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About us

Herea te whenua ki te tangata, tangata ki te whenua
Bind the people to the land and the land to the people

Herenga is an obligation, bond or tie. Nuku refers to Papatūānuku, the earth mother. She is the land in all of her beauty, power, strength and inspiration. She is the mother who sustains us. Papatūānuku is the reason we tramp, bike or horse ride across the land.

Herenga ā Nuku Aotearoa, the Outdoor Access Commission, is the government agency protecting and enhancing public access to the outdoors for everyone in New Zealand — walkers, mountain bikers, anglers, horse riders, landholders, trail runners and more.

We work with communities to create new connections to and across the whenua , resolve disputes and care for the land and the people who live, work and play on it.

Herenga ā Nuku provides leadership on outdoor access issues and administers a national strategy on outdoor access, including tracks and trails. It maps outdoor access, provides information to the public, oversees a code of responsible conduct, helps to resolve disputes and negotiates new access.

Herenga ā Nuku has a small team in Wellington and a network of regional field advisors. It is governed by an independent board.

For more pārongo about the functions of Herenga ā Nuku please consult the Walking Access Act 2008.

Some of the questions we can help answer

  • Where can I go fishing?
  • Am I allowed to access that land, beach or river, and if so, how?
  • Can I create a walking track on my land?
  • How do I set up a new group to build a walking and biking track in my community?