Lake Tekapo
Photo by Tobias Keller


New Zealanders love the great outdoors – whether it’s for hunting, tramping, or fishing, or for a trip to the beach or a picnic by the river.

The New Zealand Walking Access Commission, set up in 2008, now leads and supports the negotiation, establishment, retention, and improvement of walking access and associated types of access. Its goal is to achieve free, enduring and practical walking access to the outdoors in a way that respects everyone’s rights and the environment.

One of the Commission’s first tasks has been to produce a code of responsible conduct in relation to walking access, and I am pleased to present the New Zealand Outdoor Access Code. While the Code focuses on walking access, the basic principles are applicable to other activities, such as mountain biking, horse riding, or fishing.

The Code aims to enhance people’s knowledge and understanding of what to do in the outdoors and raise awareness of access rights and responsibilities. It is practical and informative. It should also help to minimise damage and nuisance caused by access users by encouraging responsible behaviour and consequently encouraging landholders to allow access for recreational visitors.

I commend the Commission and all stakeholder groups and members of the public who contributed to the development of this Code.

Hon David Carter

Minister of Agriculture, 2010