NZWAC recognises Whangarei's Hilton Ward for championing access

Whangarei District Council staff member Hilton Ward has been recognised by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission for his contribution towards improving land access for people in the Whangarei region.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission regional field advisor for Northland John Gardiner said Mr Ward's positive efforts to promote a collaborative approach among the different parties that have a stake in how local walkways are used has significantly benefited walkers in the area.

“Hilton Ward has earned a well-deserved reputation in Whangarei for championing land access,” Mr Gardiner said.

“Whenever an issue needs resolving, Mr Ward steps into action, each time making sure all relevant parties are engaged, including the Council, landowners and the Commission.

“Mr Ward has a personable, down-to-earth approach in his dealings with others that lends itself well to the negotiation and resolution of issues that can sometimes be complex.”

Mr Ward is Engineers Assistant (Roading) at the Council. He has been collaborating with landowners, the Commission and other interested parties over the past five years on a number of issues, generally involving access to unformed legal roads.

He is known for investigating and resolving issues quickly and in a practical manner that all parties involved can be satisfied with.

“Having someone like Mr Ward on board who is a good communicator and is committed to finding practical solutions makes all the difference,” Mr Gardiner said.

“Through his efforts, he has had a positive influence and we hope others will take his lead so that we can continue to improve walking access for many more New Zealanders.”

The award was presented to Mr Ward yesterday, at the office of Whangarei Mayor, Sheryl Mai.

“Whangarei District Council is very proud of Hilton's work with the Commission, which is a great example of how our Council staff work collaboratively with other agencies to enhance people's enjoyment of our District,” Mayor Mai said.

The Commission's operations manager Ric Cullinane was present, along with John Gardiner, regional field advisor for Northland.

Access information relating to unformed legal roads and other walkways can be found on the Commission's website at

Photo caption: Hilton Ward (centre), with (from left to right) New Zealand Walking Access Commission Operations Manager Ric Cullinane, Northland Regional Advisor John Gardiner, Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai, and Whangarei District Council Chief Executive Rob Forlong.

Page last updated: Sep 8, 2020, 3:47 PM