About Us

The New Zealand Walking Access Commission provides leadership on walking access issues and administers a national strategy on walking access, including walkways. It also undertakes mapping of walking access, provides information to the public, oversees a code of responsible conduct, assists with dispute resolution and negotiates new walking access.

The Commission has a small team in Wellington and a network of regional field advisors. It is governed by an eight-person board.

Collectively, members have significant experience in farming, forestry, public service, land management, law, Māori interests, public consultation, local government, recreational access, and dispute resolution. For more information about the functions of the Commission please consult the Walking Access Act 2008.

Chair

2015 John Forbes for web

John Forbes is Mayor of Opotiki District and a former Co-Chair of the Rural/Provincial Sector of Local Government New Zealand. He has a good understanding of the agricultural, horticultural, forestry and rural sectors. As committee chairman of a rural council for 18 years and a Mayor since 2001, John has had significant experience in governance processes, public consultation and representing rural communities. He was a member of the Walking Access Consultation Panel and the Walking Access Advisory Board.

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Board member

Hillary AllisonHilary Allison is a retired public servant, whose last position was Acting National Operations Manager for the Community Employment Group with the Department of Labour. Currently she is the Director of Beltex New Zealand. Hilary is a registered General Nurse, has qualifications in many areas including social work, and has been a member of educational institutions such as Otago Polytechnic.

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Board member

2015 Peter Brown for webPeter Brown is affiliated to a number of Tairāwhiti iwi and currently works as the Māori Health Manager at Tairāwhiti DHB. He is a part-owner of a whānau land block which provides free public access to East Cape Lighthouse. Peter is also the chairman of a tribal farming incorporation, a director of a medicinal herb company and has his own orchard block. He holds qualifications in law, management and the environment and is certified in dispute resolution. Peter is also a former Waitangi Tribunal member.

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Board member

Lisa Chase is a fourth generation ex-farmer from Taihape. Her background is in international marketing based primarily in Austria and national primary sector companies. She has a passion for the outdoors, primary industries and improving the lives of Māori communities. Her management experience spans primary industries, media and communications. Currently employed as regional advisor for economic development for Te Tai Hauauru.

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Board member

Pierre Henare is currently the director for Tairawhiti Pharmaceuticals, a position he has held for more than 27 years. He has also worked for a range of government departments in both advisory and management capacities.

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Board member

Robin McNeill for webRobin McNeill has had two decades of involvement in outdoor sector issues as a keen tramper, mountaineer and occasional hunter. He is a past president of Federated Mountain Clubs and served for ten and a half years on the Southland Conservation Board. Robin played an important role in development of the Walking Access Mapping System as a member of the mapping system's technical advisory committee.

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Board member

Helen MextedHelen Mexted is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Advocacy at Local Government New Zealand. Her previous roles have been in the areas of marketing and communications with organisations such as Public Trust, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and Federated Farmers. Helen has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Studies with a focus in Marketing.

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Board member

Raewyn Tipene established He Puna Marama Trust in 1997, and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2006. Prior to this, she was a National Manager at Housing New Zealand, and an advisor with the Community Employment Group. She is completing a Masters in Indigenous Studies, and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, and a Bachelor of Science.

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