INDEPENDENT NEWS

New agency to advise on rural walking access

Published: Fri 14 Dec 2007 04:23 PM
New agency to advise on rural walking access
A new government agency to advise on and implement walking access policies will be established next year, Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor said today.
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A new government agency to advise on and implement walking access policies will be established next year, Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor said today.
Mr O'Connor said providing access to the outdoors is an important and complex issue which affects many New Zealanders, and the purpose of the new agency is to provide national leadership on walking access issues.
"This agency will co-ordinate the involvement of key stakeholders including local and central government, help local groups with access issues and be responsible for mediation of disputes over walking access issues," said Mr O'Connor.
"A code of conduct, mapping database and national access strategy will be among the first tasks for the new agency.
"Funding will also be sought for a contestable fund, to be managed by the new agency, to assist with the establishment of new walking access," said Mr O'Connor.
Legislation to establish the new agency as a Crown entity and transfer the provisions of the New Zealand Walkways Act 1990 is planned for next year.
The agency will be monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
ENDS

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