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Unwin Lodge – History

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Read article: Unwin 1941-1982

History Timeline


  • August
    BWOF completed, new expiry 9 Sept 2020
  • June
    Turbofan E27M3 oven installed
    Smoke detectors cleaned throughout by Southgate Fire and Safety
  • March
    – Rinnai water heaters not working. Disconnected and reconnected and working fine since filters changed.
    – New curtains purchased for the Managers’ House lounge
  • February
    – Nilfisk VP 300 vacuum cleaner purchased
    – Falcon protected installed on power sub-station onsite
    – Water purification filters changed
  • January
    – Changeover of LPG compliance provider to MFI Compliance Ltd. New cert valid to 31/1/2020.


  • December
    – Kitchen extractor serviced (biennial)
  • October
    – Simon Middlemas passed and now holds a certificate for LPG gas handling as required for sites holding an annual LPG Hazardous Substances Certificate now
    – Another load of firewood delivered and more cattle-stop excavation carried out
    – Further rabbit fencing installed
    – Southgate Fire and Safety installed more emergency lights and repaired an emergency door fault
  • July
    – Annual Building WOF completed
    – Kitchen access modified to allow for more room around centre island
  • June
    – A load of firewood delivered
    – Gravel extracted to help clear the cattle-stop
  • May
    – Extra service of septic tanks required due to high scum levels
  • January
    – Test and Tag requirements completed with Alistair Emslie of Jim’s Test and Tag Omarama


  • December
    – LPG Location Certificate passed
  • August
    – ECan monitoring site visit to check compliance of the wastewater system, passed as compliant
  • July
    – Roof snow protection added
    – Rabbit bait stations put in place
  • March – new stainless steel twin burner gas hob with flame failure installed


  • November – donated images by Colin Monteath framed and hung in Library corner
  • November – insect screens added to bathroom windows
  • July – Heartstart FRx Defibrillator purchased
  • June – Point to point alarm installed for lodge alarm to be heard in Manager’s house
  • May – Landscape plan purchased with Meridian grant and work to be done with other grant funds spring/summer – two bayonet fittings installed for new gas burners in the kitchen
  • April – firewood supplied


  • July – new Delonghi DES16EW dehumidifier purchased
  • June – 2x double mattress protectors purchased for trial. Ongoing mattress replacements approved at May CCM, but funding yet to be sourced.
  • May – ‘Supplementary Water Tank’ for fire usage. The project begun with Meridian Waitaki Community Fund support. See blog for updates.
  • Apl – Tonner Plumbing service check on gas system and septic tanks completed.
  • Feb – BBQ: 4 burner s/steel, powder coated purchased -firewood organised by South Canty Section
  • Jan – two fire blankets purchased during fire extinguisher service by Wormalds – working bee – partial painting of eaves done (more to do), spraying weeds, windows cleaned on the main lodge building inside and out, garden weeded, watered and sprayed.


  • December – new vacuum cleaner hose fitted and switch installed. Nelson fly zapper moved to lounge by windows away from the kitchen. The external door adjacent to the Female WC faulty catch repaired by Henderson Building and Morse Glass and Aluminium. Some new pots and a doormat purchased.
  • November – new curtains purchased for Thomson bunkroom
  • October – All replacement windows installed and remedial painting completed thanks to Henderson Building and the painters.
  • Southgate Fire and Safety fire system check done
  • Wi-Fi router replaced that had been blown by lightning strike.
  • new agitator purchased and installed for washing machine.
  • South Canty Section delivered firewood.
  • Tonner Plumbing: Manager’s residence new toilet ballcock, Lodge kitchen taps reseated and new washers, drain tap outside replaced, gas regulator cleaned out, readjusted and reinstalled. Tonner now signed up to complete an annual septic tank check and provide a report annually in October.
  • Grounds: more rabbit stations positioned, weeds sprayed
  • September – Lodge septic tanks emptied April – Manager’s residence septic tank serviced drilling holes for plants drilling holes for plants


  • Landscaping work carried out with volunteer workers and 1500 plants purchased from the DOC nurseries at Motukarara and Mt Cook. Rabbit fencing installed. All made possible thanks to Meridian Energy grants and volunteer assistance.


  • Priority work planned for the 2012-2013 financial year: fire alarm extension, fridge replacement, purchase of table, chairs and ladder, corridor carpet laid, room signage, painting of the drying room, deck repair/re-paint, landscaping, outside bunkroom refurbishment, under eaves painting and the creation of an owner’s use manual
  • Memorial plaque from the recently demolished De la Beche Hut hung at Unwin Lodge.
  • Donated, framed, black and white photo of the view of Mt Cook from the hermitage (circa early 1900’s) sent to Unwin (part of the Peter Graham collection)


  • 16 October Official reopening with speeches, then a morning tea followed by a tour. A dinner is held at the Old Mountaineers’ Cafe and Bar the previous night for all those involved in the project. Chas Tanner and Katrina McKenzie established as the new Hut Managers.
  • March 26 Start of redevelopment. Carries through to end September 2011. New lodge septic tank system installed. Two x 10,000 litre tanks and 1x 5000 litre tank.


  • Fundraising for Unwin Lodge Redevelopment Project. Manager’s Lodge septic tank cleaning carried out.


  • Windows and exterior cladding replaced on main lodge living room.


  • Roof replacement on main lodge living room and wardens quarters.


  • Recladding of wardens quarters completed.


  • New couches and coffee tables for the main room.


  • Curtains hung in the main room.


  • New carpet laid in the main room.


  • Hut renamed Unwin Lodge.


  • New switchboard and storage water tank installed.


  • Repainting of bunkrooms and toilets undertaken.

1995 Removal of old army hut. 1994 Flooding at Unwin Hut. 1991 Improvements completed at a cost of $64,656.98: new family units, new carpeted area in main room, laundry and front entry way, covered area at rear, open fire replaced with log burner. 1990 West wall reclad in handiplank and window in bunkroom C replaced with aluminium frame.1989 1980 Major storm damages roof and warden’s quarters. 1979 Unwin 60-70s (reversed slide) 1978 1977 1976 First wardens quarters constructed. 1969 Fencing of Unwin Hut and cattle stop installed with stone gate. National Park boundary extended. 1967 Family bunkroom units added. 1966 Hut painted (previously it was oiled wood). The official opening of the new hut on Club’s 75th Anniversary. Cost £6,237. 1965 Plans for improvements stated in the annual report. Gilbert and Jose Seymour of Ferintosh Station donate 153 larch trees. 1962 A proposal at Club Committee to build new Unwin Hut at Foliage Hill (end of Hooker Valley Road, Mt Cook), but not approved at AGM. Committee asked to hold a referendum of members to ascertain the measure of support for the recommendation. £7,000 estimated cost with £2,000 having been raised to this point. Referendum asked for either (1) donations to the new hut on a new site, or (2) for loans at 3% towards the new hut on the new site, or (3) in favour of improvements to the existing hut at its present site to the value of £2,000. 1960 New plans for enlargement debated at AGM. 1956 NZAC AGM endorses enlargement of Unwin Hut. 1955 Mount Cook National Park Board established. 1951 The official opening of Unwin Hut.1950. Hut completed and open to use. Cost £1,241. 1949 Army hut moved to the new site as temporary shelter and foundations of new hut laid. 1945 Headquarters memorial hut committee set up, old army hut sited at Birch Hill, bequest received from Dr W H Unwin (first chairman of South Canterbury Section). 1944 A loan secured from Crown Lands Department. 1941 Dan Bryant proposes a Club headquarters during a Jubilee dinner.

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