Project Refresh Anakiwa - A letter from Dick Hubbard - Outward Bound

Project Refresh Anakiwa - A letter from Dick Hubbard

Project Refresh


For those of us who have been fortunate enough to ‘do’ an Outward Bound course the word Anakiwa is not just a place name. The word triggers an emotional reaction and in some ways many Outward Bound Alumni would regard it as an almost spiritual term. Anakiwa is not only the place of Outward Bound - to many it is also the soul of Outward Bound.

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All the research carried out by Outward Bound over the years shows clearly the truism of this. This fact has guided successive Boards and administrations to be single minded in focussing on Anakiwa as the sole base for Outward Bound and to resist temptations or offers to set up sites in other parts of New Zealand.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I can only but laud the truly magnificent foresight of our founders who in the early 1960's chose a rundown guest house in an isolated corner of the Marlborough Sounds as the base for a fledgling Outward Bound New Zealand operation.

Equally we can praise the foresight of those who, in the 1970's and 1980's, put money and vision into a major building program that developed the site and produced the core central building, the watch houses, staff accommodation, admin blocks and a host of related support buildings and infrastructures. Generous supporters Lord Cobham, Sir Roy McKenzie, Sir Woolf Fisher, Joyce Lady Fisher, Sir David Levene, and a host of others who put “blood, sweat and tears " and a significant amount of money into the development of the site.

Over the last 20 years, since that concerted effort of the 1970's and 1980's, site development, and to a certain extent site maintenance, has plateaued at Anakiwa. If we are to take a bird’s eye view of Anakiwa today there are signs of ageing and tiredness. Our facilities have worked hard for us accommodating thousands of students day in and day out for over fifty years. In addition our courses are continually developing and becoming more sophisticated, the requirements of both students and staff are changing, our environmental awareness has increased and last, but not least, legislative requirements for health and safety require higher standards to be met.

It is therefore becoming very apparent that it is now time to repeat the foresight of the founders and those involved in the building programs of the 70's and 80's to undertake another major integrated push to bring all the facilities at Anakiwa up to best practice standards. This work will also ensure we future proof the site and facilities to take Anakiwa through to at least the 100-year anniversary (in just 45 years’ time!).

The Board and Management of Outward Bound have identified that $3,000,000 is needed to give the site at Anakiwa a thorough ‘head to tail’ refresh and to appropriately future proof the site. This sum includes a new double Watch House, upgrades of existing Watch Houses, a replacement of the old staff accommodation block, a new launch, upgrade of the other boats, an upgrade of Te Kainga, a new waka ama sea scheme, and a host of smaller but necessary support projects. Combined this comes to a total of $3,000,000.

Staff accommodation block two

Staff housing is overcrowded

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Grounds have eroded


Important facilities have become aged and worn

Such a sum is well above and beyond the resources of annual Outward Bound operational income and the resources of the Foundation.

We are therefore launching a special concerted campaign - Project Refresh Anakiwa, to raise this sum of money and oversee the project right through to completion. The project has a tight, and to a certain extent urgent, timeframe of three years. It is admittedly an ambitious stretch project but isn't that what the message of Outward Bound is all about?

We have some great news to kick start Project Refresh Anakiwa.

I am delighted to be able to tell you that Andrew and Jenny Smith have made a hugely generous donation of $1,500,000 to start the project off! In terms that those of us who have been to Outward Bound understand only too clearly, we are now already half way up the hill in front of us without even getting a sweat up!

But it is still a substantial climb ahead and the need to sweat and to climb right to the very $3,000,000 top is important if not vital. Therefore I am appealing to you directly as Chair of Project Refresh Anakiwa to come to the party to help Outward Bound in a time of exciting development but also genuine need. Together we can future proof the magic of Anakiwa for generations to come.

Will you join me and pledge your financial support of Project Refresh Anakiwa so that together we can continue to change lives through Outward Bound?

With sincere thanks for your consideration,

Dick signature

Dick Hubbard

Chair – Project Refresh Anakiwa

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