Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Public recreation may suffer

10 March 2005

Public recreation may suffer from high profile parks

The enthusiasm of the Minister of Conservation and the Forest and Bird Society for the new Ahuriri Conservation Park, and a whole chain of other high country parks to follow, should be tempered by restraints on development, use, and commercialisation.

Public Access New Zealand (PANZ) was commenting on the Minister's enthusiasm at the prospect of filming in the park by "a whole spectrum of companies from international car makers to a Danish ice cream company."

PANZ spokesman Bruce Mason says that the statutory purpose of Conservation Parks is to facilitate public recreation and enjoyment, not commercial hullabaloo. How can there be "enjoyment of the peace and grandeur" of this area, as Forest and Bird claims will result from park status, if there are no restraints on incompatible and unnecessary commercial activity, Mr. Mason asks.

Park status adds nothing to the legal protection of the natural resources of the Ahuriri. The pre-existing conservation area provided all the legal protection and public rights that the area needed. There was also the option of reserve status.

Generations of recreational visitors have valued the Ahuriri Valley as a low-key, relatively low-use escape from the tourism hotspots now evident in most of the accessible Alps. The valley has provided increasingly scarce opportunities for ordinary New Zealanders to recreate in an alpine setting free of commercial pressures, large facilities, and high-profile 'Great Walks'.

A very real danger from the current 'parks' promotion is that every area will end up the same, with locals displaced by commercial operators, development, tourists, noise and congestion. PANZ believes that there is a pressing need for sensitive management of these public resources.

PANZ calls for Government to immediately instigate a management plan for the Ahuriri park, with full public consultation. There must also be a moratorium on the granting of commercial concessions and further development of facilities by DOC while this process is underway.

"Its about time the public at large had a say, and not just special interest groups and DOC determining the future of the high country", Mr. Mason concluded.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election