INDEPENDENT NEWS

DoC Shows Sense, Firefighters Don't

Published: Tue 23 Dec 2003 11:24 AM
DoC Shows Sense, Firefighters Don't
What a pleasure it is to hear the Conservation Department's Mt Cook manager agree with the Prime Minister's mountain guide, that DoC should not decide who should climb Mt Cook, ACT New Zealand Sport & Recreation Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.
"DoC should not be burdened with the responsibility, and should not be given the power - in case some idiot regulator or court turns the power into a responsibility," Mr Franks said.
"DoC wants people to be free to make their own choices - even if risk-taking goes wrong. It's great to hear that some in the department want to leave people with the freedom and responsibility of deciding whether their skills are adequate for their own safety.
"Other branches of DoC are pulling down huts that have been available for decades, in case someone complains they are substandard, instead of simply telling people they use them at their own risk.
"It would have been even better if West Melton people had heard equivalent commonsense, and respect for their freedoms, when they objected to bossy firefighters ordering them from their own properties.
"It should be their right to reject good advice, and stay on their property - as long as they don't expect someone else to take risks rescuing them when things subsequently go wrong.
"The Mt Cook manager's simplicity is a cool drink in a long dry day. In a year of new laws to `build fences at the top of cliffs' - and OSH prosecutions are forcing organisers to pull out of activities Kiwis have been able to choose for generations - a defence of freedom is startling," Mr Franks said.

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