Introducing President Elect - Jim Petersen

Ko Tongariro te maunga

Ko Taupō te moana

Ko Tūwharetoa te iwi

Ko Te Heuheu te tangata

Tongariro is the mountain

Taupō is the great inland sea

Tūwharetoa are the people

Te Heuheu is the man

Hi everyone, I'm Jim Petersen. While I am not descended from Te Heuheu, I give thanks to his people for sharing their special places with me. It was there in my teens on school outdoor education trips that I first came face-to-face with the mountain tops and what lies beyond. Seeing the sun rise while standing on the snowy summit of Mt Tongariro as a 16 year old, was a moment of wonderment and awe that captivated me. I can draw that moment from my memory and feel it just as intensely today.

I rock-climbed my way through University and multi-sported my way through my busy working twenties without getting back to that place on the mountain tops - in spirit, or in person. Twenty years later when my own children were leaving their teen years behind, I felt the pull of the mountains once more. I joined the Alpine Club to draw on the expertise and support of volunteers to help me. Their openness and generosity made my return to the mountains as natural an experience as the mountains themselves. 

Those people remain my friends today. These like all the best friendships are fed by the work we do together for each other. I began volunteering for the club not long after, when I moved to Christchurch. I ran the Banff Film festival screenings for a few years and began instructing and coordinating our snowcraft courses. I have chaired the Canterbury Westland Section Committee since 2017. I have been a member of the Section Council and its predecessor, the Club Committee, and have worked on the board with our four most recent presidents. 

It is my honour and privilege now to have the axe passed to me.

I look forward to spending time in your company—or at least hearing and learning from as many of you as possible, and working together on the things that help us enjoy climbing.