Those new Great Walks

Also on the new Great Walks, I queried DOC about the apparent lack of direct public consultation for where the new Great Walks are going. The process is published at The public was asked for ideas, but that's about the end of it. An external evaluation panel picks a bunch of the ideas, submitters get to submit a fuller proposal, and then the external evaluation panel chooses between them. According to , the panel is made from FMC, the NZRA, DOC, and FOUR separate tourism entities. (Tourism NZ, NZ Maori Tourism, Air New Zealand and Tourism Industry Aotearoa!) It's not like they can put Great Walks anywhere without at least some people having issues, but IMHO there should at least be an opportunity for the public to submit on the full proposals before the external evaluation panel makes its final decision. When I queried DOC, the response wasn't promising. It reads as if they hadn't really thought of that, or didn't want to think of it, and that at best they'll consider something like it when this happens in future. > As you are aware we have recently run a public engagement process to identify potential walks that could be added to our Great Walks network. This process saw us inviting initial proposals for walks to be assessed by an external independent panel and discussed with iwi. > Community support forms part of the criteria to select new Great Walks and any impact on communities and current walkers will be considered with each application. We hope to invite community feedback to allow members of the public to have their say on potential new walks in the near future. > We are currently working with the new Minister of Conservation to confirm the approach to the next phase, and the timing of further decisions. Once this has been done, the next steps and decisions will be communicated and we will look to invite feedback from the public. If you're concerned about this, and where the Great Walks might be placed by a bunch of tourism entities if others on the panel don't have reason to question it, I think it's important to write to the Minister of Conservation ASAP and express concern that there's no opportunity in the process to comment on the proposals. She's probably the best bet in getting the process adapted to enable more public input.
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Surprised that FMC were recommending Tarawera be put forward. I'd have thought it were too short only a day walk, and making it a GW would put more pressure on the Hot Water Beach campsite which is shared with boaties. It's a super spot, I've kayaked there many times, and walked a bit of the Tarawera track from HWB. If it were extended over Mount Tarawera to the outlet like suggested in an old Wilderness Mag article then maybe, that would make a super walk with many highlights. Not done the Queen Charlotte track yet, though again walked very short bits of it while kayaking, it does though like the Abel Tasman open itself up to day walkers walking stretches via the boat drop offs, so would no doubt see increased traffic, but yes the campsites are indeed stony beaches.
i think the tarawera walk that was proposed was one that was going to be a bigger trail, i remember reading a while back i was supposed to run for about 40k around the lake. the rest of the walks all seemed to be on existing tracks. mount tarawera is controlled by the local maoris and not by DOC, the only public access allowed to by understanding is via bus tours. q charlotte is very hilly, only goes to 500m but the track goes up and down a lot in places for long stretches, its harder than it looks and because its not that high its hard on a hot summers day. i've seen people suffering when they run out of water, it gets droughts, the shelter water tanks on the ridge lines run out of water in summer.. so not sure how you're going to put a large hut up there, given DOC's propensity to close great walks when they dont like the health and safety aspects, would they close the huts if they run out of water? they put flush loos in the great walks huts which drives up the water usage even more. I can't see that working all the existing accom around q charlotte is at low level and have better access to water supplies. otherwise DOC will hae to leave out a hut along the longest ridgeline section and people will have to either camp or just walk the full 35k's of hills to accommodation lower down or put a big deeviation in to divert the track lower down to where a hut might have better access to enough water
The plural of maori is maori no need to add an s at the end.
But then, times change ?. ""When Māori players were banned from the 1960 All Black tour of South Africa due to that country's racial-segregation laws, a New Zealand campaign was launched to stop the tour. Protest meetings were held around the country, including this Wellington one organised by the Citizens' All Black Tour Association. Speakers included the renowned former All Black George Nēpia. The tour went ahead, but it was the last one where Māori were excluded. Until the end of South Africa's apartheid regime in the early 1990s, Māori team members were invited to play as 'honorary whites'.""
As regards Mount Tarawera being owned by local Maori, I don't see how that precludes any agreement to have tramping track including it. The existing stretch of the new Tarawera track must be across Maori owned land, certainly the Hot Water Beach campsite is, it's no longer run by DOC. Also the existing Whanganui River 'great walk' must be mainly along Maori owned land.
it will preclude an agreement if the local Iwi don't allow access. of course they may allow access. but the fact that DOC don't have control over the land in the first place puts the result out of their hands... remember you're dealing with local iwi, completely different leaders making the decisions in different regions. access may be granted but then an agreement has to be arrived at between DOC and the Iwi on the details of the walk. the Iwi could disagree at any stage and revoke access . and whats to stop the iwi changing their mind after access is granted and stopping it later? jut a hypothetical , i have no knowledge that tells me it will happen but its what happens on the Te Araroa trail. they have to negotiate land access over private land, the decision makers change or circumstances change and then land access can be revoked at any time...
I can't really imagine DOC investing much time and money into a high profile Great Walk over private land until there were some kind of legally binding covenant in place to ensure the rug couldn't be pulled out from underneath after a heap of effort and investment. It's not out of the question that something might be set up, but presumably it'd complicate things. On the other hand, you've got DOC spending a fair amount on facilities located behind private land where individual land-owners still can, and occasionally do, choose to complicate or block public access rights.
a lot the great walks they were considering werent selected on the same categories of the past great walks had to be in national parks and areas of unique geographical significance.... now its about putting one in wherever they think it will float. they are moving into the realm of the national cycle trails, which are completely different, they dont tend to be on DOC land but part of some of them are... and they integrate with local businesses and are designed to help stimulate local business... but in the case of great walks you are investing a lot of money in to building huts as well as any track or bridge upgrades... there seems to be a market for people who want to tramp the great walk grade tracks and less of a market to tramp standard rougher NZ tracks.... people are still willing to pay increasing amounts of money to get on great walks and there is a heirarchy of those which are far more popular than others, theres no guarantee making another one will make it popular,
> "past great walks had to be in national parks and areas of unique geographical significance" Did they? Or is that just where they happened to be because there was already existing infrastructure in places many people wanted to visit? I can't find much direct documentation on the original justification of Great Walks, but there's various secondary info around (reports in old FMC Bulletins, etc) which indicate that the original Great Walks were about imposing a more appropriate management system on several specific walks that were already popular or of great interest for some reason or another
I agree that the original motivation for the GW system was probably to help manage some already very popular walks. I worked at Lake Howden in the early 80's over one summer; the whole system was relatively informal and even back then it was clear the numbers were going to overwhelm the resource. (We usually collected hut fees directly in cash, and the sum of money I'd have stashed away after a month or so before a Senior Ranger would turn up to take it away was quite staggering.)
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Forum Tracks, routes, and huts
Started by izogi
On 28 February 2018
Replies 50
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