Get to know our new events liaison |  Lachlan McKenzie
By Christo Peters - Fri 31 May 2024 6:23pm
, ,

Please let’s welcome the new events liaison to Orienteering New Zealand. Lachlan will be a great addition to the orienteering NZ team.  

1. How did you find out about orienteering as a sport? 
As a child I hated sport but loved maps, so Mum took me to some Red Kiwi events when I was a schoolboy in Palmerston North. I remember enjoying orienteering then, but it was decades before I picked it up again.  

2. What motivated you to start orienteering? How did you find out about orienteering as a sport? 
In my mid-30s I started running. I then thought, “I like the outdoors and I still like maps… perhaps I should try orienteering.” I guess my first re-encounter with orienteering was the Waitangi Sprints, hosted by Wellington in 2016. The event wasn’t what I was expecting given it was a series of sprints, and I only knew of foot orienteering from clip-punch days, but I had a good time and joined the club soon after.  

3. Roughly how many orienteering events would you attend every year? And what type of events do you prefer? What brings you back to more events? 
I probably get to around 15 events a year and enjoy foot orienteering best. And I love local events. Something that stood out for me early was the “discovery” aspect of the sport, which has led me to so many corners of Wellington I never previously knew of, despite having lived here for years. Reserves, farms, war bunkers, hidden suburban waterfalls and other curiosities… and I’m still “finding” new local places thanks to orienteering. That’s one reason I keep returning, and one of the things that also appeals to newcomers I bring to events.  

4. Can you talk about what skills you are bringing to this events role? 
Open communication and willingness to help. Mine’s an administrative rather than technical focus, so I’m here to listen and learn, and will lean into expertise as required.  

5. What is a very memorable orienteering event for you. 
The first time I got around a national-level Red Long course was on the Kaikokopu map, in the Manawatū. It was the hardest course I’d tackled to date, and part way round I had to sit down, eat a snack bar and talk to myself reassuringly, with conviction. The course took two hours to complete but, ultimately, I found all the controls, which was my measure of success for that event. I still enjoy that map. 

6. Apart from orienteering what are some of your other favourite pastimes?  
Tramping. Again, this is something I’ve come to as an adult. The reward of slowing down and savouring the moment is too easy to forget these days. I also really enjoy writing, and often author short pieces for Wilderness magazine or my own blog, Frontcountry Tramper. I also enjoy running and gym – but not as much as orienteering!   

7. in a few words describe your orienteering style!  
Uh… as a club orienteer, an orienteering “style” sounds like a worthy aspiration!  

Share this on:

ONZ COVID-19 Information