Date: 02 February 2018
"We would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to put together a submission. We received an extensive geographical spread of ideas, with 20 walks located in the North Island and 10 in the South Island," says DOC's Director of Tourism, Recreation and Heritage Gavin Walker.
"Our existing Great Walks are some of New Zealand's most popular and well-known visitor experiences. They are a fantastic way to connect with our remarkable natural environments," says Gavin Walker.
"With the increase in New Zealand's population and rise in international visitor numbers, combined with more people seeking out stunning experiences in nature, some walks are reaching capacity at peak times. Through this public process we are exploring opportunities to expand the network in places where there is local support and showcase other beautiful but lesser-visited parts of the country. We also want to give New Zealanders Great Walks options closer to home and at quieter times of the year."
A panel comprising representatives from our partners Federated Mountain Clubs, New Zealand Recreation Association, New Zealand Māori Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Tourism Industry Aotearoa, as well as DOC, assessed all proposals in December. These organisations brought a range of knowledge and perspectives to the discussion which was informed by objective analysis of the proposals against the selection criteria (provided by consultants).
The panel has identified a number of walks that require further investigation and analysis. We are currently working with the new Minister of Conservation to confirm the approach to the next phase, and the timing of further decisions. Once this has been done we will be able to provide the next steps and which walks will be considered further. The Department is also working to keep those who submitted initial proposals updated on progress.
"The intention now is to undertake more analysis into the feasibility of those walks still under consideration. These need to rate highly against our selection criteria and offer New Zealand the greatest benefits from being including in the Great Walk network," says Gavin Walker.
Great Walks proposals map (PDF, 263K)
For media enquiries contact:
Lizzy Sutcliffe, DOC Communications Advisor
Mobile: +64 27 886 3507