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


Govt Pleasing no-one with Public Access Proposals

Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand Inc

12 June 2005 MEDIA RELEASE

Govt Pleasing no-one with Its Public Access Proposals

The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) wants Government to think again on its public access proposals, focussed primarily on waterway margins. “The vast bulk of outdoor recreationists won’t get their access problems addressed by what Minister Jim Sutton is proposing” CORANZ spokesman Dr Hugh Barr says.

“There are three problems with Government’s draft proposals” Dr Barr said. “First, they are not a fair, general and lasting solution to public access issues in the outdoors. Nor do they truly extend the Queen’s Chain, as promised in Labour’s 1999 Election policy. They are primarily aimed only at walking freshwater anglers, some 150,000 recreationists.

The vast bulk of the more than a million outdoor recreationists are ignored. These include hunters, mountainbikers, people with dogs, people wanting access to enclaves of public lands, and drivers. And landowners are not happy to say the least.

Second New Zealand’s main mechanisms for permanent public access rely on public ownership of land. The government’s “footways” proposals are directly counter to this approach. Most opposition to “footways” stems from this fact. First from landowners, by imposing access on them without buying a property right. Second with recreationists, because of the impermanence, uncertainty and weakness of the mechanisms available without public land ownership.

So the Government’s proposals have little support, or active opposition, outside Fish and Game circles.”

“Third, the access method proposed, “footways”, is not secure” Dr Barr said. “They can be closed for significant times, or blocked by fences and other obstacles. They may not actually work at all. “We are concerned that Government is botching this major opportunity to set up an access improvement process for the long term” Dr Barr said.

“There are at least three major government departments, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), DOC and the Ministry for the Environment, and all of local government with public access responsibilities. But few have any enthusiasm, funds or apparent interest in solving access issues.”

“We see the best solution as a return to public ownership, negotiation, and better information. This would be fair to both landowners and all recreationists. It would involve a core structure of an independent Public Access Commissioner, and an associated Public Access Enhancement Fund. Government mentions such structures in its proposals. But this general approach seems to have been derailed by “footways”.

The Commissioner would provide leadership and co-ordination. There are many access issues he could address immediately. The Fund would compare and fund solutions to access problems, including land purchase, alternative solutions, and better public access information eg on maps and brochures.

This would provide an ongoing solution to public access issues, and would apply equally to the needs of all recreational users” Dr Barr said. “Government must think again about why its worthy access intentions have met so much opposition. It needs to return to broader based and proven alternatives, not “footways”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election