Kiwis booking on great walks doubles
Doc suspicious people not being honest of their country of ressidence https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2018/06/doc-suspicious-as-number-of-kiwis-walking-abel-tasman-track-doubles.html
Then stop that. Onus on you to pick tickets up from a DoC office if you want the lower NZ rate.
the problem is they only issue the tickets the day before you're booked. around xmas, the info centers close, so you may not be able to get your tickets at all at the info center, they cant demand you pick the tickets up the day before even if its open on that day.... sometimes you can be passing through on public transport on a schedule that means the center may not be open or you're not stopping in the town where the center is. the later can happen with the milford track. the tickets are only issued at te anau and a lot of people travel straight from qtown on public transport to the jump off point further up the lake. or if you are going straight from another track onto a great walk and not going near a town you won't be able to get tickets. so DOC arent making it practical to pick up tickets..
Exactly, Wayno. I've known of a few people who have flown into Queenstown airport and jumped onto bus then transport shuttle straight to the Routeburn, or around to the Milford. In the past, theres been a few people on here walking the Routeburn and then heading straight onto the Milford (or vica versa). veru easy to do via Q-town, and impossible to call into the Te Anau office to pick up physical tickets.
DoC tells me ""Tickets are only collected from our office for Milford Kepler & Routeburn tracks. Because our weather is so changeable we require people to come to our office to check weather and track conditions, that is the only reason nothing to do with the price differential."" Office pick-up would take some pressure off the Hut Warden on proof of country of origin.
I booked Milford Track for myself and 8 others, total 5 Kiwis and 4 Oz, The booking site is quite clear and simple. You must pick your tickets up, and you must prove ID when you do so. This copied from the website "Proof of eligibility will be required for the New Zealand rate (such as a New Zealand drivers licence, utility bill or a copy of a passport)". No ambiguity in that.
the tickets are only made available the day before at the earliest. if you are going on boxing day for instance the doc office is closed the two days you can pick your tickets up..... in reality all you need is a printout of the email doc send you for your booking confirmation
""Note: If you are booking a Great Walk, the booking confirmation is your Great Walks Pass. You may still be required to collect tickets as instructed on the confirmation letter."" https://booking.doc.govt.nz/Help.aspx?fp=Introduction I'm guessing social media will be first to let us know how many false declarations there were as they get caught out at the time (or not) ?. If so, will they pay up or will there be a rash of cancellations ?.
The transport operators I looked at all stated their buses stopped (for the milford track) at the doc office in Te Anau and allowed 15 minutes for passengers to collect bookings / tickets before being taken to Te Anau Downs and the boat to Glade Wharf.
and you can still self drive to te anau downs and bypass the office, theres still ignorance from people about picking up tickets, all hut rangers have been interested in is a booking number, they can check with the visitor center by radio that the number is correct.
Ok, so there will be some dishonest people, but a fair proportion of those extra 'NZ resident' bookings could well be legitimate. Either way it makes their projections of income generation extremely dubious. There are a lot of people resident here for more than 6 months who originate from elsewhere and don't have citizenship here. (Hell, 60% of the workforce in my town is in that category). In a casual 'tick the box for your nationality' in the previous system, they'd probably tick their country of origin as their nationality. Now they're asking for their country of residence and it's going to halve the cost, they're going to legitimately tick New Zealand as their country of residence. I wonder if DOC has a clear and implementable definition of residence in terms of entitlement to the differential pricing. I expect not, which is going to open up room for a lot of arguments in DOC offices and huts. I pity the poor hut wardens having to deal with all this. Trivially easy to scam this also, whether at the DOC office or the hut. Very easy to get hold of a PDF of a friends utilities bill as that's how most are sent now days, open it with an application that lets you edit it, change the name to the one on your credit card and print it out. "Here's my utility bill, that proves I live in NZ, here's my credit card, that proves who I am, here's my booking in the same name printed off the internet, no I didn't bring my passport, no I didn't make it to the Te Anau DOC, I only had a 15 minute break in Te Anau on the bus from Queenstown". Projections of the extra revenue based on the proportion of people who selected a country other than New Zealand as their nationality under the previous system may be well off the mark.
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