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Sometimes signs are the simplest solution
Every year hundreds of access cases are lodged with the New Zealand Walking Access Commission. These range from questions about how to access some of the country's most stunning spots to disputes over access on unformed legal roads or questions about the Walking Access Mapping System.
In many instances investigating and resolving cases requires hours of hard grind, patience and perseverance. But there are also those cases which are a pleasure to be involved in. Cases where landholders go out of their way to ensure other Kiwis have the same opportunities to enjoy the outdoors as they did when they were growing up.
One such example is Nokomai Station in northern Southland, where the station manager has erected signs marking access to the Mataura River. The river is one of the country's top trout fishing areas, but sections of the river alongside the 100,000 acre station would be difficult to access if it wasn't for the voluntarily granted access.
In the three years that station manager Hamish Neal and his wife Anna have lived on Nokomai Station, they have grown to realise the value many anglers, campers and families place on access to the river.
â€œIt always intrigued me how many people wanted to use the river for fishing and camping,â€