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Public consultation on walking access set to begin

12 May 2006

Release from the Walking Access Consultation Panel

Public consultation on walking access set to begin

Consultation on the issues surrounding walking access to and along rivers, lakes and the coast begins next week with the first public meetings in Dunedin and Taupo on Tuesday 16 May.

The consultation process is being carried out by the Walking Access Consultation Panel – a group established to provide an independent perspective and an independent report on the issue to the Government.

The members of the panel have wide experience and expertise, particularly in rural, environmental and land use issues. The team is led by South Canterbury farmer John Acland.

“New Zealanders value access to the great outdoors, but landholders and outdoor enthusiasts often disagree about how and where access should be allowed,” Mr Acland says.

“To ensure appropriate access is guaranteed for current and future generations, we’re working to create a consensus about formal access to land for recreation.”

The panel has proposed a key aim and principles around the issue which are set out in a discussion document - “Outdoor Walking Access”.

“Essentially our guiding aim is that New Zealanders should have fair and reasonable access on foot to and along rivers, lakes and the coast,” Mr Acland explains.

“At the same time, one of the main principles we are considering is that people exercising their right of access should take proper care of the environment and not interfere with private property or activities.”

In the document the panel has stated that it recognises that the public generally have the right to be on public land, and that landholders generally have the right to manage who may enter private land and what they may do on it.

John Acland says the panel is really keen to listen to the views of the wider public on the panel’s aim and principles – whether they’re appropriate and on the right track.

He says the nationwide consultation meetings are an opportunity for people to discuss the issues and potential solutions face to face. The panel would also like to receive written submissions and the closing date for this is 30 June 2006.

For further information, please contact:
John Acland, Chair, Walking Access Consultation Group, Ph (03) 696 3857.

Information, the discussion document and submission forms are available on:
www.walkingaccess.org.nz

Meeting locations and dates in alphabetical order of location follow:

6 June 2006
Barrycourt Best Western
Discovery Room
Parnell
Auckland
7-9pm

24 May 2006
Scenic Circle Blenheim Country Hotel
Marlborough Room
Blenheim
7-9pm

13 June 2006
Sudima Grand Chancellor
Concorde A Room
Christchurch
7-9pm

17 May 2006
Golden Gate Lodge
Cromwell
5-7pm

1 June 2006
Dannevirke Town Hall
Dannevirke
7-9pm

16 May 2006
Southern Cross Hotel
Cargill Room
Dunedin
7-9pm

14 June 2006
Presbyterian Hall
Geraldine
7-9pm

30 May 2006
The Gisborne Hotel
The Rimu Room
Gisborne
7-9pm


15 June 2006
The Ashley Hotel
Rimu Room
Greymouth
7-9pm

13 June 2006
Kingsgate Hotel
Conference Room
Hamilton
7-9pm

8 June 2006
Helensville War Memorial Hall
Helensville
7-9pm

18 May 2006
Invercargill Working Mens Club
Invercargill
7-9pm

7 June 2006
Ohaeawai Hotel
Kaikohe
7-9pm

30 May 2006
Masterton District Council
Frank Cody Lounge
Masterton
4-6pm

31 May 2006
War Memorial Centre
Napier
7-9pm

23 May 2006
Tahuna Beach Conference Centre
Kotuku Room
Tahunanui
Nelson
7-9pm

23 May 2006
Grand Central Hotel
New Plymouth
5-7pm

8 June 2006
The Park Lodge on Paihia
Kingfish Room
Scenic Circle Hotel
Paihia
7-9pm

24 May 2006
Steeple Conference Centre
Kingsgate Palmerston North
Palmerston North
7-9pm

17 May 2006
Convention Centre
Rotorua
7-9pm

7 June 2006
Bruce Mason Centre
Takapuna
7-9pm

16 May 2006
Great Lakes Centre
Eastwing
Taupo
7-9pm

14 June 2006
Buretta Park Motor Inn
Tauranga
7-9pm

25 May 2006
James Cook Grand Chancellor
Wellington
7-9pm

6 June 2006
Forum North
Cafler 1
Whangarei
7-9pm

20 June 2006
Mercury Bay Golf Club
12 Golf Road
Whitianga
7-9pm


ENDS

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