The Walking Access Commission is calling for nominations of people and groups who are champions of public access to the outdoors. Nominations are open until 17 November 2017, and the winners will be decided by the Commission’s Board.
The Outdoor Access Champion Awards, which have been running since 2013, recognise those who have made significant and lasting contributions to public access to the outdoors in New Zealand, including through building new tracks and trails, securing new legal access, and championing public rights of access.
"These awards are New Zealand’s way of saying thanks to some of the wonderful people who have helped open up the great outdoors to the public," said Eric Pyle, Chief Executive of the Walking Access Commission.
"We are lucky to live in a country with such spectacular scenery, and the people who work hard to enable us to experience it deserve recognition for their efforts.
"The public are encouraged to think about their local champions - both individuals and groups - and put forward a nomination for consideration," said Eric Pyle.
Last year’s award winners included Duane Major and Adam Gard’ner who led the public campaign that saw more than 40,000 people donate to buy a beach in Awaroa Inlet and add it to Abel Tasman National Park; the Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust for their work building trails at the top of the South Island; Rod Eatwell, the largest private landowner on the Queen Charlotte Track; and the Te Araroa Wellington Trust who built the popular Paekakariki-Pukerua Bay escarpment track near Wellington.
Nominations can be made via the Commission’s website - walkingaccess.govt.nz/our-work/walking-access-awards/ - any time before 5pm on Friday 17 November.