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Tree Top Walk Application Declined

12 May 2006

Tree Top Walk Application Declined

The Department of Conservation has declined an application to build a treetop walkway on the Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve.

In October 2003 Air Walks NZ Limited applied to construct a canopy walkway, visitor centre, toilet block and car parks on public land at the Hokitika Gorge. The application drew 347 submissions when it was passed for public comment in July 2004.

West Coast Conservator Mike Slater said after examining all the information provided by the company and by submitters he reached the conclusion that the construction of a treetop walkway and associated infrastructure would be inappropriate at the Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve.

“Although Air Walks NZ Ltd has come up with a good concept, I am not satisfied on consideration of all the relevant material before me that it is appropriate for this location,” Mr Slater said.

“Submitters clearly demonstrated that this proposal would fundamentally change the nature and purpose of the Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve and I have taken this view into account as part of my decision.”

Mr Slater praised both the company and the public saying that both parties had provided good quality information.

“This was a complex decision and it was very pleasing to receive such a high level of public involvement. I have noted that, while there was a range of views on the merits of the proposal, the common view shared by all the participants was an appreciation of the special qualities of the Hokitika Gorge,” Mr Slater said.

A copy of the report document that formed the basis for this decision has been placed on the front page of the DOC web site www.doc.govt.nz under the heading “Consulting on”.


See... Airwalks NZ Final Report (PDF)

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