ZL Summit access and cultural issues

Calling all ZL SOTA-ists!

I see from this recent article on stuff.co.nz:
Cultural taboos on Mt Taranaki often ignored | Stuff.co.nz that it will be necessary to take into account the customs and culture of the local Iwi (That’s the Māori social unit, not the Israeli weapons manufacturer :wink: ) The article points to the DOC website for advice, but that seems to just give general advice (like ‘be aware of the customs and culture whilst out and about’)
I know that some activators here in England, at least, have had ‘dealings’ with National Trust Wardens, I can handle that :slight_smile: but the last thing I’d want to do would be to fall foul of any locals when in ZL Land next month. (I have a few small summits I’m looking at, most seem to have access that looks OK, one in Northland I’m not sure about) Of course, access, and what would be acceptable to actually do on a summit are 2 separate things! So any general advice would be appreciated.
And no, I’m not going to deposit someone’s ashes on a summit, or have a bar-b-q, or take a trampoline up there (crazy people :slight_smile: )

Thanks in advance.



I believe you are not allowed to carry mud away :smile:



You can’t take any into the country, I do know that :slight_smile:


Zoweee! Look at that summit, it’s stunning!

Here is the image from the stuff.co.nz article, their image and copyright acknowledged.


Hi Don. I am sure that SOTA and other radio activities is not culturally insensitive from my limited experience and you should encounter no such issues when activating summits here in ZL land. If you do please let me know as I would be keen to follow this up. 2 things to remember in this instance. Take only photographs, leave only foot prints. And it is sometimes easier to ask for forgiveness than permission (in this instance). Hence I dont want to ask ahead - as I may get an unfavourable answer. This second bit of advice does not apply for requests for land access. Permission must always be sought.

I hope this helps.

Warren ZL2AJ.

Hi Don

Great that you asked the question - most non-Maori New Zealanders wouldn’t even consider this!

In general I don’t think you have to worry except for major summits like Taranaki, which have deep spiritual significance. I certainly would not stand right on the summit of that one, nor Aoraki-Mt Cook (not that that is ever likely). Just down a bit is fine and still ok for SOTA if within 25m. Unless you are made aware of cultural issues at the start of a climb than just follow common-sense rules around what you do at the top - anything to do with food or human waste are obvious. I don’t mean you shouldn’t eat your lunch near the top, just don’t start cooking, or leave scraps.

You are extremely unlikely to be challenged about any of this, more likely mocked for considering it, unfortunately.

Hope you enjoy your time here
Andrew ZL3CC

Yes, nice on a good day. As the saying goes in Taranaki: “If you can’t see the mountain, it’s raining. If you can see it, it’s going to rain.”

By the way, it is not unusual for people to underestimate this climb and get into trouble - run out of time or caught out by change of weather. Hope to get up this myself one day.

Andrew ZL3CC

Hi Warren

Thanks for that, I believe that’s the general advice regarding the NT wardens here too.

The majority of the few summits I’ve noted as ‘possibles’ are on existing tracks, or just slightly off, but the track would be within the AZ as far as I can see, so I guess those would be OK. I’ll investigate the other couple further.
Thanks for the reply :smile:


Asking for forgiveness doesn’t really work if you break the law. Or if you decide to activate a summit in an artillery range.


Substitute Darwin Award in that case for MG award.