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DOC’s padlocks hinder rescue services

Simon Power
National Party Conservation Spokesman

19 April 2005

DOC’s padlocks hinder rescue services

The Conservation Department’s policy of locking up the South Island high country for public access is stopping emergency services doing their job effectively, says National’s Conservation spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting after a search and rescue team had to use bolt cutters on Sunday night to get through a padlocked gate in the Ahuriri Conservation Park after a climber was seriously injured.

“DOC is locking up this land for access, so how do they square this against the local rescue guy who said they had to cut their way into the park?

“What sort of managed access is that?

“And the rescuers said the alarm could have been raised even earlier had it not been for DOC’s access restrictions.

“There used to be easy access to this valley till DOC got involved and padlocked the gate.

“DOC is meant to be opening up the hill country for the public’s use, but this policy is achieving exactly the opposite,” Mr Power says.


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