Press Release # 5 - December 13, 1998
Some concern recently has been expressed by the amateur community about our permit restrictions on Campbell Island. The New Zealand Department of conservation has granted a permit to the Kermadec DX Association which restricts us to "daytime" visits only, of around 18 hours. After two years of negotiations, which are still continuing, the NZ DoC will not move from their position. Even as late as 31 October 1998, during our last meeting with the DoC we were still trying to get 24 hours and flexibility with the OFF/ON time on the island.
There is a provision in the permit that allows us to remain on the island if the weather is deemed too rough, for safety reasons, to return to the ship. The decision to go or stay will be made on a daily basis by the DoC officer with the team.
Their NZ Department of Conservation's contention is that overnight "tourism" will impact on the island's environment. The permit does allow operation for about 2 hours after sunset and before sunrise during the best low-band propagation enhancement periods. The LF propagation window enables low band contacts to all parts of the globe that have a common "darkness" window during January.
The twilight hours at Campbell Island's very low southern latitude are very long and should allow (the potential for) 70 hours operation on the low bands during the DXpediton. On a day to day basis, ZL9CI will have at least six stations on the air from 1600 UTC until 10.30 UTC. There may be some minor variances to these times but they will be documented on a daily basis in writing.
The bottom line is that the Kermadec DX Association had two choices.
1)To abandon plans for ZL9CI in the foreseeable future OR
2)To proceed with our plans to activate Campbell Island and live with the restrictions which will affect some of time we are able to devote to the lower bands. In the interests of Amateur radio there was one only clear choice. We had to do it! We are caught between a rock and a hard place! As New Zealanders we understand the DoC's protective attitude. We ask the Amateur community to accept the NZ DoC's position as we have. At the present time we have a cordial, but "business like" relationship with the DoC and we do not want to put that relationship at risk.
As fanatical DXers, the team can only lament the loss of a few opportunities, but we think that by staying longer (2 weeks and 3 weekends) we will more than satisfy the need for a QSO with Campbell Island. Amateurs will be able to work us on all bands, and all modes, and indeed during the prime times on the lower frequencies.
Perhaps this will set the record straight on our DoC permit.
Ken Holdom ZL2HU, Dxpedition Leader
Lee Jennings ZL2AL, Logistics and planning
More updates soon!
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Last updated 13 December 1998