FMC Executive Election 2019


This year an election is required for the position of Vice President

The poll is conducted by email.  Every club is urged to exercise its right to vote. Votes must be sent to the returning officer Danilo Hegg eo@fmc.org.nz no later than 5pm on Friday, 17 May 2019.

The following documents have been mailed to clubs and can be downloaded here:

Three candidates are running for the position of vice president. These are, in alphabetical order: Owen Cox (Parawai Tramping Club), Tania Seward (Canterbury University TC) and Neil Silverwood (NZAC). Information about each candidate follows below.

Owen Cox

Owen has been the Chair of the FMC Forest and Mountain Trust. He represent FMC on the NZ Landcare Trust. He is a member of the management committee on FMC and was on the interview panel for the Backcountry editor and other staff positions.

Owen prepared the FMC response to the draft Wellington CMS and contributed to FMC policies. He has commented on a number of concessions and other issues in the lower North Island. He has contributed to FMC positions on a range of issues such as the Government’s newly announced changes to tenure review and high country management.



Tania Seward

Over the last 12 months I’ve worked largely on governance, membership and communications projects. As a member of FMC’s Administration Committee, I’ve worked towards ensuring our paid staff are well supported and have the backing of robust employment processes. I’ve been involved in the selection process for our new financial advisor and have conducted performance reviews with our staff.

I convened FMC’s Expressions committee which has just embarked on a long-term work plan to strengthen FMC’s online presence (including social media) with the aim of raising awareness of our advocacy work and increasing our membership base.

I’ve worked closely with FMC’s Communications Officer and Backcountry editor to ensure that FMC’s outward facing presence is in line with our strategic priorities. I’ve also worked with a new team of contributors to resurrect the popular Backcountry Accidents column.

I’ve worked with our Membership group to strengthen our existing membership base. I’ve also helped develop the new Duke of Edinburgh/Hillary Award scholarship scheme which launched earlier this year.

I’m FMC’s nominated Trustee on the Maerewhenua Trust (a significant funder of FMC’s advocacy work) and have helped secure increased funding for 2019 and beyond. I’ve also worked with several members of the wider FMC whanui to select this year’s Youth Scholarship and Simon Bell Award recipients.

At a local level I’ve represented FMC at DOC’s Canterbury Recreational User Group meetings and have continued to advocate for the replacement of Casey Hut in Arthur’s Pass.


Neil Silverwood

I am a photojournalist based on the West Coast of the South Island. My work is a mixture of documenting exploration and stories about the environment. Assignments have been as varied as documenting skiing in war torn Afghanistan to capturing images of a remote scientific expedition in Antarctica searching for clues into our changing climate. In 2017 I completed Caves: Exploring New Zealand’s Subterranean Wilderness which won the best book award at Wanaka Mountain Film Festival as well as best first book at the Ockham Awards. Over the last two years I have served on the FMC Exec. The outdoors has provided me a huge amount of opportunities over the years and I see the role as a way of giving something back. Advocacy is an important part of what the FMC does and I have been deeply involved in advocacy for the FMC. This includes campaigning to preserve the Oparara Basin from development, opposing the Waitaha and Griffin Hydro Schemes and co-writing the FMC submission on the review of the Tai Poutini/Westland National Park Management Plan.

I also occasionally work for the Department of Conservation as a contractor and wrote the Western South Island Region Cave and Karst Operational Plan 2018 and through this gained a strong understanding of the legislation that is designed to manage Public Conservation Land. If successful I would like to take a lead role in advocating for recreation and conservation in New Zealand’s wild places and I would like to help lead the FMC and support the current president as the organisation continues to be a strong voice for recreation.

One key project I would like to see undertaken by the FMC if I am elected is to campaign for Sport NZ to reinstate the Sir Edmund Hillary expedition grants.

If you would like to more about my background visit www.neilsilverwood.com