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?
Roaming wardens you mean? Where a bouts are you based? Down here in the QT/Wanaka/Te Anau region they are fairly adept at it. I know Brewster Hut got focussed on a bit because go that stuff I mentioned, but most of the other huts around here that are less than 3hrs from road ends have permanent wardens these days. I know in the Tararuas it was a different story, only a few serviced huts there and they were on the Eastern side (powell, mitre flats etc?)
Not much happening in Nelson Lakes the past few seasons apart from the booked hut. Saw 1 roaming season before last. She didn't ask to see tickets & 2 independent trampers made themselves scarce & quietly headed to other huts. There's not enough presence to be affecting word of mouth chatter.
So you only have one serviced hut up there? I thought there were a few, and its surprising that in that region theres not a lot more wardens etc because I know it gets smashed out from what I hear..
Lake Angelus can be booked out - the hut & camp sites. TAT runs through it. It's part of the Nelson backpackers itinerary. Not a major effort to trip up from Canterbury. Could be more wardens in peak season, but that's not what I've seen. There needs to be a culture change amongst hut users.
When we did the Travers Sabine there was a roaming warden walking the loop anticlockwise continuously through the summer. Haven't seen one the last two times I've been there though (always in Summer/early autumn). I agree there needs to be a culture change among hut users but how to make it happen?
"They invoice on the spot, all wardens carry an invoice book. And what you are referring to is called a roaming warden, and they already have them." Let me see how that will go Warden "hi Im the warden and you dont have a pass. Heres an invoice to pay at your next Doc Office" (In best foreign) "Thankyou I promise to pay" 2 days later Flight attendant " Welcome to (insert airline here) Your flight leaves in 30 minutes I hope you enjoyed your stay. This doesnt just happen here or just to hut passes. My father in law knows there is a speeding ticket waiting for him next time he visits Britain.
I've heard once that DOC/volunteers turned up at Welcome Flat Hut, at a time when no warden was based there, with an EFT POS machine and collected a lot of fees from trampers/tourists that didn't have cash with them or claimed they didn't. The only place I've encountered a warden in a non Great Walk hut was at Martins Bay. Once a zealous Nelson tramper fronted me at Mt Arthur Hut saying seeing your a Coaster I suppose you don't have a hut pass but I was happy to show her a current hut pass. (she was ok when I let her know that I do heaps of volunteer hut & track work & ended up giving me a ride from the roadend to my car) Sadly the current system only gets fees off the honest people. I estimate compliance is only about 25 - 30% at some popular huts where there are no wardens but generally a bit higher. I seldom stay at "Serviced Huts" but take note when I do if others sign the hut books, deposit tickets or say they wont pay and why. IMO it's often fairly hopeless wannabee hunters who claim they are doing DOC a favour or young tourists that don't pay!
@geeves haha of course I didn't think of that, I guess some people will do that :) On the ski fields they have auto arms now on most chairlifts to get through, maybe a similar system could be used to access perhaps not just the door but also the mattress which was kept in a slot inside the wall. Maybe when we are all microchipped the doors will all be set to unlock from those..
A couple of years ago,DOC told us that only 40 percent of hut fees are paid.When wardens are present ...The hut fee evaders don`t sign the hut book & so make it harder for searchers if they tip up.Darwinism sorts these out. Someone must be able to come up with a cost-effective solution?
Yes. Better system is a tax on $4 a year on every newzealander or foreign tourist. Job done, network fully funded and equitable. And by including tourists we even bring in more than currect expenditure. Before soneone whines about 'but I don't use huts, why should I pay my $4' - I pay for all those schools, rec grounds, swimming pools, libraries, social housing, dole, etc that I don't use so fair's fair!
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