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 http://www.doc.govt.nz/get-involved/have-your-say/all-consultations/2017/selecting-new-great-walks/ 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 http://www.doc.govt.nz/news/media-releases/2018/new-great-walks-initial-submissions/ , 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.
i started most of my tramping in the tararuas in the eighties... then i went to abel tasman national park, talk about culture shock... the vast majority of people in the tararuas back then were pretty local.. abel tasman already had masses of people from around the world visiting, pre internet viral media... now the foreign tourists have spread to most of the more accesible tramping areas.
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