Compass Point – August 2020
By ONZ Online Coordinator - Roger Woodroofe - Mon 31 Aug 2020 3:08pm
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Compass Point - Orienteering New Zeland's Member Newsletter

GM’s Foreword


Hi all,

Welcome to the August issue of Compass Point. Orienteering continues to try and function in difficult times. The escalation of Covid19 levels from the level one we were quickly used to has definitely made things more challenging. Tomorrow [Mon 31 Aug 2020] all of New Zealand will be at level 2 while Auckland will continue to have additional restrictions in place making it nearly impossible to run regular club events. At the same time as this is happening, ONZ is putting considerable effort into working with clubs to try and ensure that our marquee events can go ahead. In the articles below we update members on the decision-making process for these events.

In this issue we also examine a recent health and safety incident, looking the range of factors that led to it. By sharing this we are challenging members, parents, clubs and to consider how each of us can reduce the likelihood of such and incident re-occurring.

ONZ is extremely happy to have appointed Gene Beveridge to the new training co-ordinator role. This part time position is being trialed to the end of the year at the moment. The position is a direct response to member and club feedback about the availability of resources for coaching and training. To find out more about Gene, his role, and to take part in his survey please read his article below.

Finally, we ONZ is asking for volunteers to help on a number of committees and panels. This month we are asking for expressions of interest for our Junior Selection Panel, Mapping Committee, new Sustainability Advisory Group, and Coaching Working Group. ONZ has four paid staff, who together are equivalent of one full-time equivalent staff member. Over and above these staff we have an additional thirty volunteers who form our National Council, Committees, Selection Panels and other key roles. What that means is nearly 90% of those responsible for running our organisation are volunteers!

In this issue:


Christo Peters

View from the Chair


As I write this, Auckland is readying itself for coming out of level 3 lock-down, whilst in the rest of the country orienteers have been enjoying events and the relative freedom that level 2 provides. It is a strange feeling knowing some parts of the country are locked down more significantly than others, and we really feel for our friends in Auckland most impacted by this. However whilst Auckland has born the brunt of the current restrictions, the repercussions have gone much further than Auckland. In the last 2 weeks ONZ has been working closely with Orienteering Wellington to figure out how our National Champs (scheduled for Labour Weekend) could be impacted under different lock-down scenarios. It is a complex situation underpinned by uncertainty around what levels we might be under come end of October. Likewise a similar situation exists with Hawkes Bay who are hosting the NZ National Secondary Schools Champs.

I would like to commend both Wellington and Hawkes Bay for how they are dealing with the situation. There is always a lot of pressure running any National Championship, however the extraordinary scenario we are facing with Covid amplifies this pressure significantly, so I would like to thank these clubs for their work and efforts during this time. We are still very hopeful that the Nationals will take place, however if there is one major learning that we can take from the last 2-3 weeks it is that nothing is certain. What you can be sure of is that the people making decisions on these events are doing their best, and that ONZ will also be doing whatever it can to properly support these clubs through this period.

Of course ALL clubs are having to adapt to these extraordinary times, and it has been great to hear stories of different events successfully happening within the constraints of level 2 lock-down. Adaptability is emerging as a key requirement to thrive in a Covid world, and I believe we are very well positioned as a sport to be adaptable and able to run events that people love, in a safe way, and aligned to the restrictions we have to work within. Despite some disruption to the orienteering calendar, ONZ has continued to make progress in some key areas, and special mention should be made of the Technical Committee who have delivered some great work in the last month; delivery of controllers clinics and also a review of the Rules which has been a major undertaking. Marquita Gelderman is a Council member who is a sponsor of the technical committee, and this model of having a Council member being linked to a committee is proving to work well. Christo, our GM, has enjoyed his first anniversary with ONZ (congrats Christo!), and is doing some great work building the capability of the ONZ operations, including bringing new people on in roles recently created. As this capability gets built further, ONZ will improve its ability to deliver value to clubs and orienteers, which I am sure is something we all support and look forward to.

Today I enjoyed a local OBOP event where we had great numbers on a beautiful warm spring day. It was great to catch up with a few folk, and hopefully I will get to catch up with more of you in the months ahead.

In the meantime happy orienteering, and do get in touch with myself, Christo, or any of the Council members or ONZ people if you have any questions or feedback.

Pete Swanson

Ph 027 302 4863

COVID-19 Information & Updates

Covid-19 Novel Coronavirus Information and Updates

The current state of play

On Monday 31st October New Zealand will all be at Alert Level Two. Auckland will have a number of additional measures in place to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The most relevant of these is the retention of the 10 person gathering that was in place at Alert Level Three.

Orienteering within Auckland

Clubs operating within the Auckland Supercity area have a narrower scope to operate under. The move to Alert Level Two allows for gatherings to include members outside the bubble so it is conceivable that small training exercises or app-based courses like Maprun could take place as long as the 10 person gathering limit is adhered to. ONZ recognises that it is extremely challenging for even small events to be run in Auckland at this time.

Orienteering outside Auckland

Clubs operating outside Auckland will make their own decisions about which events can take place and how they will manage the 100 person maximum gathering allowed by government. ONZ has provided guidelines to help this process but has stopped short of dictating how these guidelines are implemented.

Covid Tracer QR Codes at Events

All clubs will be displaying Covid Tracer QR codes at events. Each event will have its own code. We strongly encourage all individuals attending club events to have downloaded the NZ Government Covid Tracer app if they have not already done so.

Introducing the new ONZ Training Co-ordinator

Hi Everyone!

For those who don’t know me, I’m a member of North West Orienteering Club and have been heavily involved in orienteering for many years. My most public involvement is with high performance, but I’m also involved with development coaching, course setting and controlling. Some of you may have even followed my blog and podcast at

As ONZ training coordinator my role includes:

  • Collating training resources from around the country
  • Providing an online space for coaching and training resources to be accessed and shared
  • Hosting interactive events (online and in person) to better connect clubs, schools and individuals with the advice and resources they need.

You can help me to help you by:

  • Filling out the survey on coaching and training resources: Training Survey
  • Call or email me when you have questions about training and coaching. This could include anything from specific details of orienteering training to developing coaching roles in your club. ( 0210512432)
  • Share this information with other members of the ONZ community who may be interested in training and coaching

Gene Beveridge

We Need You – Many hands make light work

ONZ relies on a number of volunteers making small contributions across a range of areas. As we reach the end of the 2020 we are looking for a handful of new volunteers to replenish those who are standing aside and to populate a couple of new groups. Below is a summary of roles we are looking for nominations for. If you have questions about these roles or wish to apply please email Christo on

Junior Selection Panel (two vacancies)

The Junior Selection Panel is tasked with the selection of ONZ National Junior Teams in accordance with Team selection criteria. The panel is responsible for ensuring a fair and transparent process for selecting national junior teams. The panel meets when needed. Candidates should have knowledge of and experience in junior orienteering. Interested individuals may include parents or coaches involved in club orienteering.

Mapping Committee (one vacancies)

The Mapping committee is responsible for maintaining and updating mapping standards. The committee provides advise and direction in the use of mapping technologies to ONZ Council and clubs. ONZ encourages old and new mappers alike to consider themselves for this position.

Sustainability Advisory Group – new (two to three members)

ONZ is seeking expressions of interest for a new Sustainability Advisory Group. The group is tasked with reducing ONZ’s environmental footprint including investigating ecologically friendly cost-effective alternatives to current orienteering resources.

Coaching Working Group – new (two members + National Coaching Co-ordinator & Training Co-ordinator)

The new Coaching Working Group is being created to oversee three projects – (i) A new ONZ Coaching accreditation programme, The establishment of a coach training programme, and initial investigations into the creation of an NCEA Orienteering Unit to be taught in New Zealand Secondary Schools. ONZ is asking for expressions of interest to join the group which will also comprise of the ONZ National Coaching Co-ordinator, and the new Training Co-ordinator.

We Want Your Feedback about Compass Point

Compass Point is Orienteering New Zealand’s member newsletter and we want to hear your feedback about what you want to see in it. Please take the time to tell us what you think – what we are doing well, things that could be improved and things you would like to see added. The survey will take you approximately two minutes to complete. –

Health & Safety Learnings from a Recent Incident

What would you do?

On a cool winter’s night, an Orienteering Club held a night event (Matariki) in a steep bush-clad urban park with many tracks. Joe (not his real name) a 16yr old who had been orienteering for a couple of years, rocked up to the registration and wanted to do the long course (5km – orange level).

Off he went, returning after a relatively uncomfortably long time, soaking wet, and bleeding from his head. Needless to say, he was wrapped up in warm clothing, given first aid, and bundled off to ED at the nearest Hospital. There he was checked out, his head stitched up, and sent home.

So, what happened?

Joe was navigating between controls, along tracks in steep terrain. He became confused at a multiple track junction. Knowing the area a bit, he thought there was a track down a stream, climbed a safety rail, and headed downhill towards it. It became steeper and steeper – hard to go forward, hard to go back, so on he went. He slipped on a rocky outcrop and fell some 8-10 meters into the thigh-deep stream and struggled out. In a confused way, he made his way back along the stream and tracks, in the dark (his headlamp failed), to the event centre. He is very lucky to get away with just the few injuries he received.

What did the organisers do?

They were concerned about the length of time Joe was taking on the course and his progress was monitored by questioning other runners. The concern was building, and searchers were dispatched – Joe turned up shortly after that. They rendered the appropriate 1st aid, and he was taken off to Hospital.

They reported the incident through the ONZ Health and Safety accident reporting form. In addition, and coincidentally, the club held a H&S clinic (previously organised) provided by ONZ, where the whole incident was discussed and how future practices could be improved to mitigate this type of incident.
From the report amongst other details;

Things we could have done differently

  • We have identified that we do not have a mobile first aid kit – although in this area calling 111 would have been the preferred option if the searchers had found Joe. We discovered the club first aid kit was short on gauze pads, but was otherwise well equipped for this situation.
  • The event team could have called 111 proactively, rather than leaving him with parents to take him to A&E. However, we think this was a case where the parents were appropriately making the decision.
  • We could have had a specific briefing note that there are wooden safety fences on the tracks in the event and it is unsafe to attempt to cross them.
  • For night events we should have plenty of notices (including on the ONZ/events page) and at registration that people are to run a course level easier than they would run at day time.

What did his Parents Do?

They revisited the area with Joe to decipher what happened and provided the club with the following comments;

  • He is extraordinarily lucky to be alive and we have discussed the series of poor decisions he made that led to this. Its been a very useful learning experience for him.
  • He is still a very inexperienced orienteer and is prone to over-reaching. He probably needs stronger guidance on course selection than we have the knowledge and experience to give him.
  • Given the complexity of the terrain in Park, we wonder if it wouldn’t be wiser for future night events to insist on all participants being buddied up in pairs.
  • And as an aside I also noticed that the gorge wasn’t marked on the event map – but it is marked on the park map at the entrance to the Park – see photo above.

What is ONZ doing?

Holding H&S clinics on request.
The ONZ Council have discussed this incident which was deemed serious.
On the HARM form one of the significant hazards is;

1. Environment, terrain, course technicality not suited to the capability (competency level) of the participants. To mitigate;
1) Courses have been planned and controlled to cater for the varying levels of orienteering participants expertise.
2) Registration process describes course types and terrain for participants to choose as appropriate.
3) Participants advised to carry a whistle at all times. This is compulsory for secondary schools events (which this wasn’t)
4) Registration process describes course types and terrain for participants to choose as appropriate.

The ONZ reporting form will be revised to include a weather question and the person responsible for the event (i.e. controller). Other changes will include making some fields non-compulsory, adding new types of injury and refining the injured party questions for increased clarity. ONZ is also looking to produce a framework/prompts to help lead discussions when clubs review incidents.


Major Events Updates

Major Events

Nationals 2020

ONZ is in discussions with Nationals hosts Wellington about the conditions under which the NZ could be run. As part of these discussions Wellington and ONZ are looking at what is possible under mixed Alert Levels i.e. Wellington/Manawatu under level one and other areas of NZ under level two. As part of this process ONZ has sought medical advice on different options. Hosts Wellington and ONZ will put out joint communications when plans have been finalised.

New Zealand and North Island Secondary School Championships

NZSS hosts Hawkes Bay and NISS hosts Counties Manukau are both evaluating their respective options for running these events. Both clubs have kept ONZ informed of their decision making processes. Neither event has been cancelled and both clubs are looking at the feasibility of running the events outside level two. Once again, this process is ongoing and we are unable to provide more concrete decisions at present.

Junior Camp and U23 Camp

Entries for the Junior and U23 Camps close at midnight on Monday 31st August. The ONZ Council will make a decision about the camp going ahead on Thursday 17th September. This decision will take into account Covid levels across the country as well as the potential cost to ONZ in the way of unrecoverable costs should the event be cancelled. Like other major event discussions, a lot of work is taking place in the background to try and make these events happen.

ONZ Rules Revision

The ONZ Technical Committee has completed a full revision of the ONZ Rules. These rules are now being circulated for club and member consultation. Below is the time line for this process:

August 30 2020 – Rules Revision circulated to clubs and members
October 5 2020 – Deadline for providing feedback to ONZ
October 6-14 2020 – Feedback examined by ONZ Technical Committee and document is updated/revised.
October 15 2020 – ONZ Council vote on amended version of Rules revision

Below is a link to the revised rules as well as a document showing key changes. Please note that because the rules have been completely revised, it impractical to provide a line-by-line explanation of changes.

click here to find see the Rules Revision Documents on the ONZ website.

Please email suggested amendments to the ONZ Rules Revision Document to

Nga Mihi

Christo Peters
General Manager

Share this on:

ONZ COVID-19 Information