Debrief February 2011
The monthly newsletter of Far North Search and Rescue
Team Tramp reaches peak
Topping Tutamoe. The FNSAR Team Trampers second-highest peak earlier this month
Eleven Far North Search and Rescue (FNSAR) members the summit of Tutamoe which, at 770m, defers only to
-highest peak in February, Te Raupua at 781 m.
undaunted by rain and low cloud. The ascent of Mt The first half of the walk was spent climbing up
Tutamoe was part of the 2011 Team Tramp weekend. through the pine with occasional pit-stops. Then,
crossing a style, the track disappeared into the native
before piling into cars and heading down to lushness of Kaihu Forest.
Tangowahine near Dargaville. After a spectacular drive Kaihu is of high ecological importance. It covers a
through gorges recently scarred by Cyclone Wilma- distinctive high altitude plateau rising to Mount
swollen rivers they emerged at family farm, where Tutamoe and is a dense swamp forest with emergent
beer and the other essentials of an overnight stay were rimu, northern rata, pukatea and maire.
A short drive then took the party to the head of the
DOC trail on Tangowahine Valley Road.
the trampers began the 90-minute ascent. The track
took the FNSAR group up through a pine plantation
before entering Kaihu Forest and climbing steeply to
their descent. On the lower slopes it contains
regenerating shrub land and the relics of early kauri
The track took the FNSAR trampers up a ridge
through a dense growth of tawa, towai, maire, miro and
rimu native hardwoods. By now the rain was falling
steadily through the canopy and the tree-roots exposed
by the steeply-stepped path made for slippery and
China bound. Jo Hay leaves FNSAR on a high - literally
into a big
About 50 metres below the summit the track turned
into a scramble and the team hauled themselves up Top team. And we caught Glenn (left) smiling just
over rocks and roots, finally emerging at the trig point
marking the summit.
According to Ian and the DOC track guide, the views
should have been spectacular. The group should have
been able to see Dargaville and the Kai Iwi Lakes to the
south, Maunganui Bluff to the west and all the way over
to Whangarei Heads in the east. A veritable
smorgasbord of Northland scenic splendour.
What they saw, though, was cloud. Dense, white,
rolling and moisture-laden.
Needless to say, this di
of the moment or the sense of achievement. At that
moment Far North Search and Rescue was on top of the
Or their own little part of it, anyway.
The Tutamoe track can be reached from Dargaville or These images of
Whangarei from SH14 at Tangowahine, following signs Tutamoe on a clear
to Pakotai (26 km) and Kaikohe (66 km). Stay on this day show the peak
road until you see a yellow sign indicating Tangowahine
from the start of
Valley Road, then follow this road up the valley.
the track on
You can also get there via Kaikohe from Mangakahia
Valley Road, Opouteke Road, Murrays Road then onto Tangowahine Road
Tangowahine Valley Road. (top) and the far-
The track entrance is clearly marked next to a reaching vistas the
concrete bridge near the end of the road. From the car team should have
park the track follows up the fence line to the left and, enjoyed from the
from there, orange marker posts and triangles.
Feedback LP with dementia
please... climbs fence
In early January far North Search and Rescue (FNSAR)
Far North Search and Rescue (FNSAR) training co- was called down to Whangarei to assist with a
ordinator Geran Brewer is looking for member Northland Search and Rescue (NSAR)-led operation to
feedback on two proposed LandSAR initiatives; a find an elderly dementia sufferer, June Wickman, who
new member induction process and a competency had been reported missing.
standard for probationary team members. Fortunately the 90-year old was found alive and well,
albeit by family and a day after the official search was
New member induction process called off, very close to an area searched by NSAR
members on the first night of her disappearance.
According to LandSAR, many regional SAR groups
have indicated they would like a common behaviour normally associated with dementia
induction process for an estimated 300 new
members across the country each year.
LandSAR has proposed a much more structured
process than that available to date. It believes this
will reduce significantly the level of work required
Mystery of the
of groups to get new members up to speed.
It plans to run two different processes in missing yachtie
parallel, depending on demand, with each option
catering for people with different work or family Far North Search and Rescue (FNSAR) was called out in
January to join the search for a missing 77 year-old
yachtie Malcolm Waddilove who was thought to have
The initiative is a refinement of the previously
fallen from his boat. The call-out was cancelled shortly
-style induction and afterwards and the team stood down.
incorporates feedback and concerns raised about His yacht, Boadicea, which still had a small sail up,
that approach. was found on rocks near the North Cape. She had
departed Opua, fully supplied for a long trip.
Probationary Team Member Competency
if Mr Waddilove had fallen overboard, when this might
LandSAR has undertaken a process to develop a have happened.
Probationary Team Member Competency Standard
that includes assessment of basic outdoor skills,
operational scope, progression time requirements Join the fray on
and an assessment of attitude and aptitude.
The competency standard is designed to ensure
that new volunteers can operate safely and are not
likely to compromise an operation. Kaikohe Volunteer Fire Brigade will be celebrating its
When combined with the SAR-specific units of 75th Jubilee on Saturday 5 March and is inviting all the
competency, the Probationary Team Member emergency services to share it with them.
Competency Standard would qualify a candidate to cue
become an operational team member. (FNSAR) would like to be involved in the day as we
Details of both proposed initiatives can be
obtained from Geran on 09-4041819 or children and adults ... to promote fire safety and
firstname.lastname@example.org general safety ... and celebrate the fantastic job that
member feedback by the end of February.
Group president Ian Ruddell is proposing that the
FNSAR team takes the trailer over to participate in the
event and is looking for volunteers.
Chrissy at Taps
and Christmas seems a little
to talk about the Far North Search and Rescue
(FNSAR) Christmas Party, so here goes: Saturday 12 /Sunday 13 March: Mini-SAREX
Where: Trefoil Park (14kms south of Kaikohe on
FNSAR members gathered at beautiful Tapuatahi
When: 0800 Sat - 1200 Sun.
Bring: Full gear as per overnight SAROP. Salad and
in December. vegetables, or pudding, for pot-luck dinner on
It was a baking hot Bay of Islands day - a typical Saturday night (FNSAR will provide meat). Own food
Kiwi day of sun, surf and snags - and the team hung for the rest of the weekend.
bach overlooking the gleaming white curve of the
Everyone was in high spirits, with cold beer and
a hot barbie contributing significantly to the party
atmosphere. funded by a variety of organisations. Sponsorship
plays a vital role in keeping our members fully trained
generosity of our sponsors by mentioning them here:
not just for those trying to clamber into it through ______________________________________
the surf but also for those watching from the Published by:
to produce even a single cray for the barbie,
despite some determined diving, so the proposed
A great time was had by all and massive thanks
must go to Pete and Tissi at REAL Property in
Kerikeri for letting the team use their wonderful
bach. PO Box 720, Kerikeri
email@example.com / www.fnsar.org.nz
Incidentally, Pete was particularly
complementary about the work FNSAR does, Editor: Peter Heath 09-4074695
President: Ian Ruddell 09-4077932
plea Secretary: Marilyn Buckley 09-4074299
Membership: Mark Barratt 09-4075146
Thanks, Pete Training: Geran Brewer 09-4041819
generosity is much appreciated.