It’s official: our new Climbing Facility is open!

Excitement filled our Tongariro Centre on Friday 16 February, as Dave Bamford, Trustee of the NZAC Tūpiki Trust, cut the ribbon to open our new Climbing Facility.

Thanks to the incredible support from the Tūpiki Trust, we have a new technical climbing wall and classroom spaces. This state-of-the-art facility elevates what we can offer as a Category 1 Tertiary Provider and expands our outdoor and adventure education programmes for schools. 

We are thrilled to have this world-class facility to honour Nank’s legacy. John “Nank” Nankervis was an inspirational mountaineer, tramper, explorer and skier, who climbed peaks worldwide. Nank became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to mountaineering and conservation, and sadly passed away in 2022. He dedicated his estate to creating the Tūpiki Trust with the purpose of fostering and supporting New Zealand climbing and conservation. The Tūpiki Trust granted over a quarter of a million dollars towards this project.

Nank believed that “youth are the future for a healthy Aotearoa”, and what better way to celebrate this than to have our next generation of climbers leading the way. Our Diploma students took charge, offering instruction, encouragement and belaying expertise to all our climbers on the day. We are so proud of Evelyn for undertaking the first official climb, and even navigating the tricky overhang! 

Our new climbing wall and classrooms provide a safe and controlled environment for students to build confidence, connections and leadership whilst learning new skills.

The wall offers an alternative climbing option in extreme weather and enables students to build competence before facing more challenging climbs. It also provides opportunities for school groups to build deeper connections by fostering trust and teamwork through climbing activities.

Rangatahi can study the theory behind new climbing skills in the classrooms before putting those skills into practice on the climbing wall.

It’s corny and true; teamwork makes the dream work! This project would not have been possible without the support of our amazing community. We acknowledge Trillian Trust who generously funded the new carpet in the classrooms, ensuring these spaces are comfortable and healthy for our students.

Our thanks also extend to Te Ngaehe Wanikau, tumaki for Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro for blessing the wall; our Trustees, Dave Tommas and Martin Hunter for joining us to celebrate; Apex Climbing, who built the wall; and our Hillary Outdoors team and Tertiary Crew who will continue to facilitate life-changing experiences for rangatahi from across Aotearoa.