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


Attention Welcome But New Access Mechanism Flawed

Public Access New Zealand
News Media Release
22 December 2004

Government attention welcome but new access mechanism flawed

Government should get it's own house in order before imposing new and untested public access mechanisms over private land. This is the view of national outdoor recreation advocate Public Access New Zealand.

The seventy percent of shorelines and riverbanks with some kind of public reservation need immediate government attention to improve their suitability for recreation, rather than providing theoretical access over the 30 per cent in private ownership. The latter is the sole focus for today's Government access package.

"The Government's approach reflects a simplistic and flawed view of public recreational needs. Officials and Ministers have distilled their attention to just providing 'access' while ignoring the obvious implications of private ownership and incompatible land use", PANZ spokesman Bruce Mason said.

The proposed access exclusion from within 50 metres of houses and 20 metres of other buildings near waterways will inevitably result on a rush of new buildings that will thwart government's stated intention of providing public access. A continuation of 'normal' farming practices will result in deer fences appearing across riverbanks and extending inland at least 20 metres. Government's planned right of diversion for this distance to get past obstructions may count for little.

However PANZ does not believe that greater impositions of land use controls, without commensurate compensation, should be imposed over private land to make up for the deficiencies in Government's approach.

What is needed is for Government to honour its pledges of the last two elections to "extend the Queen's Chain", not to "review" the chain as they now misrepresent. The Queen's Chain consists of public reserves and not just a right of access.

Meanwhile officials in DOC and Land Information New Zealand fail to honour existing legal requirements to create and identify marginal strips when Crown land is freeholded. Given the pace of tenure review in the South Island high country Ministers' attention should be directed to ensuring that existing laws are honoured not ignored. Similarly many local authorities are appropriating 'reserves contributions' in the form of money rather than creating esplanade reserves from subdivisions. This requires immediate attention from Government.

History has demonstrated that public reserves provide the only effective prevention of private encroachment and any security of public use and enjoyment.

The Government's approach is almost a time-warp view of rural New Zealand - that the current open space will always remain so and that no subdivision and urbanisation will occur in future. The huge and growing interest in subdivision along any water margin, obvious to all, is ignored by the Government's announcement. Given this tide of development, without public open space provision Government's new walking paths over private land will likely prove to be an ineffectual access provision.

PANZ however welcomes other aspects of the Government package like improved public information. There is a pressing need for this, however the failure to address easily fixed deficiencies in existing access mechanisms is a serious omission, Mr. Mason concluded.

Last year PANZ presented to Government 40 actions that could be taken to improve public access everywhere and not just to waterways. Most of these could be affected with only minor law changes. With the exception of improved public information these possibilities have been so far ignored by Government.

PANZ intends contributing to the select committee process with a view to rectifying any deficiencies in Government's proposals.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels