Walking access map solves misunderstandings

By Rob Mildon, Manawatu Guardian

1 comment


Recreational access to land has in the past been a source of tension between landowners and the public.

Paper roads conflicted with reality, causing headaches for farmers and recreational users alike.

It's a state of affairs that seems to have been mitigated since last year's introduction of the walking access mapping system, an online tool that displays access-related information on maps.

The system "has contributed to substantially reducing the issues that used to be quite public", says Walking Access Commission chief executive Mark Neeson.

And Andrew Mercer, the Department of Conservation's programme manager of visitor assets, said: "We think it's fantastic and we recommend that everyone uses it."

The system was a good tool for avoiding conflict, he said, and was helping DoC and the commission work together in other areas.

In a survey, 97 per cent of respondents found the information useful, and 89 per cent found it easy to use. Encouragingly, 94 per cent considered it a good use of taxpayer funds.

"A big advantage is that it provides accurate information," Mr Neeson said.

Federated Farmers access spokesman Anders Crofoot said: "There have been no issues arising from it. That's been quite good. The Walking Access Commission has done a great job with it. They're to be commended."

An upgrade means the system can now be accessed from any location, either by smartphone or phone-capable tablet computers.

Third parties will also be able to submit their access information and have it included: things like campsites, beach access or walking and cycling tracks.

"That will be a real positive," said Mr Crofoot, describing how it's been difficult for farmers to communicate new or updated information about their properties. The potential embedding of contact information was a plus, too.

The walking access mapping system has been visited more than 100,000 times. To try it go to www.wams.org.nz

- Hamilton News

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 03 Sep 2014 19:01:21 Processing Time: 477ms