Introduction

A consortium of recreation groups is one of the big winners in this year’s government community conservation funding with $500,000 allocated to help maintain and enhance backcountry facilities.

The New Zealand Outdoor Recreation Consortium—which covers more than 130 tramping, climbing, hunting and biking clubs—will extend its work started last year with funding from the Community Conservation Partnership Fund (CCPF) doing up huts and tracks on public conservation land across the country.

Lou Sanson, DOC Director General of Conservation, says backcountry users are passionate about getting out and enjoying their outdoor heritage and this funding will enable more of them to be involved in its care.

“I am proud that so many New Zealanders are stepping forward to look after the places they cherish,” says Sanson.

“This funding will enable local recreation groups and DOC to come together in a meaningful and practical way to retain a better network of huts and tracks.”

The Recreation Consortium has already proven its worth with volunteers undertaking 80 projects from last year’s conservation funding round. This includes upgrades to 49 huts and 45 tracks, creation of three horse paddocks and a helicopter landing site, and installation of 30 lockable gun racks into huts.

Grants from the Consortium pay for materials and transport while volunteers supply the skills and labour to do the work. DOC provides advice and works in partnership with groups to ensure the work is done to the required standards.

Groups interested in getting involved in improving backcountry facilities should contact the Consortium and their local DOC office.

DOC manages more than 960 huts and 14,000 kilometres of track around the country with priorities for maintaining and developing facilities based on usage.  The work being done by outdoor groups enables more facilities to be enhanced and maintained, enabling more people to get out and enjoy them.

Tunnel Creek Hut on the West Coast gets a refresh, with assistance from the Recreation Consortium, thanks to outdoor enthusiasts Geoff Spearpoint (left), Liz Stephson and Hugh Van Noorden.
Tunnel Creek Hut on the West Coast gets a refresh, with assistance from the Recreation Consortium, thanks to outdoor enthusiasts Geoff Spearpoint (left), Liz Stephson and Hugh Van Noorden
PHOTO: Hugh Van Noorden.

Background information 

The New Zealand Outdoor Recreation Consortium, established in 2014, is an alliance of Federated Mountain Clubs, the New Zealand Deer Stalkers Association and Trail Fund NZ, which supports bike trails. The Consortium was allocated $700,000 through the CCPF last year and works in partnership with DOC to enable more backcountry facilities to be maintained and enhanced. See: www.hutsandtracks.org.nz

 The government’s Community Conservation Partnerships Fund—Pūtea Tautiaki Hapori (CCPF) was established in 2014 to inspire and enable community-led conservation work. 

The CCPF has about $26 million to distribute to community groups for priority conservation work over four years.  In the first year $8.5 million was allocated to more than 100 community organisations.

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