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News from the field - April 2016
'News from the field' provides a roundup of public access topics being worked on by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's regional field advisors. This month, we hear from John Gibbs (Taupo and Bay of Plenty) and Inger Perkins (West Coast).
John Gibbs, Taupo and Bay of Plenty
I have recently worked at New Zealand Walking Access Commission stands at three shows and exhibitions. Each had a very different audience, and together they raised awareness of the Commission and its work to potentially tens of thousands of New Zealanders.
The first was the Sika Show in Taupo in September the largest hunting exhibition in New Zealand, which runs in conjunction with a competition for big game trophies. Some 6,000 hunters from all over the country attend.
A decent proportion of visitors to our stand were aware of the Commission, and the majority of these knew about the Walking Access Mapping System. This wasn't too surprising as most hunting is carried out on public land, and hunters are often seeking ways to get access to those areas. Many are also rural landowners, so we also received enquiries regarding the rights and responsibilities of the use of unformed legal roads.
The Covi SuperShow was held at the ASB Stadium in Auckland in March. This is the largest motorhome and caravan show in the country, reaching over 18,000 visitors over three days.
Being an active motorhomer myself, I had low expectations about the level of interest in the Commission from this crowd of predominantly retirees.
However, the stand had a steady stream of visitors. And almost without exception, they were astounded by the Walking Access Mapping System and its potential benefits to their travels.
We had many genuine comments like: â€œThe most interesting thing I've seen all dayâ€