Coromandal Walkway
Photo by Robert Engberg

Find your next adventure this summer

This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Working Life Te Mahinga Ora magazine, published by the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

Find your next adventure this summer

Not all PSA members work for huge public service departments, alongside thousands of colleagues in District Health Boards, or at big urban councils. Asher Wilson-Goldman tells us about the work of the Walking Access Commission Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa.

Working for one of the smallest Crown entities means my colleagues around the country number less than 25, but we still take our responsibilities seriously.

The Walking Access Commission Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa isn’t quite 10 years old yet, but we’re the Government’s expert agency on public access to the outdoors. While our friends at the Department of Conservation cover 30% of the country, and local authorities promote access in their many parks and reserves, our mandate includes the remainder of the country.

There are no limits

My colleagues help to negotiate public access over private land (including Māori land) and provide advice to the thousands of passionate community volunteers who want to build tracks and trails to connect their communities to each other, their local beach or river, and to DOC and council parks. It’s a big job, but we feel lucky to do it!

Because we aren’t limited to a particular region or land owner, we’re uniquely placed to coordinate between community groups, iwi, landholders like farmers and forestry companies, DOC and councils. We know that people want to walk, cycle and horse ride in our most beautiful spots, and we need to work together to make it happen.

Find My Adventure

Our newest tool to support our work is called Find My Adventure. After receiving feedback that people found it hard to know where they could go in the outdoors, and that there were too many different websites to visit (DOC, councils, Te Araroa, community groups, etc) we decided to build a tool that covers everything. If it’s a track anywhere in New Zealand that’s open for the public, we can list it!

Find My Adventure is available on our website, but it doesn’t only live there – it is available for anyone as an embedded app to put on their websites too. In this way, through partnerships with councils and other track owners, we can make sure that no matter where they look online, people can receive consistent and high-quality info that lets them make smart choices for their next outdoor adventure.

Check out Find My Adventure or find out more about the Walking Access Commission at


Page last updated: Dec 20, 2018, 12:10 PM