen’s Birthday holiday weekend. Enjoy some of the best terrain Canterbury has to offer, with a sprint on Saturday afternoon, sprint relay on Saturday night followed by two day’s on our intricate sand dune maps at Woodend north of Christchurch. The weekend is sure to challenge your orienteering skills in every way and have have the press hotly debating what orienteering is all over again!

All competitors welcome, course options suitable for all ages and lineages. The weekend includes the Inter-regional Schools Challenge, NZSS Orienteering Team trials and Canterbury Champs. It is also a National Orienteering League race for the elites and orienteering “Toffocrocy”.

For all the appropriate arrangements to be prepared for your presence, you will need to enter promptly. Do get onto it before 11:59pm on Sun, 23rd May 2021 NZST – now don’t dilly-dally enter here!

2021 Australian Champs.

All orienteers are invited to come to Tasmania, to compete in the Australian Orienteering Championships 2021. Entries are now open. In Tasmania we have been working hard to ensure that we will offer the very best maps and courses in our delightful and safe environment. Keep reading…

NZ MTBO Champs

2021 NZ MTBO Champs by Joolz Moore

I was invited onto the NZ Mountain Bike Orienteering (MTBO) committee over a year ago now. It really was a surprise since I manage to consistently hover on the lower edge of the results table, but I am what you call a keen enthusiast. This year at the MTBO Champs there was a really good spread of participants. A few navigators who love to ride brought their families along to join the fun for the NZ MTBO champs. Having the events in the school holidays with fine Otago Autumn weather and stunning scenery really ticked all the boxes for many.

The first day was the long event in Naseby which provided some really cool tracks, with route choices. We have seen Steve Gurney over the last few years for this event as he likes to test himself out amongst the multi-sport tough riders. This year, there were a few that had recovered from Godzone including Chris Forne, Nathan Fa’avae, Martin Peat and Sara Prince, so competition was fierce. Continue reading…

NZOC2021 Auckland 2-5 April 2021

Nationals 2021 – final newsletter

Kia Ora and greetings,

Welcome to the very last newsletter from the NZOC2021 team: the courses have been evaluated between competitors caught out at yet another artificial barrier on the Sprint, the medals have been handed out, and the last borrowed pieces of equipment are on their way back to their owners. Thanks for coming and for your enthusiasm and commitment: We hope the text and photos below help preserve many memories.

Read full newsletter

Auckland knock-out sprint a success

The extended Easter weekend finished with NZL’s second ever Knock-out Sprint, at Carrington. This had no qualification but only three KO rounds, with all runners getting 3 races. With many of the top elites and junior elites heading home after the ONZ Champs there was the opportunity for several of the younger juniors to foot it with the top athletes. The format of A and B semi-finals and A-F finals meant that the field gradually sorted itself out into levels. continue reading.

ONZ Updates

What is your national Council up to?

At the April ONZ Council meeting, Council unanimously agreed that Peter Swanson be re-appointed as Chair for the coming year. The first work towards the 2021/2022 Business plan was also approved. This means that over the next two months work will begin in the areas of resources & partnerships, some key areas of a digital strategy, and the creation of a volunteer working group to investigate a range of challenges including burn-out. ONZ will also be investing in marketing to raise the profile of our sport. Council will be reviewing progress towards the business plan every two months.

With the IOF postponing JWOC to September, Council re-examined their earlier decision to not send athletes. It was agreed that ONZ’s position remains unchanged. Other opportunities available to our elite athletes were discussed and these included the proposed Aust/NZ O League, and the Southern Cross Challenge. Council members Jenni Adams and Tom Reynolds will meet with ONZ Performance Leader to create a proposal which will be presented to Council at their May meeting.

Other items discussed included Oceania, a letter regarding ONZ Awards, and the potential need for more New Zealand IOF SEAs (Senior Event Advisers) – a matter referred to the Technical Committee.

All approved ONZ minutes can be accessed here.

ONZ Annual Report 2020

ONZ Annual Report 2020

The ONZ Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2020 approved at the 2021 AGM on Thursday 15th April.

Click on the image to view the full report.

AGM Meeting Summary

AGM Meeting Summary

The ONZ Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 15th April using the Zoom platform.

This was the second year the event was held electronically. Fourteen clubs were represented at the meeting.

There were no new nominations for Council positions meaning that both Jenni Adams (PAPO) and Magnus Bengtsson (Wellington) have been confirmed to serve a second term on Council.

With no remits or items of general business the meeting was relatively quick with the financial and annual reports spoken to by ONZ Council Chair Peter Swanson and General Manager Christo Peters before being accepted.

Changes to the Incorporated Societies Act – what does this mean for you and your club?

ONZ and fourteen of NZ’s seventeen clubs are incorporated societies and are therefore bound under the 1908 Act that sets out obligations and accountability for all incorporated societies.

Changes in the gaming machine industry over the last decade have made it more important for clubs wishing to receive funding to be an incorporated societies and/or a charitable trust.

After one hundred and thirteen years, the Incorporated Societies Act is being replaced with the proposed new act recently entering parliament. Societies are organisations with members who have the primary responsibility for holding the society to account. To this end, we invite interested organisations to understand the bill – a good detailed explanation can be found here.

The Government Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee is asking for submissions on the Bill. We encourage you to take the opportunity to understand the Bill, make a submission and ask your organisations to do the same given many will be incorporated societies themselves. Submissions close on 28 May. Further information on the submission process is available here.

New promotional video for schools.

ONZ has had this video produced from footage taken at the 2020 North Island Secondary School Championships. The video is on of a number of resources aimed at making orienteering more accessible to Tamariki and Rangatahi.

How can we help? Me pēhea mātou e āwhina ai?

If you have a particular topic you are looking for on orienteering? Try browsing the search function on the ONZ website or search for an area under news and views in the main menu at the top of the page – you may find what you need. If you have an enquiry about the sport, do get in touch via any of our media below or fill in our contact form here

Happy orienteering! Editorial deadline:
We love to read about all kinds of navigation events from every corner of NZ. We are keen for news and updates from places we cannot get to. So do share your passion with photos, events, links, and info about your club. Send something in by the 20th day of the month so it can be published at the end of the month

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