Vahry­ous thoughts

NZ4WD - - CONTENTS -

I wish that I could have been writ­ing about some won­der­ful 4x4 tour­ing ex­ploits that I’d en­joyed over the past sum­mer hol­i­days, but no… I didn’t man­age to get out there this year. Maybe I will have missed an op­por­tu­nity to en­joy many of our won­der­ful driv­able beaches, as we await with ap­pre­hen­sion the process of de­cid­ing on Maori claims to most of our coast. As out­lined by Muriel New­man of the NZCPR in her De­fend Your Beach news­let­ter of the 10th of De­cem­ber 2017… “You might want to con­sider how long it will be be­fore Maori tribal groups are dic­tat­ing ac­cess rights to your favourite beach. ”Few hol­i­day­mak­ers will re­alise that own­er­ship of the beach they are visit­ing is un­der claim. It doesn’t matter where it is in the coun­try, or how many gen­er­a­tions of fam­ily and friends have been hol­i­day­ing there, mul­ti­ple claimants are try­ing to con­vince the High Court and the Min­is­ter of Treaty Ne­go­ti­a­tions, that they have ex­clu­sively used the area since 1840. ”Many ap­pli­cants – in­clud­ing Ngati Pa­hauw­era – want wahi tapu across their en­tire claimed area, right out to the 12 nau­ti­cal mile edge of the Ter­ri­to­rial Sea. Un­der the law, ‘war­dens’ could be ap­pointed to pa­trol the area and fine ‘ tres­passers’ up to $ 5,000. The new ‘own­ers’ of your beach could also im­pose ‘rahui’ – another cus­tom­ary mech­a­nism to keep the pub­lic out. ”But be­fore you dis­miss the pos­si­bil­ity of such claims suc­ceed­ing – because the area has al­ways been so pop­u­lar with the pub­lic – con­sider this. The for­mer Min­is­ter, Chris Fin­layson has of­fered a Cus­tom­ary Ma­rine Ti­tle to a tribal group that claimed exclusive use of an area of coast­line that was used as a pub­lic road for al­most 100 years!” as ex­panded on by Hugh Barr of CORANZ www. nzcpr.com/a-vi­o­la­tion-of-the­ma­rine-and-coastal-area-act/ With Fe­bru­ary 26 2018 the cut-off date for be­com­ing an ‘ in­ter­ested party’ in High Court claims, un­for­tu­nately it is now too late to take that route to protest, but maybe the new Min­is­ter, Andrew Lit­tle, will take a dif­fer­ent line in how those claims are ad­dressed. I re­cently came across an ar­ti­cle about an ini­tia­tive in Western Aus­tralia where 4WD or­gan­i­sa­tions were to work with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in a se­ries of ‘work­shops’ about beach use by ve­hi­cles and how such groups might work to­gether on prac­ti­cal and ed­u­ca­tional ef­forts to en­cour­age re­spect of beaches and how they are used by ve­hi­cles. It would be good to see a sim­i­lar stance by the 4WD com­mu­nity here to be seen ini­ti­at­ing pos­i­tive ac­tions to try and re­gain some re­spect from the wider com­mu­nity and a gen­eral re­minder that beaches have been driven along by the pub­lic for many, many years. As a re­cre­ation we are not that great at putting our hands up to get in­volved in advocating for op­por­tu­ni­ties and it could prob­a­bly be best de­scribed as a gen­eral ap­a­thy towards at­tempt­ing to en­sure a fu­ture for four-wheel­ing in NZ. Our na­tional body, the NZFWDA has fo­cused over the past 18 months on the cre­ation of guide­lines around Health and Safety in an at­tempt to en­sure that our or­gan­ised re­cre­ation is viewed by the au­thor­i­ties as be­ing ‘re­spon­si­ble’, de­spite the leg­is­la­tion al­ready iden­ti­fy­ing re­cre­ation clubs as be­ing largely ex­empt. Sure, there are some pos­si­ble sit­u­a­tions that could push clubs into the realm of be­ing within the leg­is­la­tion, but those are pri­mar­ily when ‘em­ploy­ment’ is in­volved. While that’s been their fo­cus, there are a great number of other recre­ations that have been look­ing to se­cure ac­cess op­tions that would pre­clude four wheel­ing on oth­er­wise pub­lic lands such as un­formed le­gal roads ( ULR). Walk­ing and cy­cle­ways are the cur­rent fash­ion and are be­ing cre­ated along ULRs wher­ever pos­si­ble, but with­out con­sid­er­a­tion of other po­ten­tial users. It’s prob­a­bly even more im­por­tant to tap into the ULR net­work for those of us in re­gions where Kauri trees grow, as the in­creas­ing clamor to pro­hibit all ac­cess to ar­eas where Kauri are found, has po­ten­tial to arbitrarily close those tracks to the pub­lic to avoid the spread of the Kauri Dieback dis­ease. We should be look­ing for po­ten­tial al­ter­na­tive places and now have, through the Walk­ing Ac­cess Map­ping sys­tem, a re­li­able iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the to­tal le­gal road net­work ( in­clud­ing ULR). Ide­ally those ULRs should be in­ves­ti­gated for their value to four wheel­ing and dis­cus­sion about their use ini­ti­ated with the lo­cal Coun­cils. There will prob­a­bly be some re­sis­tance, but that’s not new and we need to find ways to make our use of the ULR net­work into a pos­i­tive for com­mu­ni­ties. Another way that we can influence, is to en­gage in the var­i­ous ‘con­sul­ta­tion’ pro­cesses the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion ( DOC) ini­ti­ate, such as the sur­vey about fu­ture uses of the South Is­land’s Molesworth Sta­tion. Molesworth is an iconic high­coun­try sta­tion, owned by the pub­lic of New Zealand and man­aged by DOC on your be­half. The sta­tion be­came a re­cre­ation re­serve in 2005, and has many val­ues, in­clud­ing her­itage, con­ser­va­tion, cultural and re­cre­ation. Molesworth is cur­rently man­aged as a work­ing high­coun­try sta­tion through a farm­ing lease and graz­ing li­cence to Land­corp. The farm­ing lease ex­pires in 2020. Through their web­site DOC in­vite par­tic­i­pa­tion in a sur­vey about the fu­ture use of Molesworth... www.doc.govt. nz/get-in­volved/ have-your-say Four wheel­ing needs your in­put to even stand a chance of get­ting ac­cess in the fu­ture. Have your say on the cur­rent and fu­ture management of Molesworth Sta­tion through an on­line sur­vey. Sur­vey closes 31 March 2018 www. sur­vey­mon­key.com/r/ Molesworth­con­sul­ta­tion

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