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Commission clarifies that whitebaiters can use marginal strip to access Mōkau River
The Walking Access Commission hopes to help resolve a dispute about whitebaiters accessing the Mōkau River near the end of Te Mahoe Road.
The Commission is talking to the Waikato Regional Council, the Waitomo District Council and the Department of Conservation.
Lynda Edwardson, the commission’s principal advisor says there is marginal strip between the privately-owned farmland and the Mōkau River. DOC have advised that the purpose of the marginal strip is to allow for public access to and along the river for recreational purposes. The gate the landowner has locked is on public land, not his private farmland, so he cannot legally prevent public access.
The whitebaiters can access the marginal strip, but they must stay within the 20-metre marginal strip. The Commission encourages responsible use of public land such as marginal strips and for the users to respect the rights of adjoining landowners and their property.
“A good starting point for people wanting to check public access to land in situations like this is the set of public access maps on the Walking Access Commission website,” says Edwardson. “These show property information, marginal strips, unformed legal roads, reserves and other important public access information.”