Backcountry Hut Research

Are you a fan of New Zealand's vast backcountry hut network? As part of an ongoing University of Waikato research project, I would love to hear about your experiences. Attached is a link to an 5-minute, completely anonymous survey which contains questions about your opinions and observations while using these huts. The aim of this is to identify areas in which improvements can be made, and develop potential solutions. If you have time time, filling out the survey would be a huge help to this research.
interesting survey
I was concerned that this is a survey to enable Treasury to justify removing huts on the basis of some of them being unsafe. However it's a survey on fire safety in the DoC huts. Hawdon Hut was burnt down when some idiot disposed of ashes under the hut. Because of this, DoC sometimes supplies outside ash disposal drums outside popular huts e.g. Poulter, new Hawdon and new Casey Huts. Casey Hut was burnt down when some idiot left blocks of wood adjacent to the wood stove and then left the hut at some stage whether before the hut caught fire or after who would know? DoC now have added a thick metal guard to the sides of the wood stove to reduce heat to the sides. I suppose they've also removed the platform where lazy sods left large blocks of unattended wood too close to the wood stove.
Thanks for the support, I have now closed the survey to begin the analysis of all collected data. The comment regarding using results as justification for removing huts is a valid concern and one that im vary aware of and activitly avoiding. My intention is to keep the huts standing rather than have them removed. My focus on fire was done after research and discussions with DOC directly, as the only solution currently implemented by them is the ash bucket, and sometimes a steel drum as mentioned. Given the risk and lack of current solutions, fire became one of the main focuses hence the questions regarding user behaviour. My other focuses inculding damage reporting, to ensure all damaged huts are reported and fixed ASAP, and creating a process for getting more vollenetters and organisations outside of DOC to help maintain the huts. I appreciate everyones feedback, and if there are any other questions or comments on this subject, feel free to comment them here.
Good on you, Taylor. With the NACT govt, there'll be a major sea-change enacted. The only way we can save our huts and bivs is to buy them off DoC and have them managed by volunteers - as is done in the USA e.g. Appalachian Trail etc.
Not sure. My guess is they will just forget about doc altogether or more likely defund doc to the point that no action will happen to the huts etc. There wont even be money to arrange a sale and even if there was what volunteer group has the money to buy them at a price that is profitable to the govt?
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Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by Taylor
On 24 August 2023
Replies 5
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