Freshwater Anglers Welcome Ministerial Support on Access Issues
The NZFFA, a national organisation representing freshwater anglers, welcomes Minister Carter’s enthusiastic support for the work of the Walking Access Commission in the resolution of access issues to public lands and waterways. Acting NZFFA President Ken Sims said the Minister’s enthusiasm was heartening.
The Federation, along with other organisations representing outdoor recreation, attended a National Stakeholders Forum of the Walking Access Commission in Wellington. Also represented were Fish & Game NZ, Public Access NZ, the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ, the Te Araroa Trust and primary industry and local government representatives.
A Ministry spokesperson described how much the Minister was absolutely committed to the ideals, purpose and success of the Walking Access Commission, under his Ministry. Such commitment is welcomed by outdoor recreational organisations.
These organisations were able to tell the Commission that, while they welcomed the work of the WAC so far, particularly with their website and mapping system, it was time to tackle the harder and more serious issues concerning public access to public resources. They made impassioned pleas for assistance from the Commission in clarifying legal descriptions involving public resources, defining public rights surrounding public land, establishing protocols for the exercising of those rights, assisting in cases where local authorities and the police refused to discharge their current statutory obligations over access issues, and the need for free, certain, enduring and practical access to Crown Forests for legal recreational purposes.
The Federation of Freshwater Anglers will be continuing the theme of public access to public waterways at their Annual General Meeting in Dunedin at the end of April. This will include the creeping cancers of excluding access to public rivers for commercial purposes, and the illegal charging for access to fish public waterways.