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Rob’s big year in charge

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Rob’s big year in charge

By Rob Bathgate on 1st September 2022 News

Rob’s big year in charge


Wow, it’s a year ago today that I was handed the keys to the Wild Things kingdom. 

What a year it’s been! I took over from Mal and Sally on 1 September 2021, going from web guy to chief bossman overnight. I had to give myself one of those pep-talks you see in the movies where people point at themselves in the mirror to convince themselves they’re up for it. 

I was always up for it, of course, and the support from all corners of the Wild Things community has been amazing. 

You might remember that one of the first things I did was a big survey. I wanted to check the membership’s pulse so that I didn’t go breaking anything that doesn’t need fixing. 

I’ve said this before but thank you, thank you to everyone who responded to the survey. Your feedback gave me the confidence to prioritise something that I’ve always hoped to do but never made time for. I might not have had the balls to dive fully into the directory upgrade so soon without it. 

So I’m really excited for what’s coming next. The new improved trail directory is going to make everyone’s experience so much better. Everything will be easier to use. It’ll finally work properly on mobile too. It’ll slide onto your phones smoother than anti chafing gel in the nether zone.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of what I’m working on at the moment. Imagine being able to fly over the trail before you even tie up your laces…

Instead of a separate directory for peaks and trails, we’ll have a single directory for both. So the whole thing will be easier to search and have loads more features. You’ll even be able to see your current location on the trail. I reckon we’re on a path to cementing Wild Things membership as a total no-brainer for anyone who wants to hit the trails.

The look of Wild Things is getting a facelift too. When we launch the new directory, hopefully in November, it’ll look different to what everyone is used to. Here’s a sneak peak…

Sorry, just kidding. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for that. Change can be hard or weird or exciting—or maybe a bit of all three. Most importantly, the essence of Wild Things isn’t changing: we’re still here to inspire, equip and empower each other to get out and enjoy New Zealand’s epic trails.

Wild Things has an amazing heritage and it’s full of incredible people. A year ago I became what felt like the luckiest guy in the world and I still feel that way. Thanks for all your support. I literally couldn’t do it without you. 

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