26 Sep 2008

Legal clarification sought over walkways law

7:14 pm on 26 September 2008

Federated Farmers is confused over a decision by the Fish & Game Council to seek legal clarification regarding new legislation designed to open more areas to the public for walkways.

The Walking Access Bill was passed into law by Parliament on Thursday. It creates a new government agency to take over responsibility from the Department of Conservation for creating and supervising walkways.

Federated Farmers says the commission is expected to work with landowners in establishing improved access, particularly for recreational activity.

Access issues spokesperson Donald Aubrey says that has been pre-empted by a move by Fish and Game to file court action seeking the ability for recreational fishermen and hunters to "wander at will" through pastoral lease properties in the South Island.

Mr Aubrey says Fish and Game is trying to undermine the new legislation.

Fish and Game says it is seeking clarification over the rights of recreational anglers and hunters.