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Mountain bikes in national parks

14 October, 2004

Mountain bikes in national parks

The New Zealand Conservation Authority decided today to advise the Minister of Conservation of its intention to allow for mountain biking in national parks, subject to conditions in national park management plans.

“The necessary reviews of national park management plans will take some time to run through,” Authority chairperson Kerry Marshall said today.

“Revisions of national park management plans will identify on which tracks, if any, mountain biking will be allowed in the future and under what conditions. A public consultation process will be followed in every case so that a wide range of perspectives can be canvassed before deciding what might be appropriate.”

Mr Marshall assured walkers and trampers that their interests would be safeguarded.

“It is not intended that mountain biking will occur on many tracks in national parks: indeed; it is unlikely that there will be off-road mountain biking in every park.”

“The traditional New Zealand back country experience where nature is experienced on nature’s terms and at nature’s pace will continue to be the dominant one. Where mountain biking is allowed, pedestrians will have the right of way and conditions will be put in place so that traditional uses are not displaced or the enjoyment of others impaired.”

“The Conservation Authority is acutely aware of the importance New Zealanders attach to national parks as places where they can ‘get away from it all’,” Mr Marshall said.

“It has responded to the ground swell of demand for mountain biking interests while keeping in mind the interests of traditional users such as trampers. Everyone will have the opportunity to have a say on which tracks will get shared in the future.”

“In the meantime, there are many other places on public conservation lands where mountain bikers can enjoy their sport.”

ENDS

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