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Outdoor recreation discussion document launched

2 July 2008

Outdoor recreation discussion document launched

Sport and Recreation Minister Clayton Cosgrove has released a discussion document on outdoor recreation aimed at revitalising the sector. It is part of a review of outdoor recreation in New Zealand.

The discussion document outlines nine initial findings from the review as well as some challenges and opportunities for the outdoor recreation sector, and invites the public to make submissions by 29 August, so a national Outdoor Recreation Strategy can be in place by early 2009.

The initial findings confirm that outdoor recreation continues to provide a range of benefits to New Zealanders as well as contribute to the social and economic development of the nation, but there should be greater coordination across the sector.

It also highlights that more research into participation rates, club membership, volunteers and the environment is required to provide the outdoor recreation sector with clarity so they can strategically plan and invest.

Mr Cosgrove says the outdoor recreation sector is an integral part of New Zealand, but requires a coherent strategy to ensure it doesn’t become fragmented.

“Getting into New Zealand’s great outdoors is something many kiwis have grown up with and we want this to continue. While the review confirms that outdoor recreation offers significant benefits across numerous areas such as health, social development, conservation and national identity, it also highlights areas which need to be worked on and this is why we are putting a strategy in place.

“I applaud the outdoor recreation sector for recognising the need to change. With three quarters of New Zealanders expressing an interest in being more involved in outdoor recreation, there is huge potential for the sector and it will help contribute to a healthier community,”

The review is being coordinated by the government agency Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) and guided by a working group made up of representatives from a wide range of outdoor recreation disciplines.

These include the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand, Federated Mountain Clubs, Fish and Game New Zealand, Mountain Safety Council, New Zealand Recreation Association, Outdoors New Zealand and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand.

Feedback on the discussion document will be used to complete the review and develop a strategy for the outdoor recreation sector. The discussion paper is available to be downloaded at www.sparc.org.nz or can be obtained by emailing outdoorrec@sparc.org.nz

ENDS

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