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National Office – Home of Mountaineering

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The National Office of the New Zealand Alpine Club is based in Christchurch and is called the Home of Mountaineering.

Historically, one Section was designated the Headquarters Section dependent on where the Club Headquarters Office was located.

The first Headquarters of the Club was in Christchurch. It moved to Wellington during the presidency of Arthur P. Harper, but in 1947 was moved to Dunedin where it remained until 1960. From 1960 until 1971 the Headquarters were in Christchurch. Then in 1971, it returned to Wellington with Wellington Section remaining the Headquarters Section until 1997.

Christchurch was once again to be the Club’s Headquarters from 1997, where initially it leased the top floor of the historical 1905 NZ Express Company Building situated on the corner of Manchester and Hereford Streets then known as the Manchester Courts Building. Fortuitously in 2006 the NZAC finally opened the doors to its own permanent ‘Home of Mountaineering’ building at 6 Raycroft St, Christchurch. A few years later following the 7.1 earthquake in Christchurch on 4 September 2010, its former Manchester St premises was demolished after suffering severe damage.

The new Home of Mountaineering was officially opened by Sir Edmund Hillary on Sunday, 6 August 2006: Home of Mountaineering Opening

The Club’s National Office is staffed by the General Manager – Karen Tait, National Administration Officer – Margaret McMahon, Administration Assistant – Narina Sutherland, Publications Editor – Tom Hoyle and Programme Manager – Francis Charlesworth. All these positions are full time, with the exception of Narina who works 20 hours per week.

Anyone interested in the Club or its services can visit this office located at Unit 6, 6 Raycroft St, Opawa, Christchurch, New Zealand.

In 1987 NZAC created the position of Club Administrator to deal with the increasing workload generated by the Club’s diverse activities. Late in 2001, this position was expanded to the role of Executive Officer – Peter Wakefield who was followed by Richard Wesley (2001-2006); Ollie Clifton (2006-2012); Sam Newton (2012-2016); Keith Gilby (2016) and Karen Tait (Dec 2016 – current). The role was changed to that of General Manager in 2012 with the appointment of Sam Newton. A National Administration Officer – Margaret McMahon (2001 – current) is employed to help with the large workload. The roles of Climber Editor, guidebook layout, and Alpine Journal Editor were combined to allow the employment of one full-time Publications Editor, Mark Watson (1999- 2001 and 2002-2009). His position was taken over by Kester Brown (2009 – 2017) and is currently held by Tom Hoyle (2017 – current). Chris North was hired (2007-2009) as a part-time Activities and Events Coordinator, with Heather Tate also employed (2008-2009) part-time. This position was subsequently made full-time with the task of Instruction Coordinator added and held by Pat Deavoll (2009 – 2013). The role was then dis-established and a new Programme Manager position was devised in September 2013. This new role was initially held by Sefton Priestly (2013 – 2017), then Ashlee Peeters (2017 – 2019) and is currently held by Francis Charlesworth (2019). Late in 2011, the administration role expanded with the employment of an Administration Assistant, Narina Sutherland (2011 – current).

The main responsibilities of the National Office are:

  • Routine correspondence and day to day administration, including banking, payments, and filing
  • Processing membership inquiries and renewals
  • Supplying NZAC publications to Members, the public, and commercial outlets
  • Travel Insurance sales
  • Management of the Club’s network of alpine and base huts
  • Management of the Club’s large number of publications

A  membership survey is carried out every two years. The survey of Club membership is done to keep in touch with member activity trends and opinions on Club activities and services. For enquiries on past survey results, please contact the General Manager.

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