Background to the Code
This Code has been prepared, as required under ‘Subpart 2 – Code of Responsible Conduct’ of the Walking Access Act, 2008. The Commission can, in the future, decide to amend the Code or prepare a new Code (section 18 of the Act). The relevant sections of the Act (Part 2; Subpart 2 – Code of Responsible Conduct) are reproduced in Appendix 1.
The Code provides guidance on appropriate behaviour in the outdoors and on the access rights and responsibilities of access users, landholders and land managers. It is not an authoritative statement of law on public access or private property rights.
The Commission has identified key behaviour principles that need to be incorporated into the Code. These are:
- taking personal responsibility for one’s own actions;
- respecting the interests and rights of other people; and
- taking care of the environment.
As required under the Act, this Code provides guidance on responsible conduct to:
- users of walking access;
- landholders of land on which walking access is located;
- landholders of land adjoining land on which walking access is located; and
- the controlling authorities of walkways1.
The Act refers to a ‘code of responsible conduct’. The Commission has selected the title New Zealand Outdoor Access Code as an appropriate generic name for an over-arching code that can be further defined for specific outdoor activities, such as biking, camping, or rock-climbing. Enabling issues of importance to particular users to be incorporated may mean that the Code is relevant to more people.