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High Aspirations For New Crown Agency On Walking Access

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
High Aspirations For New Crown Agency On Walking Access

29 October 2008 - The newly-appointed Chair of the New Zealand Walking Access Commission says he has high aspirations for the agency and its ability to enhance New Zealanders' enjoyment of the outdoors through the Walking Access Act, passed by Parliament on 25 September.

``The Walking Access Act will allow New Zealanders to take full advantage of the country's unique natural environment,'' said new Chair, John Acland, previously Chair of the Walking Access Advisory Board, the Land Access Ministerial Reference Group and the Walking Access Consultation Panel.

``I am very pleased to be offered the role of Chair of the Walking Access Commission. I have high aspirations for what the Commission will be able to achieve in partnership with rural landowners, the Department of Conservation, local government and users of recreational access.''

The objective of the Commission is to lead and support the negotiation, establishment, maintenance, and improvement of walking access, as well as types of access that may be associated with walking access, such as access with firearms, dogs, bicycles, or motor vehicles.

``I am looking forward to working with the other members of the Commission, who were announced by Rural Affairs Minister, Damien O'Connor recently. The members bring a wide range of skills and experience, including strong links with the rural community and an understanding of the importance of preserving and enhancing New Zealanders' appreciation and enjoyment of walking access across our wonderful country.''

The Commission will provide an important central point for the coordination of walking access. Key tasks will be to develop a national strategy for walking access that reflects and balances the needs of private landowners and the public.

``The Commission will lay the groundwork for the negotiation of new walking access and the improvement of existing walking access that will benefit all New Zealanders in years to come,'' said Mr Acland.

The Commission has also been tasked with developing a Code of Responsible Conduct for guidance on the use of walkways, compiling maps and improving public information about walking access, and facilitating the resolution of disputes relating to walking access. See www.walkingaccess.org.nz for more information.

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