NOLS New Zealand to plant permanent roots

New home lies in Aniseed Valley

Students on NOLS New Zealand courses experience the backcountry while learning outdoor and leadership skills. Fredrik Norrsell/NOLS photo
Students on NOLS New Zealand courses experience the backcountry while learning outdoor and leadership skills. Fredrik Norrsell/NOLS photo
  • Students on NOLS New Zealand courses experience the backcountry while learning outdoor and leadership skills. Fredrik Norrsell/NOLS photo
    Students on NOLS New Zealand courses experience the backcountry while learning outdoor and leadership skills. Fredrik Norrsell/NOLS photo
    Students on NOLS New Zealand courses experience the backcountry while learning outdoor and leadership skills. Fredrik Norrsell/NOLS photo
    Students on NOLS New Zealand courses experience the backcountry while learning outdoor and leadership skills. Fredrik Norrsell/NOLS photo
The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) will be breaking ground on newly acquired land in Aniseed Valley, New Zealand.

The Overseas Investment Office recently announced that the international school’s proposal to purchase 40 acres and construct a permanent facility was approved. The campus will consist of the original sheds and house of the lifestyle block, as well as an educational facility, working space, and plenty of open space for camping.

“This investment is a sign of our excitement of our course offerings in New Zealand and our long-term commitment to the country,” said Mark Jordan, New Zealand program director.

David Summers, NOLS Australasia director, noted the additional investments the facility will enable NOLS to make in the area.

“It will allow us to start investing more in local resources, in local students, and in the local community,” Summers said. A permanent facility in New Zealand will ensure NOLS’ ability to continue to offer its unique and comprehensive outdoor skills and leadership education in the country.

The facility will be near the town of Nelson, a great fit for a NOLS base. The community’s primary resources are outdoor tourism and agriculture, and “we fit really well with that,” Summers said. He expects the valley residents will be excited and proud of the facility.

Having a permanent facility in New Zealand will open up a number of partnership opportunities for NOLS, including collaboration with local poly-techs, tourism operators and regional Iwi.

“There are a lot of opportunities to partner with different organizations,” Summers noted.

NOLS was first established in New Zealand in 2003, ran a successful tester 14-day backpacking course that year and started running 75-day leadership semesters in 2004, incorporating backpacking, sea-kayaking, mountaineering, canoeing and sailing, as well as a two-day Maori cultural section. The NOLS program and curriculum is unlike anything currently offered in New Zealand.

Founded in 1965 by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, NOLS is the leader in wilderness education, providing awe-inspiring, transformative experiences to more than 15,000 students each year. These students, ages 14 to 70, learn in the wildest and most remote classrooms worldwide—from the Amazon rain forest, to rugged peaks in the Himalaya, to Alaskan glaciers and Arctic tundra. Graduates are active leaders with lifelong environmental ethics and outdoor skills. NOLS also offers customized courses through NOLS Professional Training, and the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS is the leading teacher of wilderness medicine worldwide. For more information, call the NOLS USA Headquarters at +1 (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit www.nols.edu.
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