Advocacy win for NZRA
Kia ora koutou. I attended a briefing to rec organisations at MPI yesterday on the next phase of the Kauri dieback programme. MPI are currently consulting on a refreshed strategy, a draft National Pest Management Plan, and the design of an agency that will be established to protect Kauri. NZRA has been actively facilitating information sharing between authorities and recreation user groups in Auckland following the closure of tracks in Waitakere and Hunua and have been advocating for better alignment across government so that displacement of recreation is being planned for in the long term.
It's pleasing to see therefore that we've been listened to in the refreshed strategy. Providing alternative recreation opportunities will be a recommended response to track closures. I think the strategy can be further enhanced through better alignment of current and future participation and track utilisation data from the recreation and tourism sectors with MPIs increasing detailed mapping of Kauri locations. And I think there should also be a funding model for new track development implemented through the proposed agency whereby Government is investing a certain percentage of the costs, similar to how cycleway developments are being funded.
Its evident that there's still silos operating at the government level however.
I attended the launch of the Government Tourism Strategy at Parliament earlier in the week. It's notable in being a multi-agency strategy that joins up planning across a number of areas within Government. NZ has been very successful in establishing an appealing tourism brand and visitor arrival growth is strong. The new strategy focusses on planning for required infrastructure and controls to sustainably manage tourism growth, spreading the benefits, and striving for quality tourism experiences that reflect NZ's culture and heritage.
I asked a specific question about the role MPI and Walking Access Commission (WAC) will play in the strategy, citing the recreational/tourism displacement due to kauri dieback and the perceived lack of long term planning around this issue. WAC aren't mentioned in the strategy at all. MPI are and kauri dieback appear a couple of times in the full document but it's not clear how the Kauri Dieback Programme links to the Tourism Strategy.
Some more advocacy work for us to do then on these critical issues.
Ngā mihi nui
Andrew Leslie, NZRA CEO
12 November 2018
Many thanks. Attending Auckland Regional Trail Leaders Walkshop this Thurs in Ak. Important both in strategies for displacement caused by KDB and tourism.