NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

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NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Sun 14 Jul, 2013 8:54 am

Mountain bikers, heli-skiers, campers and four-wheel-drive enthusiasts are set to win greater access to our national parks as the Government pushes for more commercial and recreational activities on New Zealand's 8.6 million-hectare conservation estate.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8916304 ... onal-parks
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby Hallu » Sun 14 Jul, 2013 10:06 pm

I can understand 4WD enthusiasm in Australia, because you can't access a lot of great places without it, but it's not the case in NZ. So creating 4WD tracks just for the sake of that particular kind of tourism is rubbish. Parks should be enjoyed by everyone, and some areas shouldn't be made only for 4WD... If you're going to build a track, make it 2WD and accessible by all. Heli-skiers, fine, they just do off track anyway, but mountain bikers just go down as fast as they can and don't enjoy the scenery as walkers do. Make them tracks if you want, just not in NPs... Or force them to kill 10 possums on each ride, at least they'll contribute to something. There's already a whole town dedicated to extreme sports, Queenstown, don't make it the whole country, please.
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby Strider » Sun 14 Jul, 2013 10:14 pm

Hallu wrote:I can understand 4WD enthusiasm in Australia, because you can't access a lot of great places without it, but it's not the case in NZ. So creating 4WD tracks just for the sake of that particular kind of tourism is rubbish. Parks should be enjoyed by everyone, and some areas shouldn't be made only for 4WD... If you're going to build a track, make it 2WD and accessible by all. Heli-skiers, fine, they just do off track anyway, but mountain bikers just go down as fast as they can and don't enjoy the scenery as walkers do. Make them tracks if you want, just not in NPs... Or force them to kill 10 possums on each ride, at least they'll contribute to something. There's already a whole town dedicated to extreme sports, Queenstown, don't make it the whole country, please.

Well said 8)
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 6:24 am

if you want to do the kepler track minus commercialism, do it quick, they are going to build luxury accomodation around the track for guided walkers as on the milford track and the extra helicopter traffic it entails. and mountain bikers are going to be let on the flat sections, how many i've no idea... but being close to te anau and the track being so smooth and flat for tens of k's the cope for easy montain biking is big...
plus mountain bikers on the hollyford...
i'm not against mountain bikers on walking tracks completely but they are a bit of a pain at the southern end of the queen charlotte wlk in summer, too many unskilled bikers weaving across the track...
doc stuffed up with aabel tasman park, once apon a time there was only one tour company that operated in the park , it wasnt overkill, but then DOC decided it was anti competitive granting a monopoly and let anyone become a tourism operator in the park and they capped it when it was already over run with them, in summer you've got a pretty small park 30 or so k from end to end and at least 700 rental kayaks alone most of those confined to half the coastline. plus heaps of motorboats, water taxis luxury accomodation, just people everywhere. honestly its busier than the auckland coastline in summer, mainly because a lot of aucklanders have gone to places like abel tasman...
probably because theres so much less 4WDing places in a lot of areas in nz than in aus theres more pressure to get access to the park.. you've got the maoris wanting to clip the ticket for their land, or like mt tarawera denying any private vehicle access at all.. mountain bikers are pushing for more areas to be opened up. some of the tracks are marginal for MTBers but the dialogue has been opened up so they are engaging in it. DOC had been anti mountain biking but things have swung in the MTBers avour now quite a lot more than in the past and pretty quickly in recent years
there are places in the south island high country that arent really used by trampers much if at all that MTBers and 4WDers could get more access to, we're talking about tussock grassland, not native bush lane. but you'll get some trampers who go there specifically for the solitude who won't be happy with this...
a lot of the operators are struggling to make a decent living with the competition...
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby blacksheep » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 7:42 am

Strider wrote:
Hallu wrote:I can understand 4WD enthusiasm in Australia, because you can't access a lot of great places without it, but it's not the case in NZ. So creating 4WD tracks just for the sake of that particular kind of tourism is rubbish. Parks should be enjoyed by everyone, and some areas shouldn't be made only for 4WD... If you're going to build a track, make it 2WD and accessible by all. Heli-skiers, fine, they just do off track anyway, but mountain bikers just go down as fast as they can and don't enjoy the scenery as walkers do. Make them tracks if you want, just not in NPs... Or force them to kill 10 possums on each ride, at least they'll contribute to something. There's already a whole town dedicated to extreme sports, Queenstown, don't make it the whole country, please.

Well said 8)

I completely disagree, or perhaps speed limit walking so that people who walk above a certain speed (and therefore "don't enjoy scenery as (slow) walkers do) are excluded. Also if you are not 6'3" and therefore un able to see above the scrub to enjoy the greater vistas (thus enjoying the scenery un-equally), perhaps you can apply for s special permit (or display ability to travel on low-impact stilts. At any rate, it is clear that we need some sort of test to measure whether the scenery was enjoyed to the prescribed standard..

I have biked all over the globe- on roads, on bridle paths, on shared access tracks/trails and I reckon I reckon I i enjoyed what I saw.

The wild places belong to everyone, and if a management plan is in place that adequately preserves and environment to folks travelling by means other than sub 5kmph walking (with 15kg packs minimum), then I think that is a win for all.

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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 7:51 am

the big tramping tracks that have been opened up to MTBers so far aren't steep tracks.
my issue is opening up smooth tracks close to where large no's of the general tourists congregate, bringing too many novices on the tracks
the MTBers are bing kept off the mountain tracks on the kepler. i dont think it would work, they'd relish going up to mount luxmore but they'd clash descending with all the walkers especially on the switchbacks in the forest.
you dont get large no's of MTBers on the queen charlotte walk beyond the southern part of the track, no ones ever raised isues with MTBers there, if they are relatively well spaced and can control their bikes enough to stop wobbling all over the track they are no problem at all...
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby Hallu » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 10:59 am

Letting bikers and bushwalkers coexist is a big, big mistake. Bikers don't want walkers in their way, having to break constantly, walkers don't want to feel that something might be thundering towards them at any moment. It ruins the experience for both of them.
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 11:07 am

well theres been no complaints on the heaphy or queen charlotte walks, you cant go that fast on a lot of those walks and the bikers are considerate but you dont get massive no's of bikers or walkers there, it just depends on the scenario, the track and the no's involved
theres a local walk in auckland though thats been opened up to bikers, and i dont see that working, high no's of walkers, lots of kids walking, , path not that wide,,,,
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Mon 15 Jul, 2013 2:57 pm

DOC is calling for more recreational pursuits such as four-wheel driving, mountain biking and horse riding in its conservation parks.

http://www.wildernessmag.co.nz/view/pag ... -says-doc/
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby izogi » Thu 18 Jul, 2013 2:49 pm

Hallu wrote:I can understand 4WD enthusiasm in Australia, because you can't access a lot of great places without it


Australia's also more conducive to it environmentally, from what I can tell, because (a) the bush tends to be less dense in many (not all) places due to the flora and fauna and generally lower rainfall, and (b) so many of the parks are (through necessity) covered in detailed networks of fire access trails for which it's often not *too* much of a stretch to turn them into recreational 4WD access. Maybe there's also a relevant difference in the relative flat-ness of some of the terrain, but I'm not sure.

Neither of those are generally the case in New Zealand, which doesn't mean there can't ever be 4WD access for people who like big grunty vehicles (and there already is in many places), but it does make it harder on average.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but my own impression of the arrangement of parks in Australia is that the most popular way of visiting the wilderness is to drive into the interior of a park, even with a 2WD but a 4WD helps, set up a base-camp and then explore in all directions. In New Zealand it tends to be to drive to the edges (it's usually hilly or mountainous beyond there), walk into the interior and come out again.
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby Hallu » Thu 18 Jul, 2013 3:11 pm

In Australia the most popular way to explore a park is actually not to explore it at all. Most people drive into the campgrounds, have a few steaks and pints, let the kids play around, and leave the next day. Their idea of "exploration" is driving and stopping at a couple of lookouts, but their main enjoyment is camping. There are far more families doing this than there are bushwalkers. Aussies' favorite pass-times are camping, motorsports (boats, 4WD, bikes) and eating/drinking. Bushwalking comes last I'm afraid.
In Australia, you have parks with huge networks of 4WD tracks, such as the parks of the Mallee country in Victoria, or the high country. You also have many parks that can't be really enjoyed without 4WD (François Péron, Coffin Bay, Purnululu, Rudall River, etc...). Compare it to the US, where you also have similar terrain in many parts of the country, and there you have no 4WD tracks at all (in NPs), unless maybe in Death Valley. It's a different mentality : for the Americans, the parks were created first and foremost "for the enjoyment of the people", which means ALL people. That's why almost all roads are sealed (or "paved" as they call it). And it's not only because there are more people in America and a bigger network of roads, many roads in their parks were quite an ordeal to build, and are quite expensive to maintain, such as the "going to the sun" road in Glacier NP. In Australia, it is more or less assumed that if you're a serious explorer or a normal family, you've already got a 4WD vehicle. And there are so many parks (which is not a good thing in that case) that you can't maintain them all at the same standard.

To get back to NZ I guess that if you're clearing a portion of forest for a road, which I'm guessing costs a lot of money, you may as well make it 2WD passable so it wouldn't have been for nothing... Unless they think all 4WD are loaded and they'll make them pay top dollar to drive on these new "wild" 4WD tracks.
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby roysta » Sat 20 Jul, 2013 7:35 pm

I'm so glad I've done all of the mainstream tracks I wanted to do.
The stuff now on my radar is well removed from mountain bikers etc.
What a joke it's turning out to be.
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Sat 20 Jul, 2013 7:38 pm

that is you think its well removed from mountain bikers, just give the national govt time and they will change all that :P ...

the minister of conservation has declined the tunnel under the routeburn, next up for consideration is the monorail to the south....
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby Hans_Dampf » Mon 19 Aug, 2013 10:38 am

I bushwalk some, mountain bike a lot and 4WD a little. There are a lot of people like myself who can mountain bike without menacing walkers (despite a couple of jaded posts most of us ride for pretty much the same reason we walk, although yes there is some aspect of thrills involved in the descending portions of a ride), and enjoy 'tread lightly' 4WDing and go properly equipped and with the right attitude. I think maintenance and enforcement costs combined with public liability burdens (with *some* conservation lobbying as the straw that breaks the camel's back) will result in reduced access for pretty much all outdoor recreation before long.

Where I live, cash-strapped post-forestry Tasmania, I would personally like to see less divisive bun fighting between user groups and perhaps a shift to opening up some portions of the new reserves on permit or even commercially managed access as a sustainable revenue stream and to allow more extensive and unique experiences for all the user groups. Clearly I don't advocate open slather access but where trail conditions (and I mean ground conditions, not blinkered opinions of users) might allow wider access and could provide a revenue stream to help provide for upkeep and management staff it seems sensible. Particularly in the large tranches of regrowth which has been reserved of late. Affixing a high enough fee to help with management may well also act to keep the dropkicks out too.

While forests can of course exist without us, if we wish to access them there will be costs and effort involved. With forestry revenue diminishing rapidly, it seems responsible to search for some way to recoup lost income and continue to provide outdoor experiences.

I reject the idea completely that
Hallu wrote:mountain bikers just go down as fast as they can and don't enjoy the scenery as walkers do.

..nor is mountain biking an 'extreme sport' for the vast majority of participants.
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 21 Aug, 2013 7:12 am

My wife just complained on the weekend walk that she didn't get to see the scenery much as we were walking at pace. She saw a lot of rocks on the ground though. ;)
Just move it!
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby izogi » Wed 21 Aug, 2013 7:42 am

Each to their own, but I tend to find that although I have a faster natural pace than many people (particularly up-hill), I still also tend to spend much of my time stopped, looking around and listening.
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Wed 21 Aug, 2013 7:48 am

izogi wrote:Each to their own, but I tend to find that although I have a faster natural pace than many people (particularly up-hill), I still also tend to spend much of my time stopped, looking around and listening.


Listening for the sound of national govt developments in parks....
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Re: NZ allowing more commercial activity in national parks

Postby wayno » Wed 21 Aug, 2013 9:06 am

Large tracts of Conservation Estate 'at risk'
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the environment says large tracts of the Conservation Estate is at risk.

Dr Jan Wright has reviewed the legal protections for stewardship land, which makes up 10% of New Zealand's total land mass, and believes there is little protection from commercial development.

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/large-t ... sk-5537907
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