Away from the 70 odd bookable huts on great walks etc - we have another 520 or so huts on our land where DoC expects payment via hut tickets or hut passes and 370 for which no fee is charged. Is the system working?
Recently I've spent most time in huts where nobody asks for money. The more I think about it the less I can figure out what I get for the extra 1, 2, 3 tickets or up to $54 per night.
1 deleted post from JETNZ
collecting hut tickets from huts is a separate issue from doc getting the income from passes or tickets sales.. Once sold, doc have the income, and have no need to collect used tickets from huts (other than to assess the level of hut fees compliance and hut use) not a very good means of doing either. ie most use annual passes, it seems. for the so called "serviced" huts in the tararuas, all you get extra, is firewood supply(no always, however) used to get gas heating/cooking, but doc removed this. Not very good value for money, IMO, and don't deserve to be "serviced" category.ie Mitre flats, tutuwai, totara flats, Jumbo Lot of hunters claim to not pay fees, for all sorts reasons. don't like 1080, already to animal control etc. probably just an excuse not to pay, IMO. I think that a lot of hunters still pay fees however.
Ok, $5 is a pretty cheap nights accommodation which ever way you look at it.
And like most older trampers here I too remember the good old days of totally free huts. I wish it was still like that - not so much because I want to avoid spending the money - but because I do see hut fees as a thin edge of a very fat commercial wedge. We've already seen too much commercialisation, but I also know that the 'good old days' are not coming back anytime soon. If I have to pay a government dept an Annual Backcountry Pass then this is a middle ground I'm happy to live with. And that means making it work. Elsewhere I've argued for ALL local trampers to make sure they are displaying their Pass on the outside of their pack. Over time simple peer-pressure will do the trick. You don't have to necessarily ask other people for theirs if that does not float your boat - but by actively confirming that you ARE playing by the rules then you are doing your bit. And that's all we need.
maybe we should do away with hut tickets, and concentrate on hut passes. And anyone who contributes directly to hut maintenance gets a "gold hut pass".
@ Hugh vN I agree totally. Tickets always struck me as unworkable in all sorts of respects. It would be much simpler to have a Monthly, Six Monthly and Annual Passes. With expiry dates clearly marked or colour coded. That would cover the majority of visitors to this country in a fair and even-handed fashion. I understand that members of FMC affiliated clubs get a discount off the Annual Pass, so that covers off many locals who are part of clubs which maintain huts. As for some kind of "Gold Pass" for high intensity track and hut maintenance volunteers - that could probably be best administered by the local DoC offices.
I only go out a few times a year, so like the option of single night tickets
Hut passes seems better than tickets to me too, Hugh. You're paying for a period of usage, rather than so many variable dollars per standard of hut. I'ld like to see DoC have compliance powers. Te Araroa Trail is free. Tho, they suggest a $250 donation per island. Freedom camping is free too. But I'ld like to see people using hut facilities paying for them. Presenting a hut pass at DoC in return for TA information or at a hut check would be simple. @PhilipW - FMC card gets me 30% discount off Annual Hut Pass.
What if you could buy a hut pass for 3 days? Or a week? Or a month? The main difference being that you'd just be required to have and show it if asked, but no messing around with ticket stubs in boxes and the like. I don't know if it's practical and whether or not there's much advantage. One advantage of tickets is you can buy ages in advance, stockpile them, and use when needed. Random groups like tramping clubs can buy books and re-sell individually. So you'd need a way to conveniently obtain passes without needing to visit one of the few outlets where you presently need to go for them. Maybe print them from online for people who have printers, or some kind of keep-it-on-your-smartphone app for this day and age. But there also needs to be a way to ensure they can be verified from remote, disconnected locations lest people just forge them. There would probably also be a section of people uncomfortable with losing the anonymity of hut tickets. Okay, they're not anonymous if you write your name on them, but still...
or some kind of keep-it-on-your-smartphone app for this day and age. With cellphone coverage as it is in the bush that wont work. It is also possible to pay by going to a doc office or there website after the trip and giving them your credit card details
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