Leading New Zealand's Outdoors Community

November 5th 2014

Dear Outdoors NZ Members and Stakeholders,

The Annual ONZ Forum held in Christchurch on the 23rd and 24th of October was a great success with around 40 members of the sector having a chance to reconnect and share ideas, as well as talk about the various internal and external events that have impacted on the organisation.

It was disappointing that we had no nominations for the ONZ Board.  In order for the sector to have appropriate representation in regards to the future, we require new Board members.  We urgently seek expressions of interest from our sector for a role of Board member on the ONZ Board.  We will co-opt 2 or 3 new members in order to strengthen our governance board.  In particular we seek the following commitment and skills:

  • People who believe in the vision and values of ONZ.
  • Governance interest and/or expertise.
  • Ability to commit at least 2 hours work per week, and attend between 2 and 5 meetings per year, each of one day in duration. 
  • Strategic thinking skills.
  • An awareness of the current political and funding environment, the events that have led us to this point, and the ability to lead with a vision for a positive long-term outcome for the sector.
  • The role is voluntary although expenses will be reimbursed.

Please send expressions of interest outlining skills/abilities against this list to the Chair – Josie Ogden Schroeder:  josie@ymcachch.org.nz  no later than November 15th. 

In the short-term the ONZ Board have co-opted Arthur Sutherland and Chris Knol onto the ONZ Board in order to operate constitutionally.

It should be noted also that ONZ is solvent, the ongoing financial fiduciary responsibility/risk is minimal to non-existent because NZRA will be providing the programmes and services during this 'interim' period and ONZ has no employees and very few costs.  There are no long-term liabilities and minimal outstanding debts.  The role is about leadership and sector shaping for the future. 

ONZ is now at a point in it's history which is probably unique and also representative of an unusual opportunity.

The short summary is that there is a need to offer maximum value to our sector, to ensure ongoing, long-term advocacy and support of our sector, and to do all of this with very little resource.  The ONZ Board and an advisory group of sector members have agreed with Sport NZ and NZRA to work with them to explore what the best model for sector support and advocacy could and should be.  In the meantime – over the next year – NZRA are going to provide services to the outdoor sector, and SNZ will pay for this.

In order to ensure that NZRA have the right information, support and mandate to do this well for the next year, we have agreed that the ONZ Board – on the sectors behalf – will actively recruit people who are able to provide wisdom and guidance on issues facing the outdoor sector, which, by their own admission, is not currently an area of expertise for NZRA staff or Board.

The ONZ Board explained this to the recent Forum – we are now reminding all our members and wider stakeholders that we are seeking expressions of interest from our sector for the following positions:

  1. NZRA Board Member – someone with Outdoor sector knowledge/experience/expertise as well as governance skills.
  2. NZRA Outdoor Recreation Sub-Committee to the Board (x3) – people with sector knowledge/experience/expertise who together represent a good cross-section of opinion and understanding from commercial operators to voluntary to education.  Ideally there would also be a broad understanding of past and existing advocacy 'hot topics' – such as safety, access, education, environmental, qualifications, value proposition etc. 

We are looking for people who  believe in the vision and values of ONZ and are keen to be involved in shaping the future of outdoor sector advocacy, support and funding.  This requires at least an understanding of the current political environment and the work that ONZ has done historically.

These roles will all play a critical part in ensuring the following successes within the next 12 months:

  • NZRA will be strengthened and better able to meet the needs of our sector, or a new organisation will be created which meets the needs of the entire recreation sector.
  • Sector support, services and advocacy will be more effective and efficient – delivering more value to 'people on the ground.' 
  • The sector will maintain a 'voice' with Government and other decision makers which will guide better legislative or regulatory decision making.
  • In the event of outdoor accidents/incidents the sector will be represented positively in the media, limiting collateral damage to operators.

[ Thanks to the following sites for the ongoing support of this website: InsuranceDirect247 ]

Now is the time for the sector to demonstrate whether or not they want to actively influence the future.

Please send expressions of interest for any of the NZRA positions to The Chair – Josie Ogden Schroeder, at josie@ymcachch.org.nz  no later than November 15th. 

Attached are role descriptions for the NZRA Board and Sub-committee roles FYI.

Kind regards,


The ONZ Board