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New role to focus on public access and community connections

New role to focus on public access and community connections in Auckland’s north - Walking Access Commission & Auckland Council media release

The New Zealand Walking Access Commission and Auckland Council are pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Charles to a new role leading the creation of public access in the fast-growing Rodney area in North Auckland.

The Programme Manager role will work alongside iwi, the Rodney Local Board, Matakana Coast Trail Trust, Department of Conservation (DOC) and community groups to secure quality public access for walking, cycling and horse riding. These paths will connect the communities between Pūhoi and Pākiri in Auckland’s north to each other, and to current and future community destinations.

"Over the coming years, thousands of people will move into this area, and it’s important that we secure access now so these growing communities will thrive," said Ric Cullinane, Chief Executive of the Walking Access Commission.

"This is a unique opportunity to work alongside private landholders to allow current and future residents to walk or cycle to the places they work, study and play," said Mr Cullinane.

Auckland Council’s Lisa Tocker, General Manager Service Strategy and Integration, has welcomed the partnership with the government agency.

"This role reflects a new way of working in partnership with the Walking Access Commission and communities to realise local aspirations. The Pūhoi to Pākiri trails project is a key initiative for demonstrating a different model of realising local initiatives and focusing on a locally responsive and locally-led approach."

The new Programme Manager role is currently planned for three years. Mr Charles comes to the role after six years establishing and managing community and inter-government partnerships across DOC, including with the Department of Corrections. Prior to this, Chris held a project management role at the International Institute for Sustainable Development in Switzerland promoting sustainable transport options.


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