NZAA Presidents Report for the 2012 - 2013 Season

As I sit here contemplating what my future is in the sport, my mind recalls all the activities over the last year. Some of which have been good for the sport and others for the detriment.

I will start with the good: - firstly, the 2012 NZAA council meeting which set the strategy for wood chopping for the upcoming year. The receipt and acceptance of both the men’s and women’s NZ teams to compete in Sydney. The return of the men’s team, which had been absent for the last two years, due to miss guided actions. A big thanks to Val Baker for the work in liaising and negotiating with Sydney Show committee to reinstate this series.

The members also worked through many guide lines and came up with many new and sensible rules for the safety incidents that happened.

The clubs which run trials for these teams, I thank you for your hard work. I attended the senior men’s team trials at Waitomo and was impressed. This method is still the best method for picking teams; it takes out personality, favouritism and inconsistency of the day to day performances during the wood chopping season.

One thing this year that I experienced was when I sat in the crowd and watched the Puhoi Axeman’s carnival in the grounds of the Puhoi Pub. The large and transient crowd that was there spent most of the time following the local axemen. They cheered for them in heats and finals which was awesome for me to watch, but when it came to the championship which held no locals but contained ex NZ team members and several top NZ axeman, the crowd was certainly not as animated, even though for axeman this is what all aspire to. It showed me that the public want to be entertained rather than watch what axeman think is best for them.

Now for some of the things which I felt were bad. After hard work by some council members and axeman’s clubs which was all voluntary a small number of axemen with oversized ego’s, cost NZAA and wasted the time of the NZAA council members. The cost of this represented the subscriptions of all axemen for the last two years. For a sport of only approximately 300 members I find this unacceptable behaviour. These people need to consider the sport as a whole rather than their own gratification.

The council must consider all involved in the sport and try to do the best for them rather than react to whims of a few, for we need to consider the next generation coming through as well as the people that perform today.

Again I can only reiterate that most of administration for our sport is done voluntary and we all try our best for all members, but some things will always be learnt by experience, so some tolerance must be accepted, otherwise these people will be driven away and the best for the sport will be lost forever.

For our secretary Val, I thank you personally for the effort that you have put in during my stay on the council, keeping the issues on hand and following all the rules and regulations of sport administration.

Lastly, I have seen the winds of change for the sport; I have some concerns for all axemen. All must question whether the change is good for all, or just to fill the pockets of a few and leave the next generation of axeman with nothing.

Rex Trow (President 2012-2013)