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History of rogaining in New Zealand by Ken Dowling
Ken Dowling organized the first 24 hour rogaine in New Zealand in 1994 and, with Michael Wood, has represented New Zealand interests on the International Rogaining Federation.
The first rogaines in New Zealand were organized by Michael Wood and Jim Maxwell of the Hutt Valley Orienteering Club in the Wellington region of the North Island. Initial events from 1991 were only 4 hours but these increased to a 12 hour rogaine in 1995; and in 1996, Hawkes Bay orienteering club organized a 12 hour rogaine.
Prior to the first rogaine in New Zealand, there was already a long tradition of extended cross country navigation events adopted from the Melbourne University Mountaineering Club 24 hour walk from 1967 onwards. These included the 24-hour walks (twalk) of the Canterbury and Southland districts and the UK style mountain marathon events since 1980. The first 6 hour rogaine in South Island was organized by Graham Frith in 1992.
In 1994, the Dunedin Orienteering Club organized New Zealand's first 24 hour rogaine near Wanaka in Otago. This rogaine incorporated 12 and 6 hour events and attracted 142 participants including some from Australia. The 2nd NZ Championships were held at Craigieburn in Canterbury.
There is considerable potential for rogaining in New Zealand especially given its outstanding scenery and suitable rogaining areas combined with a strong culture of outdoor activity such as hiking and the widespread interest in rogaining. This was recognized by the awarding of the 4th World Rogaining Championships in 2000 to the Peninsula and Plains Orienteering Club of Christchurch.
Copyright 2001 International Rogaining Federation Inc. All rights reserved.
Editors note as originally published IRF web site Sept 6 200