ONZ Compass Point – March 2020
By Christo Peters - Sun 22 Mar 2020 6:45pm
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Orienteering NZ - Find Your Adventure

In this issue:

  • GM’s foreword
  • View from the Chair
  • New ONZ Council Members Decided
  • ONZ to hold first ever virtual AGM
  • Staying up-to-date with event rescheduling


GM’s Foreword

So much has happened since our last issue.  Those of you involved in establishing and/or implementing Covid-19 procedures and processes for your clubs and businesses will be painfully aware of the complexity of what is happening behind the scenes.

Negotiations are also taking place between hosts of key national events in an effort to create contingency plans.  As GM of I have had a teleconference with Sport NZ as well as numerous with other key organisations like School Sport NZ. The analogy of the duck sitting calmly on a pond while its legs are moving flat-stick beneath the water seems particularly appropriate for many of us at this point in time.

I thank ONZ’s staff for all the behind the scenes work at this very difficult time.  I also would like to recognise the support of the ONZ Council, particularly our Chair Pete Swanson who continues to provide great leadership in what are challenging times.

In this brief edition we look at update changes national events as well as the move to a virtual annual general meeting for the first time in ONZ’s history. Please remember that for ONZ’s Covid-19 updates are available on the ONZ website: https://www.orienteering.org.nz/


Christo Peters

View from the Chair

Well what a difference a month makes, let alone a week, or even a day. Everyone is reeling from the speed and impact of the changes brought on by the spread of COVID-19 in NZ and globally. And as you will know from the communications we have been sending out this past week, the sport of Orienteering has been heavily impacted, as have most sports in NZ. It has been a very tough week working with clubs who have had to make difficult decisions on their events – at this point in time we have had to postpone or cancel the Nationals, JWOC and WUOC trials, AOS weekend in Auckland, and most major schools competitions. These have been tough decisions made harder by the fact that many people feel that the mental and physical benefits of the sport are needed at a stressful time like this. However whilst this is undoubtedly true, it can’t be at the expense of people’s personal health and safety. I have been incredibly impressed and heartened by the leadership and judgement shown by the clubs I have been dealing with, as well as my ONZ colleagues. These are not black and white decisions and have needed collective input to come to the right call. Not everyone will agree with these decisions, but they are the best we could make given the information and insights we have had. Whilst orienteering will have a role in helping people cope with the stress of the new world we find ourselves in, it would be nice to think we can do things in a way that would result in NO infections happening from an orienteering event.

Earlier this week we released some guidelines which were geared towards helping clubs navigate how they can run events and minimise risk. Having applied these guidelines myself to an event at OBOP this week, it is clear they are not enough given the current situation. In particular ensuring people have physical distance of 1-2 metres from each other was almost impossible to achieve, especially around bottleneck areas such as registration. We have drafted some revised guidelines which are more stringent – in particular the requirement to only run events if physical distance can be achieved between people at every part of the event process. How clubs can achieve this will need to be explored, however OBOP will be running a summer series event next week that has no registration, all entries are pre entry by email, no clippers used on controls, and competitors will email their results after the event. This relies on trust and honesty (for instance we will take people’s word they have visited a control site without them needing to punch a clip card), however that is the trade off we need to be thinking of making in order to keep people safe. This next couple of months is going to be critical for NZ, and Orienteering must play its part in complying with the MoH guidelines and not exposing people to contact with each other or potentially contaminated surfaces. Whilst this may not be how we like to run events it is a necessity for now, and in fact I believe offers a chance for innovation to flourish and new ideas on ways of running events to emerge. I know many clubs are already looking at technology like Maprun, which allows people to participate without contacting others or any controls. In the next week ONZ will look to establish a platform which will allow clubs and orienteers to share their ideas and ways of making things happen, and which might allow good practice to be shared. We encourage you all to use this, to share your learning and ideas. We also expect clubs to follow the guidelines and to either cancel events or modify their calendars with compliant events, especially in the next 2 months.

As I stated earlier I have been so impressed by the leadership I am seeing at club level, and this gives me a lot of faith that we will figure things out in the weeks and months ahead, and in time return to enjoying orienteering as we have enjoyed it in the past. In the meantime though, stay safe, be hygienic and wash your hands regularly, and most of all look out for each other. I am certainly here for you, as is all of ONZ and if we can assist or support clubs in any way please get in touch.


Pete Swanson
027 302 4863

Elections - Orienteering New Zealand Council 2020We received two nominations for the two positions being vacated on the ONZ National Council this Annual General Meeting.  Because the number of nominees was equal to the number of positions, clubs have not been required to vote for their preferred candidates.

AGM - 2020 Orienteering New ZealandConsistent with ONZ protocol, the two successful candidates will be announced at this year’s virtual Annual General Meeting – more details on this below.

At the March 16 ONZ Council Meeting the decision was made to change the date of the Annual General Meeting.  Traditionally the event has been run in conjunction with the National Championships.  Given that this year’s nationals have been deferred and taking into account the need for social distancing, the decision was made that a virtual AGM would take place using the zoom online video conferencing platform.  The date of the AGM has been moved to Wednesday 15th April between 7:30pm and 8:30pm.  A link to the virtual AGM will be posted on the ONZ website and circulated to clubs at the start of April.

Stay up-to-date with event rescheduling

ONZ has been working with our numerous major event hosts around the scheduling/rescheduling of both local, regional and national events.  To date this has involved the postponement of Nationals in conjunction with Wellington OC and the North Island Secondary School Champs in conjunction with Counties Manukau OC. The South Island Secondary School Champs have been cancelled following consolation with Dunedin.

Future updates will appear on both the dedicated websites and the ONZ events page – links below:


NZOC 2020 10-13 April

CMOC - North Island Secondary School Champs 22-24 April 2020

New Zealand Secondary Schools Orienteering Championships 2020 Hawkes Bay 16-18 July

Oceania Orienteering NZ 2021 9-17 January

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