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Commission focuses on Māori heritage, the environment and cycle paths
Primary Industries Minister Damien O’Connor has told the Commission what he wants it to focus on for the coming year.
In a letter of expectations he instructed the Commission to focus on:
- unlocking the potential of Māori heritage and history,
- minimising the environmental impacts of public access to the outdoors, and
- incorporating cycling access alongside walking access negotiations and development.
The instructions make up part of the Commission’s Statement of Performance Expectations for the financial year 2020-2021.
Commission chief executive Ric Cullinane says his team will give extra weight to opportunities that include these three areas of focus.
“Many of New Zealand’s track and trails have unique and crucial links to Māori history. They are an integral way of recording and teaching that history,” says Cullinane.
He also says interest in cycling is growing exponentially and off-road cycle tracks are a crucial part of the Commission’s work.
Cullinane says a focus on the environment is a natural one for the Commission too.
“People who care for and use tracks and trails usually have a deep respect for the environment. We already help people to care for and respect the environment through our education programmes and Outdoor Access Code. The Minister is asking us to build on that work.”
The Statement of Performance Expectations sets out the Commission’s performance measures, targets, estimates and budgets for the year.
The Commission’s goal for the year is to create public access opportunities to support healthy and prosperous communities. It does this by making sure managed access is available where and when it will add most value to communities. It also helps people know how to find access with its mapping system and tracks and trails information.
And it encourages people to access the outdoors responsibly through its school education programmes, its digital-led initiatives to change behaviour, and walkway compliance.