13 Jan 2009

Thoughtless trampers come under fire

5:34 pm on 13 January 2009

Some trampers are accused of wasting police time and money by failing to advise authorities when they leave the bush.

The Department of Conservation in Queenstown is urging trampers who fill out an intention form before leaving on their walk to return the stub to a department office when they come out of the bush.

The department says 99% of trampers do return the stub, but the 1% who do not cause an unnecessary waste of time trying to track them down.

All unreturned stubs must be followed up because a tramper may actually be in need of help or be lost. Police spend hours trying to locate trampers to make sure they have left the bush.

Last year, more than 80 trampers were designated non-returnees, but only one or two were genuinely in trouble.