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Recreation Aotearoa calls on members to engage their MPs in advance of General Election

Recreation Aotearoa calls on members to engage their MPs in advance of General Election
July 29, 2020

With New Zealand moving toward a General Election in September, Recreation Aotearoa is calling on its members to engage with their local MPs to advocate on behalf of the industry and the investment and legislative backing it needs to continue delivering community, economic, social and well benefits to the country.

Recreation Aotearoa advises “just as the recreation Industry starts to get to grips with a new COVID-19 world, we look up and see that a General Election is on the horizon and approaching fast.”

In 2017, in the months leading up to the election, Recreation Aotearoa wrote to each political party to ask a series of questions relating to outdoor recreation and outdoor education, publishing and promulgated their answers several weeks before polling day.

Recreation Aotearoa’s six questions for this year's election, which cover a broad range of sectors, interests and issues are as follows:

1. The 2019 review of the Walking Access Act made 30 recommendations, many of which require legislation to be brought about. Is your party committed to supporting the Walking Access Commission and amending the Walking Access Act (2008) in the next term of parliament?

2. The Government has budgeted $265 million to be spent in the play, active recreation, and sport sector over the next four years, to ensure it remains viable and adapts in the wake of Covid-19. Does your party support the idea that this should be spent in a way that is proportional to participation in the different forms of physical activity ‘NZers’ engage in?

3. Swimming, fishing, and canoeing/kayaking are among the most popular forms of physical activity in New Zealand. In the past, Recreation/Wai tākaro was listed as a National Value in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPSFM). Does your party agree that a specific reference to recreational access to freshwater should be included in the NPSFM and Recreation/Waitākaro should be reinstated as a National Value?

4. Conservation Management Strategies and National Park Management Plans are key determinants of how, when and where Recreation is undertaken on Public Conservation Land. They are required by the Conservation Act and the National Parks Act to be reviewed every 10 years. Currently, seven of the 16 Conservation Management Strategies, and eight of the 13 National Park Management Plans are out of date. How would your Party resource and direct the Department of Conservation to review Conservation Management Strategies and National Park Management Plans within the legal timeframe?

5. The ability to swim is a critical part of ‘NZers’ ability to enjoy recreational opportunities. However, school pool closures, cost pressures and a weak curriculum requirement have resulted in around 75% of schools not able to provide the minimum recommended lessons for students. How would your Party empower the Ministry of Education and schools to ensure that New Zealand Children can safely enjoy water-based recreation?

6. An overnight school camping experience in the great outdoors has served as a gateway for young people in New Zealand to enjoy recreation in the outdoors and develop an appreciation of our environment. Cost pressures, a lack of initial teacher education in Outdoor Education and a lack of targeted funding for schools have resulted in a dilution and reduction of what can be a seminal experience for Tamariki and Rangitahi. What will you Party do to ensure that every NZ primary school pupil is afforded the opportunity to have an overnight school camping experience in the great outdoors?

Click here to view the answers that Recreation Aotearoa receives.

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management. Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

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