Keep Waikare­moana pris­tine or risk lim­it­ing ac­cess

Walking New Zealand - - Walk Talk -

People have a duty to care for the land and its kaiti­aki when they visit Lake Waikare­moana, says Walk­ing Ac­cess Com­mis­sion Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Ric Cul­li­nane. Cul­li­nane says news that free­dom campers and vis­i­tors are dump­ing rub­bish and felling trees at Lake Waikare­moana is deeply sad­den­ing. “Te Urew­era is a unique and beau­ti­ful place. It now holds its own le­gal per­son­hood sta­tus. We should treat it with the same re­spect and care that we treat people,” says Cul­li­nane. Cul­li­nane says Ngāi Tūhoe, who care for the land, should not be pick­ing up af­ter dis­re­spect­ful recre­ational users. “If we do not treat land with re­spect then the people who care for that land will in­creas­ingly call to limit pub­lic ac­cess,” says Cul­li­nane. The Com­mis­sion’s role to is in­crease and sup­port pub­lic ac­cess to the out­doors. Ad­vo­cacy for bet­ter pub­lic ac­cess is much more dif­fi­cult if people do not show re­spect and care with the ac­cess they al­ready have. One of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Com­mis­sion is pro­mot­ing rights and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of recre­ational land users and land­hold­ers. It pub­lishes an Out­door Ac­cess Code and reg­u­larly pro­vides ad­vice and ed­u­ca­tion for recre­ational land users. Above: Lake Waikare­moana. DOC photo

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