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Summit to chart future of outdoor recreation

10 July 2006

Summit to chart future of outdoor recreation

A major summit is to be held to help set the direction for recreation management on public conservation land over the next 20 years, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

"This summit is part of the Labour-led government's commitment to focus on the legal duty the Department of Conservation (DOC) has to foster recreation. It will complement the department's good work protecting New Zealand's biodiversity," Mr Carter said.

"The ways New Zealanders recreate in the outdoors are changing. Our population is aging. It is more urbanised and multi-cultural. New sports are evolving, and social issues, such as obesity, are increasingly prevalent. All of this is affecting what people do in the outdoors, and how accessible our spectacular environment is for them.

"This summit represents an opportunity to take stock of these trends and explore responses to them to ensure the outdoors remain a part of the kiwi way of life," Mr Carter said.

The summit will be sponsored by DOC and Sport and Recreation New Zealand. It will be held on the 16th and 17th of September at Te Papa, the national museum of New Zealand. Several hundred people are expected to attend representing a wide range of groups. These will include traditional users of conservation land, such as hunters and trampers, new users, such as multi-sport athletes and events participants, and people involved in outdoor education and youth programmes.

Mr Carter also believes the conference will be of considerable interest to local authorities who manage parks and reserves.

The Department of Conservation manages 12,500 kilometres of walking tracks, and a thousand huts.

ENDS

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