Tensions laid bare in nude feud

Relaxing at the Orchard Sun Club entrance in Sutton (from left) president Keith Rutherford,...
Relaxing at the Orchard Sun Club entrance in Sutton (from left) president Keith Rutherford, property manager Graeme Haldane and vice-president Julie Haldane. PHOTOS: SHAWN MCAVINUE

The Star is investigating the state of clubs in Dunedin. This week, reporter Shawn McAvinue chats to three naturist clubs about the state of the scene.

The gloves are off for two feuding naturist clubs in Dunedin.

Orchard Sun Club vice-president Julie Haldane said the club, based in Sutton, about 7km south of Middlemarch, has 32 paying members, ranging in age between 45 and 86.

"We are growing older and there [are] no young ones coming through. We need more members."

Some members had "broken away" due to "animosity" held against the club and started the Southern Free Beaches club.

 

Southern Free Beaches advertises its club on sheds opposite the entrance to the Orchard Sun Club...
Southern Free Beaches advertises its club on sheds opposite the entrance to the Orchard Sun Club in Sutton. PHOTOS: SHAWN MCAVINUE

Southern Free Beaches had installed advertising about its club on sheds opposite the entrance to the Orchard Sun Club.

"That is the type of people we are dealing with," Mrs Haldane said.

Southern Free Beaches co-ordinator Brent Patterson, of Dunedin, said he was among the members who broke away from the Orchard Sun Club.

The Orchard Sun Club committee were ageing and had a "steadfast way of doing things, that are not particularly popular".

"They are very reluctant to change with the times."

Southern Free Beaches club was formed about a decade ago in Dunedin.

Up to 30 people — aged between late 30s and 70s — attended club events in Dunedin.

The club’s events included a annual naturist retreat in Berwick, a monthly swim at Dunedin Physio Pool and a World Naked Bike Ride.

"It’s an events-based activity — it’s not about having grounds and telling people what they can do."

Dunedin is also home to another naturist club.

Southern Free Beaches members cycle in a pack as part of the World Naked Bike Ride in Waitati in...
Southern Free Beaches members cycle in a pack as part of the World Naked Bike Ride in Waitati in March this year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED BY SOUTHERN FREE BEACHES

The Alpine Lakes president, who lives in Dunedin and asked not to be named due to privacy, said he had never belonged to a naturist club which owned its own grounds, a reason being as those clubs "tend to get a little bit niggly about silly little things".

Southern Free Beaches advertising at the entrance of Orchard Sun Club was "quite funny" but he preferred to avoid the "animosity" between the two Dunedin naturist clubs.

Naturists were generally easy-going, but every club had members who held different perspectives.

"Every club I’ve been in there’s always been a niggle somewhere along the line.

"It’s just clubs in general."

Alpine Lakes club was formed in Central Otago nearly 30 years ago.

The club moved to Dunedin about three years ago following the death of a "generous guy" who had allowed club members to camp on his land in Lowburn.

The club had 12 members — an average age of about 50 — and was event-based.

Events this year included more than 30 nude diners eating at a restaurant on Otago Peninsula.

"It was very successful."

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