CSC Bunkum #1 2022 - Welcome to a New Year!

9 March 2022

Welcome to the first Christie Bunkum for 2022 - I hope it finds you well and enjoying a late summer, it's been spectacular where I am.

The Christie Committee met recently for its pre-season planning meeting.  We have 2 new general committee members, Vivian Oskam and Tony Hancock - welcome!  We also farewell retiring committee member, Ella Buckley.  Thankfully Ella will still be helping out with our Mid-Winter Christmas and Juniors Weekend events, so all is not lost!  The full committee list is here – we meet once a month from February to November.

The 2022 pre-season Provisions Work Party will be held on Saturday & Sunday, March 26 & 27 (with a backup weekend of April 2 & 3).  I realise this is only 2 weekends away and apologise for the late notice.  Due to the changing nature of this work party, i.e. limited vehicular access to the mountain and the use of helicopters to ferry bulk supplies, we are limiting this to a maximum of 12 adult members. It's early this year to hopefully avoid the bad weather we experienced last year, which resulted in multiple postponements.

There will also be a pre-season Cleanup Work Party held on Saturday & Sunday, May 28 & 29.  This weekend is all about getting the lodge ready for winter - lots of cleaning with a few maintenance jobs thrown in, and juniors are welcome!  If you're interested in attending either of these work parties, or have any queries, please let me know -  Remember, attending a work party exempts you from the Work Party levy in your annual subs – a saving of $190 per Senior member.

Other dates for the year can be found on the club calendar.  While the Christiania Derby is set to run on Saturday August 13, dates for other important club events like Mid-Winter Christmas, Juniors Weekend and Mens & Ladies Few Days are still to be confirmed. 

The Committee is mindful that many members will want to know the Club's position on COVID this year as regards attending the lodge. Last year we followed public health guidelines.  Guidelines are currently changing regularly and it's impossible to predict what the environment will be in 4 or so months when the season opens.  At this time we believe it's too early to define our own rules, as they could also change.  Be assured that the club remains committed to ensuring the welfare of members whilst in the lodge so our position will take into account:

  • what protocols the government has in place at the time, and
  • what RAL is requiring regarding lifts and facilities

As per last year, a fundamental requirement will be that if you are unwell, please do not come to the lodge.  If unsure, please get COVID tested (RATs are now available).  We will also continue last year's exceptions to the cancellation policy for reasons of illness.  Please watch this space.

We also realise that access to the lodge last season for our Auckland, Northland, and to a lesser extent, Waikato members, was restricted by COVID lockdowns.  We are considering some relief options for affected members.  If you were unable to visit the lodge last year due to lockckdowns, please email me the details -  The committee will consider these on a case by case basis.

Good news for our juniors who are about to become seniors, and are in full-time tertiary education.  We are introducing a Tertiary Membership at a $0 annual sub but subject to a standard work party levy. So if you're a Tertiary member who attends a work party, there will be no annual sub to pay!  Accommodation rates will be between Senior and Junior rates.  Full details of this will be defined on the club website and in the club constitution within the next couple of weeks, but if you have any queries about this, and how it might affect your family, please let me know. (Please note, this will only be available to existing members, or new joining families with tertiary age children)

Enjoy the remains of summer, we'll see you in winter!


CSC Bunkum #2 2022 - Subs and bookings

29 May, 2022

Winter is almost upon us, we're hard at work prepping the lodge and our systems for the 2022 season, and there's lots of information to impart about subs, bookings, on-mountain events and life at the lodge.  This Bunkum deals with Subs and Booking details and timings.

Logins to the Booking System have been disabled while we prepare and update the system for the new season.  Subscription invoices are being processed and will be sent out over the next week.  If there are any changes to your membership status please let me know asap.

Remember we have introduced a Tertiary membership category this year, for Juniors who have become Seniors (i.e. are now 18+) and are in full-time tertiary education.  Tertiary members pay a $0 annual sub but are subject to the standard work party levy.  If you think this may apply to someone in your family, please let me know asap to have their membership updated.

We're looking to open the booking system on June 14 for Priority bookings and June 17 for the rest of us – these dates will be confirmed closer to the time.  We will be continuing the rules introduced in 2015 designed to encourage participation in official ski & board programs and club races, increase the number of members that can stay at the lodge over the school holidays, and improve the effectiveness of the booking system. To remind you of the rules:

1.  A brief priority booking period will be given to members who have an intention for at least one of their immediate family members to participate in a ski/board mountain program run by Mt Ruapehu (formerly RAL), or other providers.  Details of all programmes run by Mt Ruapehu can be found here.  There are the Academy Weekend programmes for skiers and boarders, the Holiday Crew school holiday programme, 2 separate competitive progammes - TR Race and Dev Squad, and various adult options for those of you who don't want the kids to get away on you.  Too late for me I'm afraid ...

The priority period also applies to:

  • members who are dedicated to representing Christie in the inter-club ski race series.  This requires that they race for Christie in Christiania Derby as well as at least two of the other three club races (see the calendar).
  • Members involved in the running of the Christie Derby

To take advantage of the priority period:

  • Email me ( as soon as possible confirming who in your family will be participating in a 20212 program or the club races you intend to compete in
  • Ensure your subscription invoice is paid promptly, well before June 14

Please note, this isn't about giving members on programs a constant booking advantage throughout the season – you only get a booking advantage for three days – then the priority booking opportunity falls away.

2. In both school holiday periods, bookings will be limited to blocks of 4 nights from the time bookings open in mid June until July 1.  After July 1 the restriction will be removed.  This will allow a greater number of families access to the lodge during these peak times. You must book for 4 nights – not more or LESS – you cannot just book for the weekend. The holiday periods are:

    July school holidays (the reference to dates below are the nights you will be staying):

  • Block 1: Friday 8 July to Monday 11 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Tuesday 12 July
  • Block 2: Tuesday 12 July to Friday 15 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Saturday 16 July
  • Block 3: Saturday 16 July to Tuesday 19 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Wednesday 20 July
  • Block 4: Wednesday 20 July to Saturday 23 July (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Sunday 24 July

    October school holidays (again, the reference is to nights):

  • Block 1: Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Tuesday 4 October
  • Block 2: Tuesday 4 October to Friday 7 October (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Saturday 8 October
  • Block 3: Saturday 8 October to Tuesday 11 October (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Wednesday 12 October
  • Block 4: Wednesday 12 October to Saturday 15 October (inclusive) - i.e. leave the lodge during the day on Sunday 16 October

Please remember, especially new members: When booking make sure that each stay of consecutive nights is made on a separate booking, i.e. has its own booking number. This saves enormous amounts of admin for our already busy Bookings Manager, Jenny Muir, if you want to change your booking at a later time.

More info coming soon ...


CSC Bunkum #3 2022 - Invoices, events, lockers

6 June, 2022

Invoicing of 2022 subs is now complete – you should have received your invoice by email.  If you haven't, please let me know asap.  The booking system is set to open next week to paid up members – June 14 for priority bookings and June 17 for everyone else.  Please make sure you're familiar with the school holiday booking restrictions laid out in Bunkum #2.

Our regular events are starting to take shape:

Mid-Winter Christmas is tentatively set for July 23 – we're still sorting a few details for this weekend so watch this space.

The 64th Christiania Derby will be held on Saturday August 13.  For newer members who may not be familiar with Derby, it's the first in a series of inter-club races held at Whakapapa each year, normally attracting 150-200 entries, and free for club members.  The highlight of the event for many is prize giving and the after-match function held at the lodge in the evening.  Please let Rachel Ward know if you're interested in participating -  This is a busy weekend at the club and a large number of bunks are pre-booked with priority racers and the crew who run the event.  If you are at the lodge for Derby, there's a lot to do, so come prepared to roll your sleeves up.  If the lodge is fully booked, Jenny Muir, our bookings officer, will investigate accommodation options at one of the nearby lodges.  Please email if you want to pursue this option.  For new families, we love kids, but because of the after-match, Derby weekend is probably better suited to teenagers than youngsters.

Following on from Derby on Monday & Tuesday, August 15 & 16, is Mens Few Days, a great way for Christie males to enjoy the lodge and mountain without bothersome interruptions from the fairer sex.  Fun and good company are guaranteed.  Coincidentally this year it's running at the start of RAL's Mens' Development Week, a "...5 day programme designed for your personal development alongside some fun social activities in the evening..." 

To balance the calendar, Ladies Few Days will run on September 19 & 20.  The Christie Ladies have really stepped up in the last couple of years and reinvigorated this event – take a couple of days off and treat yourself!

Juniors Weekend will run on September 17 & 18 – this weekend is all about improving our junior members' skiing, with ski instructors organised, and making friends in the club with games aplenty in the evening for both kids and adults. It was a big hit last year with all who attended and is bound to book out fast. 

Congratulations to our 2 new Junior Club Captains, Ester Williams and Sean Young, who will be able to assist with the fun events scheduled including Juniors Weekend and Midwinter Xmas.  They'll help create a fun atmosphere for our younger members. 

We have a long list of newer members who are patiently waiting for a locker. If you currently have access to a locker or ski rack, please ensure your subs are paid promptly to secure it for the 2022 season.  Ideally these lockers should be used by the most regular users of the lodge. If you currently have a locker but don't actually get to the lodge that often, please consider relinquishing it.

Please welcome our newest members:

  • Dave, Darcy and Neiva Boys, and Danielle Rogers, from Hamilton
  • Andrew Sandlant from Mt Maunganui
  • Richard, Maria, Elliot and Lilly Burlace from Auckland
  • Ben, Sonya and Jayden Cox from Auckland
  • Geb, Jo, Ffin and JJ Owen from Thames

We'll look forward to seeing you at the mountain.

Snow's coming - so pay your subs, check out the calendar, make some bookings and let the fun begin!


CSC Bunkum #4 2022 - we're (almost) open for bookings!

14 June, 2022

The first big storm of the winter has hit, the snow is falling, and we're off.

The Booking System opened for priority bookings today, and opens to the general membership on Friday.  Members who registered for priority booking, and have paid their subs, should have received notification that their accounts have been activated.  All other paid up members will receive notification, and be able to make bookings, on Friday.  Remember - if you haven't paid your subs, you can't make a booking!  Please let me know if you don't receive your notification, bearing in mind the previous sentence.  :-)

Don't forget about the school holiday booking restrictions outlined in Bunkum #2. These apply until July 1.

Let's go!


CSC Bunkum #5 2022 - Bookings, Cancellations, Covid, Christmas

20 July 2022

They tell me there's lots of snow ... in the South Island.  It's a late start to the season up here but what's the saying ... anticipation is 90% of pleasure!  Things can change fast and hopefully a big dump is not too far away.

Every year we give a shout out to Jenny Muir, our Booking Officer, who has for many years done a huge amount of work behind the scenes managing and overseeing lodge bookings, liaising with school and other private groups, and dealing with many daily queries.  And all on a voluntary basis - we're lucky to have her!   We can all make Jenny's life a lot easier by following correct booking guidelines, especially the following:
  • Please ensure that all required information in your bookings is entered correctly – the names of all staying, the ages of juniors etc, and especially your time of arrival.  Incomplete or incorrect information particularly affects the Custodians and Party Leader.  Take a moment to check your info is complete and correct before hitting the Save button.
  • If Jenny has contacted you about anything to do with a booking, it's important you respond promptly.  Chasing non-responders increases Jenny's workload significantly.

With the lack of snow over the school holidays we've had a number of cancellations at the lodge. Please make sure you're familiar with the cancellation rules - you cannot change, transfer or cancel a booking within 96 hours (4 days) of the booking start date.  If you find you're unable to make your booking due to unforseen circumstances, please advise Jenny via email - Jenny will advise the lodge and make your bunks available to the waitlist, if applicable.
We realise there are exceptions to every rule - if you find you're unable to make your booking within the 4 day period for a legitimate reason such as illness or bereavement, you can apply for a credit or refund.  Please state your case in an email to Jenny - this will be forwarded to the club committee for consideration.

Covid continues to be a concern for the club and we cannot stress strongly enough - for the sake of our custodians and other members, if you're unwell please do not come to the lodge.  I'll paste an except from one of last year's bunkums:
"We adhere to public health guidelines and may implement extra measures as required to run the lodge safely.  Party Leaders will be advised of any extra requirements and will communicate these to members and guests in the lodge. For now the main points are:

  • If you're feeling unwell please don't come to the lodge.
  • If you develop symptoms while you're at the lodge, please report to the Party Leader.  You will be asked to leave the lodge as soon as is practically possible.
  • Refunds – you will be eligible for a refund within the 96 hour period if you cancel your visit due to illness, or develop symptoms at the lodge and are required to leave.  If you arrive at the lodge with symptoms and are asked to leave, you will not be eligible for a refund."
One thing to ponder - if our custodians contract Covid, you may be making your own breakfast and dinner!

On a tastier note, Pedro would like to remind you that fresh herbs are always welcome at the club if your garden has some to spare.

Mid-winter Christmas is still being held this weekend if you're in the mood for some Christmas cheer.  There's lots of space at the lodge for last minute bookings - you may not get to ski, but there will be good times.


CSC Bunkum #6 2022 - Derby is GO!

12 August 2022

A quick email to say that the 2022 Christiania Derby is GO!  After some concerns about having enough suitable terrain, RAL have decided to run a 3/4 length course in the Valley.  Rachel Ward, our club captain, has been furiously working behind the scenes to make this event happen - it will be a fun-filled day of racing and a fun-filled night of celebration.  Might we see a Christie team on the podium this year???

A reminder that Mens Few Days follows on from Derby - Monday & Tuesday, August 15 & 16.  As a bonus this year, you're able to bring guests at member rates, just include them in your booking but please clearly identify them as guests.

Ladies Few Days is a little later this year - September 18-20 - you'll be assured of great spring skiing and you'll also be able to bring guests at member rates - don't miss this opportunity!


CSC Bunkum #7 2022 - a message from our Club Captain

9 September 2022

Here's a message from Rachel Ward, our Club Captain:
I had fantastic skiing in The Valley, Knoll, and Far West last week. On the groomed runs it was lots of fun. I understand there's been 20cm of new snow in the last week. I recommend getting back up the mountain sooner rather than later this season due to the snow base. There's lots of bunks available for some great Spring Skiing. 
Here's some information on upcoming events on the mountain:

This is a fantastic ski and snowboard event for our Juniors with an awesome prizegiving too.
For more information: Tongariro Juniors Race | Facebook

JUNIORS WEEKEND - 16-18 September
The weekend of 16 - 18 September will be an awesome weekend with tons of mountain activities planned for kids in and out of the Club.  There possibly could be some racing at the Ngauruhoe Club Race too.  This weekend is fully booked at this stage but, if you'd like to go on the wait list, please contact Jenny Muir on 

LADIES FEW DAYS - 18-20 September
Bring your skis, hiking boots and mountain bikes. We plan to have fun adventures regardless of the snow levels. There will be good banter, delicious food and lots of outdoors action. 

It's likely that the Club Champs may be affected by the snow levels so we're not sure of the format that they'll take at this stage. Hopefully we'll be able to have traditional ski racing but if not there may be "Horse Racing" or other options. Some of you might have been involved in horse races previously – it's lots of fun, in the lodge, and winners can still be determined.

The RANGATIRA CUP was run on September 3 - well done Matt Holcroft for getting 3rd in the Men's Open and 4th overall. Wahoo!

The Christie Derby run on August 13 and was a huge success in every way. We were fortunate with the weather, RAL provided us with a short but safe course for the conditions.  We also got our best medal haul in many years. Outstanding effort by all our Clubbies – trophies were awarded to:

Our Juniors Teams who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd!:

  • George, Bruno and  Oscar Hanaford & Zoe Jones
  • Harry Ward, Thomas & Sophie Hancock, Sean Young
  • Flora Stevens, Lachlan Jones, Ester & Hazel Williams, Gina Fisk

Our Masters Team came 1st:

  • Kirk Hanaford, Nick Plant, Bryan Clements & Rachel Ward

Our Ladies Ski Team came 3rd:

  • Georga, Kristie and Anthea Clements & Amy Williams

Our Snowboard Team came 3rd:

  • Andrea Ward, Bram Stevens, Dave Boyes & Fraser Graafhuis

Ladies Masters Winner - Rachel Ward

See theChristiania Facebook page for Derby photos and the full results are on our website.

I was so impressed with the teamwork and how everyone pitched in to make the Derby Race and Derby Party such a wonderful experience. Thanks to all involved! 

Rachel Ward
Christiania Club Captain


CSC Bunkum #8 2022 - End of Season Work Party, AGM

19 October 2022

The 2022 season draws to a close and, safe to say, it hasn't been the greatest we've seen. Another La Niña year has brought us less snow, more rain and the results have been evident in snow cover, ski days and lodge occupancy.

With no bookings for Labour Weekend, Pedro and Dallas have left the lodge and returned to Whangamata.  As always, many thanks P&D for keeping us fed, watered and always providing a convivial atmosphere in the lodge. Sorry you didn't get quite as much skiing in as hoped for - we'll cross our fingers for next year.  And members, if you find yourself in Whangamata over summer, pop into their Whangamata Pottery Studio and check out their amazing work.

Unfortunately this year's Club Races, scheduled to run on October 1, were unable to be held due to snow conditions and mountain closure - a first in my memory.

The End of Season Work Party is scheduled for Saturday & Sunday, November 19 & 20.  This is where we put the lodge to bed for summer - a big clean up with a few maintenance jobs thrown in.  While there's lots to do for younger members at the pre-season work party, the November work party is better suited to Seniors, or older juniors.  Remember this will credit your 2023 work party levy - $190 per senior member.  Those that haven’t done a work party, please volunteer - the weekend will need at least 8 - 10 people to run.  Please register your interest with me -  

The 2022 Christiania Annual General Meeting and Prizegiving will be held on Thursday November 24 at the McMeekan Centre, Ruakura Research Centre (AgResearch) in Hamilton. I’ll send a further email closer to the time containing links to the meeting Agenda, 2022 Financial Report, President’s Report and other relevant documents, and confirming the meeting venue and times.  

The AGM is where we elect the Club Committee.  We're always looking for new faces to get involved with the running and organisation of the club - it's vital that the committee has a diverse representation of the club membership to represent your interests.  We're looking for a new Club Captain for next year, someone to coordinate our engagement with the on mountain events. Our previous Captain, Rachel Ward, has been acting in this role through the year and doing a great job - thanks Rachel!  If you would like more information on what's involved in this, or any committee position, feel free to contact me or one of our current committee members.  If you’re seeking nomination, please complete the 2023 nomination form and send it to before November 10.

Don’t forget, members are also able to use the lodge through summer.  With so much to do in the Ruapehu region it’s a great accommodation option - $25 each per night for a minimum of two people.   Book in the normal way via the Booking system - use the Summer Bookings item.