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Compass Point – July 2021
By Christo Peters - Mon 2 Aug 2021 5:30pm
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Orienteering NZ Compass Point

Member news and views


Note from the GM

A lot has happened since our last issue of Compass Point. As a nation it is hard to escape the fact that an Olympics is on at the moment. But before the Olympics there were the World Orienteering Championships in which Tim Robertson gained New Zealand’s second ever medal in the sprint- a huge achievement for Tim and Orienteering in this part of the world!

I was lucky enough to get down to the New Zealand Secondary School Championships in Hawkes Bay last weekend. Hawkes Bay turned on a fantastic few days and some fantastic scenery for what was a very memorable event. The event highlighted the rise of power of South Island schools because a number of trophies crossed the the Cook Strait for the first time in three or four years.

The popping the travel bubble has probably removed the last opportunity for New Zealand-based orienteers to compete overseas this year. As a result plans are in place to provide an opportunity for the forty-strong Southern Cross Challenge team to train and complete together next holidays.

Ngā Mihi
Christo Peters | ONZ General Manager
027 714 0915


View from the chair

How much do we value orienteering?

I know many, if not most people would answer that with a strong affirmative – we love the sport and the sense of adventure, challenge, and fun it provides, so on the surface we’d argue we do value it – a lot.

However, does that value of the experience and the benefits orienteering provides, equate to the financial value we place on events? In other words, do we charge enough for orienteering events?

I know this is a potentially contentious question, and one which promotes (sometimes heated) debate. Orienteering is underpinned by strong values around community, volunteering, something anyone can do with little financial outlay, and being family friendly. So the idea of commercial or profit driven motives might on the surface seem to clash with these values. However my experience of some orienteering events this year has prompted me to question that perhaps sometimes we don’t value orienteering enough – at least in terms of how we ascribe financial value to events.

This last weekend Orienteering Bay of Plenty hosted it’s biggest event of the year – the Great Forest Rogaine (GFR). It’s an event that has been around for a few years now, and has steadily grown in popularity, with this latest event numbering over 700 participants. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest orienteering/rogaining events of the year in NZ. And do you know what’s really interesting about that? It is also probably one of the most expensive events on the orienteering calendar.

The point I want to make isn’t that we should suddenly go out and charge heaps more for every orienteering event or rogaine. But it is that we should recognise that “value” doesn’t equate to cheap – “value” equates to what people get back out of the experience we give them. And going by the huge smiles on the bulk of those 700 GFR participants faces at the end, they would have felt they got value.

I’ve been party to many discussions in clubs where the argument has been pushed that if we make the event cheap, we will get more participants. However the great irony is it often has the opposite effect – participants don’t associate cheap necessarily with value, and often cheap events don’t grow the sport much at all. Don’t get me wrong – there is definitely a place for low cost, simple events such as your summer series park events for example – it’s hard to beat a $5 after work midweek run! But when it comes to putting on higher quality events, we should be looking harder at what these events really are worth (and cost to run), and value them accordingly.

Earlier this year I attended a fantastic major event – I won’t say what it was, but it has an excellent competition on some fantastic maps, that involved a lot of hard work by many people to put on. The event delivered huge value, but it also made a loss. And that is a tragedy in my mind, because somewhere along they way, not enough value was placed on what that event was worth.

I’m not saying the profit motive should dominate the sport. But profit making can quite reasonably exist alongside the strong values that make orienteering special. When clubs make money, it allows them to invest back into the sport, make it better, and keep improving the experience for all of us. And that ultimately is the end game we want – great experiences in the sport we love.

I hope that prompts some thoughts and debate. As always, the council and I are always open to feedback, questions and chat, so get in touch if you have anything to share.

Happy running

Peter Swanson | Chairperson of ONZ Council
027 302 4863


No New Zealand-based team at WOC but still a BRONZE!

WOC2021 sprint podium

After the decision was made to not send a NZ-based team to WOC, we had to rely on our two Europe-based athletes Toby Scott and Tim Robertson to fly the New Zealand flag. It was Tim Robertson who rose to the occasion with a bronze in the sprint in Terezin, Czech Republic at the start of the month. To read the full article from the ONZ website click here

The Southern Cross Challenge has been cancelled – what now?

On Thursday 22nd July ONZ’s Council met to discuss (among other things), the fate of the Southern Cross Challenge – an annual challenge takes place at the Australian School Orienteering Championships.

Prior to the meeting a lot of work had been put into investigating and planning for a number of covid-related challenges; immunisation (not a possibility for trips to OZ); Covid testing options that meet NZ standards; Orienteering Australia’s (OA) contingency policies for running the event; conditions under which we could receive refunds for travel, accommodation, airfares…Needless to say Orienteering Australia were keen to go ahead because the event is being held in Tasmania, a state with no covid cases. Continue reading…

Junior Camp Updates

Junior Camp 2020

ONZ has called for applications for Head Coach and Manager for the 2021 Junior camp which will be hosted by Wellington Orienteering Club. If you are interested, please read on here.

The Junior camp will take place in Masterton this year with students staying at St Matthews Collegiate between December 12th and 17th. We ask parents to be patient while we appoint this year’s head coach and manager. We also ask parents not to book flights or make travel arrangements until after participant numbers have been confirmed. Continue reading…

High Performance update

2021 NZ JWOC Team in NZ

After the loss of Queen’s Birthday 2020 to Covid-19 it was a near-run thing that the 2021 version did not get disrupted by the Canterbury flooding in the week leading up. However, we escaped and a report follows below. WOC2021 is also on the immediate horizon, with Toby Scott and Tim Robertson the only NZL representatives. There are also developments in the pipeline for the Oceania Championships and, travel-bubble permitting, the forthcoming Australian Carnival in September. Read on…


2021 NZSSOC Event Round-up

2021 NZ Secondary School Orienteering Championships

Thanks to everyone for making the NZSS Orienteering Champs such a success – competitors, team managers and supporters, as well as our land owners for access to their farms and our team of wonderful volunteers, who made the three days of the NZSSOC 2021 run so smoothly. This event was 18 months of planning with Covid-19 leading to a postponement and then cancellation in 2020, so it was fantastic for Hawke’s Bay to be able to finally host the 2021 champs. And the typically sunny Hawke’s Bay weather helped!

Please check our NZSSOC2021 website for results, GPS tracking, final school points and links to photos and video streams on our HBOC facebook page.

We’d be happy to receive any feedback you have. Please email schools@hborienteering.co.nz and we’ll also forward any feedback to the 2022 hosts Counties Manukau Orienteering Club.

Oceania Orienteering NZ 2022

ONZ Updates

What is your national Council up to?

At the July ONZ Council meeting, Council discussed the Southern Cross Challenge at length. It was decided that coaches, managers, and families of those attending would be consulted to see if they still wished to attend. The following day the travel bubble between New Zealand and Australian popped and Council made the decision to cancel the trip.

Also at the July meeting, Council discussed contingencies for running Oceania at level two as well as when Oceania could not be called Oceania. This followed on from a meeting held with hosts PAPO two days earlier.

Council were updated on initial feedback produced from the volunteer surveys to date – the majority of clubs have responded as have 50+ individuals.

All approved ONZ minutes can be accessed here.

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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