NZRA concerned about $2M decrease in recreation spending for DoC

The New Zealand Recreation Association expressed concern about today’s budget announcement, saying the decision to spend less on management of recreational opportunities for DoC is likely to impact negatively on individuals and communities around the country.

“Today’s budget announcement is disappointing news for Kiwis and the recreation industry,” said NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie. “Rising costs have not been matched by a rise in funding and we have seen a reduction of $2M”.

“The announcement overlooks the benefits that recreation brings to New Zealanders wellbeing”, Mr Leslie said.

“Research shows that people who take part in recreation are happier and healthier. There is also clear evidence that a vibrant recreation industry is good for the economy, with clear benefits for areas such as health and tourism. Decreased government spending means fewer opportunities to build, improve and maintain outdoor facilities and spaces.”

“On a local level, the most popular areas for international tourists have the least number of ratepayers. That places an extraordinary burden on the local councils in those areas, who are struggling to maintain their walking trails and cycleways – let alone build more,” he said.

Whilst the pre-budget announcement supported DoC infrastructure development, funding the ongoing operational cost has not been matched, Mr Leslie said.

“Expenditure on recreation on public conservation land enhances the lives of New Zealanders by way of the numerous social, economic and health benefits of outdoor recreation,” he said.

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