E V E N T S / M O T O R B I K E T R A I L R I D E S
It is with deep regret that we advise that TUSSOCKBUSTER19 has had to be cancelled due to the tragic events in Christchurch and the current National Threat state.
As a result of the tragic events in Christchurch, all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) bases/camps in New Zealand were put on Security State BLACK. This severely restricted civilian access to all bases and camps. Over the past week, the Offlimits Trust worked closely with NZDF to put in place special arrangements to permit TUSSOCKBUSTER19 (TB19) to proceed. A call went out to members of NZDF to volunteer to provide the required level of security to enable the event to proceed.
However, late on Saturday afternoon 23 March, the commander at Waiouru (Comd TRADOC) made the decision that TB19 had to be cancelled. His message is below:
“Based on guidance provided by Defence Security, our inability to provide a credible security presence without impacting operational training and the proposed national commemorations on 29 March, it is with regret that I must cancel the Tussock Buster activity planned to be held in the Waiouru Defence Area over the period 29 - 31 Mar 19.
I am cognisant of the amount of work that has been put into the planning of this activity and the obvious disappointment for those who were intending to participate. However in light of the recent tragic events in Christchurch, the raising of the National Threat state, and the refocusing of Defence assets, I feel that this is the right decision. I trust that all involved will both understand and support this.”
The trustees of the Offlimits Trust along with all the volunteers, sponsors and supporters of the trust are deeply disappointed with the situation but accept that Comd TRADOC having received professional advice, has made the right call. Participant safety is paramount and we cannot run an event where the potential security risk to participants is such that significant security assets would need to be deployed.
TRANSFER OF TUSSOCKBUSTER19 REGISTRATION FEE TO OTHER OFFLIMITS EVENTS
Thank you to those who fully read our cancellation communications and understand the situation the Offlimits Trust is faced with when NZDF notified us that TUSSOCKBUSTER19 (TB19) was cancelled. Clearly, we cannot conduct an event if we are unable to access the land. All participants received an email notification within three hours of us being told of the cancellation.
Registration fee options
We wish to offer the following options regarding the TB19 registration you have paid:
• Apply your registration fee to TB20 and in addition, provide you with a 3ltr fuel wristband that will be redeemed at the TB20 refuel stop. The fuel wrist band would be provided to you when you arrive and sign on at TB20.
• Apply your registration fee to an alternative Offlimits event sometime between now and Feb20. This week, we will work closely with NZDF to see what additional opportunities we can provide for you. This might be in the form of guided rides in the Waiouru Military Training Area later this year. If these cannot be arranged, then we would apply it to TB20.
• Turn your TB19 registration into a charitable donation to The Offlimits Trust. If this was your choice then we would issue you a letter confirming the donation so you can obtain a tax deduction.
• Refund 80% of the registration fee you paid. This refund amount is double the amount stated in our refund policy published on the Offlimits website.
Over coming days, we will email you a fee selection form.
We apologise for cancelling TB19 and the disappointment it has caused. However, the cancellation decision was out of our hands.
WHY NZ IS STILL ON HIGH ALERT
We appreciate that the cancellation of TUSSOCKBUSTER19 (TB19) is hugely disappointing and frustrating for those who had looked forward to it since the previous year.
For many, this disappointment was publically expressed via highly critical comments on Facebook. Both the Offlimits Trust and NZDF were criticised by some for the decision to cancel.
However, TB19 is different from all other trail rides. It operates on land controlled by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and NZDF must comply with the threat assessment set by the Combined Threat Assessment Group (CTAG).
It is likely this security level will remain for some time to come.
If you are interested in better understanding who makes the decisions and why decisions around things like the cancellation of TB19 have been made, then there is a good article that has just been publically released.
People will see armed police patrolling areas, increased security at the borders, NZDF camps and bases and various government departments retaining a high security status until the threat level is lowered.
CANCELLATION. Weather or fire risk, or military requirements.