Top beaches now online on the Walking Access Mapping System
New Zealand Walking Access Commission
6 December 2012
Top New Zealand beaches now online on the Walking Access Mapping System
Beach lovers can now easily locate beaches across the country with resident surf life saving clubs, thanks to Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s decision to display beach and club locations on the Walking Access Mapping System (www.wams.org.nz).
The free national mapping system, developed by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission, allows users to find publicly accessible land in the outdoors by overlaying access information on nationwide topographical and aerial maps.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand is the latest organisation to make its outdoor information available on the mapping system. The national association has marked the locations of all beaches with a surf life saving club on-site, with hyperlinks back to its own ‘Find a Beach’ website for people who want to see more information, including photos and tidal, weather, fishing and surfing conditions at any given beach.
New Zealand Walking Access Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said the beach information provided by Surf Life Saving New Zealand would help increase awareness of some of the best coastal outdoor access opportunities in the country.
“Readily available information about the locations of our top beaches and what they have to offer will improve understanding of recreational opportunities available to people and offers potential economic benefits as a result of tourism.”
He welcomed the participation of Surf Life Saving New Zealand and its willingness to collaborate and share information. He said that sharing of information benefits everyone by adding value to the information held by both agencies.
The introduction of Surf Lifesaving New Zealand information on the mapping system coincides with Surf Life Saving’s National Appeal, underway from 2-8 December.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Chief Executive Paul Dalton said: “The Walking Access Mapping System is a great initiative that we are excited to be a part of – it is an excellent tool for the public to use and every opportunity for people to find a safe beach to swim at has the potential to save lives. Here we have a ‘win/win’ outcome for ourselves and the public from the collaborative approach being offered by the Commission”.
New functionality allowing other organisations to upload their own outdoor-access related information to the mapping system was introduced in October. Other organisations that are harnessing the mapping system to display outdoor-related information to the public include the Department of Conservation, Fish & Game New Zealand, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Manawatu Thursday Trampers.