2 Oct 2009

Proposals for access to countryside released

8:40 am on 2 October 2009

There's been a positive response to a proposed strategy and code which designed to improve the public's ability to get to parts of the countryside and coastline without infringing on private property rights.

The Walking Access Commission, created last year, has released drafts of a new outdoor code and access strategy for further consultation.

The commission will negotiate with landowners to improve accessibility to waterways, coastal areas and other parts of the countryside and will play a role in settling disputes over access.

Farmer representative Chris Sunstrum has welcomed the greater certainty for both landowners and the public.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says the commission's work in developing a mapping system that will outline areas of legal public access will help remove confusion over where people can and cannot walk.

The commission was created to put into effect the previous Government's proposals for improving public access to the coastline, significant waterways and other parts of the countryside.