Installing Turks at Cape Adare for Antarctica NZ and Antarctic Heritage Trust. Borchgrevink’s Hut at the left. Three Turks were installed in 8 hours with the help of the Chinese.
Further to my last newsletter…if you want to read the Resource Consent you can find it here Mahu Whenua Turk Resource Consent

Founding meeting of the Mountain Turk Club

Wednesday 12 February 6:45 pm
Queenstown Events Centre, Mezzanine Room
Mountain Turk Founding Meeting Poster

To keep the meeting focused I have come up with this basic agenda

  7:00  pm  What is a Turk, history of Turks and experiences to date
  7:20  The Mahu Whenua Traverse
  7:30  The Mountain Turk Club – discussion about club values and function
  7:55  Acceptance of constitution (requires 16 or more signatures)
Appointment of committee
  8:00  Explanation of how to build a Turk
  8:15  Getting organised to build the Turks
  8:50  Meeting wraps up. We need to be out of the Events Centre by 9pm

Mount Turk Club constitution

A club (under the Incorporated Society Act 1908) is required to own and operate the Turks. Consideration has been given to other legal structures such as a trust but it clear that a club/society provides the best structure for future management of the Turks.

To establish the club we need a constitution.  You can read the proposed constitution here Mountain Turk Club Constitution. A huge thank you to Laura McPhail and Robert Huse at Anderson Lloyd for preparing this document.

It is important to realise the purpose of the club is greater than the initial six Turks on the Mahu Whenua Covenant land. Turks open the opportunity for low-cost, publicly-owned structures to be placed in the mountain environment and it is inevitable that there will be more in the future in other parts of New Zealand. The constitution aims to facilitate this goal by having provision for electronic voting so out of region people can easily participate.

The constitution also aims to be quite “lean” with a minimum committee size of 4. The idea being that people don’t enjoy committee meetings! The draft constitution is quite standard with the exception of section 4:

4.    Establishment Phase

  1. Notwithstanding any other rule, during the Establishment Phase the Chairperson has the power to do the following without obtaining approval from the Committee, or from Members:
    • negotiate who may be a Life Member and the rights, benefits, and/or obligations for those Life Members;
    • negotiate with land owners/manager for positioning of Turks;
    • install Turks in locations determined by the Chairperson;
    • allow the Society to incur capital expenditure for the building and installation of the Mahu Whenua Turks; and
    • allow the Society to incur capital expenditure for any matters required to bring the Crown Basin Turk up to an approved engineering standard.

Assuming that I am elected as the Chairperson at the founding meeting this section gives me greater powers to “get the job done” and get the Turks of the Mahu Whenua Traverse (and Crown Basin re-engineered) completed without the need to have repeated meetings to seek approval. The building and resource consents for the Mahu Whenua Turks tightly define what needs to done so it is a matter of completing it in a timely manner and within budget (I will present a budget at the founding meeting).

My dictatorial powers disappear once the six Turks on the Mahu Whenua Covenant are completed (my hope/plan is to get this done by winter), after that I become a standard member.

Another important section/concept in the constitution is the Operating Manual which is the tool used to manage the club and its assets. It will be approved at each AGM so is a reflection of the will of the members. Look at section 12 for more details.

Crown Basin Turk

Some Questions and Answers

Does purchasing/contributing to a Turk mean the benefits described are for any Turk or just one?
Once you are a member of the Mountain Turk Club you can use any of the club’s Turks including any built after you have joined.

Where is the project up to now?
There are currently two Turks in the project (I can’t say club because it is not formed yet), one in the Crown Basin and the other in the drive at my house. The last year has been spent obtaining building and resource consent – this process was completed at the end of 2019. Prior to this approval I didn’t want to form the club and collect money since there was a risk I would need to return it.

What are the plans for the Crown Basin Turk?
The Crown Basin Turk was the first one built and has been a great success, however it lacks insulation, is single glazed and does not meet the engineering requirements approved by the council. The plan is to either sell and replace with the new design or refurbish the existing turk.

Where are things at financially?
If we consider consents as part of the assets of the club then the total assets are $30,000 (2 Turks and consents). Of this total, $20,000 has been paid by me (or I should say my family). If we include the value of pro-bono work done then the asset value would be around $100,000. I’ve also had verbal commitments from various people keen on contributing however that money isn’t in the bank since the club hasn’t been formed yet.

How do I join?
You can “pre-join” by depositing $300 into account: ASB 12-3405-0092402-03
Email me the following: Your name/phone number, whether you want to be anonymous and what part of a Turk you want to pay for from
Alternately (or both) you can help build and install Turks.

What is a founding member?
If you are like me and really believe in this project then pay for a whole Turk ($10,000). I kind of had no choice because to get this crazy idea off the ground I needed to prove it would work! (Little did I realise that in less than a year after building the first one I would have a trip to the Antarctic.) Founding members do not need to pay to use Turks and can take friends and family FOC.

Is there something between a standard and founding member?
How about a family membership for the cost of a water tank ($2700). This would give you life membership for you and your kids without the need to pay use fees.

Are you sure about all of this membership stuff?
I’m not 100% certain, which is why I need a good establishment meeting next week so I can get some feedback on my initial concepts.

What can I do to help?
There are lots of tasks that someone else would be better suited to than me (time spent doing these would also contribute to membership), such as:

  • taking meeting minutes (a committee secretary would do this)
  • managing communication, mailing lists and social media (possibly another committee member)
  • managing memberships

If you have more questions please send them to me.

Erik Bradshaw
4th February 2020
027 241 8571


  • Michele Laing

    Hi Erik, good to see your progress, just one question – is the $300 membership an annual cost or one off? kind regards Michele

    • It is a one-off cost. The idea being that the use of the huts pays for the maintenance and upkeep. The $300 membership goes into a capital fund for building the Turks. The structure works because of the low Turk cost and community labor.

  • Ron McLeod

    Hi Eric,
    Am coming up from Invercargill for the meeting on Wednesday night. Is there anyone else going up from Invercargill that needs a free ride. Robin is not available.

    Cheers Ron

    • Hi Ron

      Good stuff. I don’t know of anybody else planning to come up from Invercargill – be great if there is. Could ask some of the NZAC people.

      See you on Wednesday. I’ll be there from 6:30.


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