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Naturists hope to tempt new members to take a dip

Published: 5:50AM Tuesday January 08, 2013 Source: Fairfax

  • Keith and other Waikato Outdoor Society members enjoying the day. (Source: Fairfax)
    Keith and other Waikato Outdoor Society members enjoying the day. - Source: Fairfax

With hot, dry conditions expected for the rest of the summer, and a long drive to the beaches, Waikato naturists are using their upgraded salt water swimming pool to lure new members.

The naturist club, Waikato Outdoor Society, installed a solar heating system for the pool at their Matangi camping grounds and are inviting people to join them for a picnic, barbecue and swim.

"It is part of the national federation's concept of driving naturism forward," society member Richard said. "Let us expand, push the boundaries and get as many people as we can."

Naturists shed their surnames, along with their clothes, to free themselves from the connections to work and family outside their retreat.

"There is a certain amount of freedom. If you are wearing clothes you instantly identify yourself as somebody in this class or that. If you take clothes away - gone."

Facilities include the swimming pool, a clubhouse, caravan park and a nine-hole golf course.

The club has 75 full members and several associate members from all parts of the globe.

"We have got two members who live in Holland.

"They pay their subs every year; they are just not here at the moment."

They tried to recruit people before Christmas but "didn't get any bites".

Society member Keith said they had a preference for couples and families who wanted to share in the lifestyle.

"We want to get some young families through to the movement and get the lifestyle that we do known and disband some of the myths about it."

They have experienced less than credible applicants on the doorstep but Richard said they don't last long.

"We have one or two. We have our share but we suss them pretty quickly, by and large."

The club is in its 45th year and was previously located on the side of Pirongia mountain. They bought an orchard and built their Matangi hideaway 16 years ago and now have third generation naturists in their ranks.

"You get people from all walks of life, from every echelon of society and everybody is equal," Richard said.

Changing public perception of naturists won't be easy but Keith said the important thing is for club members to continue enjoying each others company.

"We are just ordinary people, doing ordinary things. There are all different types - big ones, fat ones, tall ones, skinny ones - but nobody cares."