Recreation Summit Outcomes Welcomed
18 September 2006
Council of Outdoor Recreation Assns & NZ Deerstalkers’ Association
Outdoor Recreation Council & NZ Deerstalkers welcome Recreation Summit Outcomes
The broad based Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations has welcomed the Minister of Conservation’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Outdoor Recreation Summit, held last weekend in Wellington. “There was a very positive and co-operative atmosphere, with a suite of constructive recommendations for outdoor recreation on public conservation lands resulting” spokesman Dr Hugh Barr said.
“The Summit, the first organised by the Department of Conservation (DOC) in it’s 20 year history.” Dr Barr said. “It has been a unifying experience for the recreational users attending. Significant common ground had been found and a broadly supportive atmosphere among recreational users present had been a notable feature”.
“It was particularly valuable that a number of broad general recommendations had been agreed to by those present” Dr Barr said. “A limited time summit such as this could not cover all the many and varied issues in detail”. “But the general agreement reached lays a platform for moving forward to more specific improvements for the large range of recreational activities that take place on public conservation lands and waters.”
Principal among the recommendations was the proposal that DOC lead development of a New Zealand Outdoor Recreation Strategy, in partnership with outdoor recreation representatives. “I believe this collaboration will be a major step forward in DOC taking its outdoor recreation responsibilities and recreational users seriously, and there being an improved relationship with recreational users” Dr Barr said.
The New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association also strongly backed the Summit. National President Steve Veail said “We are heartened about agreement for improved public access for everyone to public conservation land and resources. And we are pleased there was agreement for greater recognition of the recreational value of deer and other big game wild animals.”
The Summit was called because of three broad public concerns: - that DOC was too narrow in its focus on native biodiversity to the detriment of recreation; concern that an increasing number of recreational activities on or over public conservation land were being unfairly restricted; and concern about adverse impacts of commercial tourism on outdoor recreation. “These concerns are now being addressed” Steve Veail said.