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DoC Liaison – John Gumbley


Job: DOC Liaison

John lives beside the Waikato River near Ngaruawahia, occasionally commutes by kayak the 25 km from his workplace in Hamilton to home. He has messed about in small kayaks for years but having decided that he no longer needed to spend money on children’s violins etc. he finally bought his first sea kayak only about 6 years ago. Soon after he was given Evan Pugh’s name and then joined the Bay Association of Sea Kayakers. BASK (and Evan) have been great for providing the company and opportunity to see those parts of NZ that can only be really appreciated by kayakers – Great Barrier, D’Urville Island, Coromandel and Hauraki Gulf and quite a few lakes and rivers – Taupo, Waikaremoana and a few South Island lakes too. He has really only scratched the surface and is keen to improve his skill level from that of a novice. Multi-day trips are a treat.

John worked as a geologist and over the past decade or so as an ecologist with the Department of Conservation’s Waikato Conservancy. Having drilled or conducted geophysical surveys on many Waikato lakes in the past, he can only now say though that he knows more of what’s in the lakes than under them. His main work focus is on wetland restoration (lakes, rivers, swamps and peat bogs) but he has had the absolute privilege of working in the Antarctic, Sub-Antarctic islands and a number of New Zealand’s offshore islands.

KASK's aims are to:

1. Promote and encourage the sport of sea kayaking
2. Promote safety standards
3. Develop techniques and equipment
4. Deal with issues of coastal access and protection
5. Organise sea kayak forums around the country
6. Publish the Sea Canoeist Newsletter and the KASK Handbook