Omaui Tracks Trust

Previous recipients of Outdoor Access Champion Awards

The Outdoor Access Champion Awards were inaugurated in 2013. Below is a list of previous recipients.


Jamie Stewart leads the community enhancement and maintenance of a network of tracks in Pareraho Forest, Lower Hutt.


Judy Donovan’s work with Pukekohe Tramping Club has resulted in Pukekohe residents and visitors being able to explore the township more easily. 

Josephine Elworthy, with her Clevedon Trails Steering Group colleagues, has worked toward a trails network in Clevedon for over a decade.

Ally Davey brought the dream of Ride Coromandel Bike Park into reality as volunteer project manager with the Spirit of Coromandel Trust.

Jan Finlayson is the force behind Federated Mountain Club’s Same as SH1 campaign, and her outdoor access advocacy spans over a decade.

Suky Thompson developed the Banks Peninsula trail network as project manager with the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust.


Rick Edmond planned the largely volunteer-built 42km Link Pathway Te Ara Tuhono, which runs from Picton and Anakiwa to Havelock.


Dr Gordon Hosking leads the Mangawhai Tracks Charitable Trust which has opened and developed new tracks across Mangawhai.  

Shaun Norman developed a network of walking trails around Twizel including the Upper Waitaki Hydro Project Heritage Trail.  


Waiuku's Barry Gibbon received an Outdoor Access Champion Award for his work leading the Waiuku Trails Project.

Rayonier Matariki Forests received an Outdoor Access Champion Award for its work supporting the Pauanui Tairua Trail.

Waiheke Island’s Gary Wilton received an Outdoor Access Champion Award for his work creating Waiheke’s comprehensive network of walking and biking tracks.

The Mokihinui-Lyell Backcountry Trust received an award for its work creating the 85km-long Old Ghost Road trail.


The Omaui Tracks Trust worked to form a new walking track from the Omaui Scenic Reserve in Southland. It provides Southlanders and visitors with a new outdoor experience to the top of Omaui Hill, with a fine view of Foveaux Strait and Bluff Harbour.

The Green Hut Track Group members have been volunteering for 20 years. They are a fantastic volunteer group working with everyone in Dunedin's environmental and recreation sector. Last year they carried out more than 2500 hours of track maintenance.

The Waikato River Trails Trust was formed in 2006 to develop a network of trails along the Waikato, to bring visitors to the beautiful South Waikato. Over the last six years, more than 420 volunteers have planted more than 100,000 native plants. The trail is 105 kilometres long and is now open to the public 365 days a year. It supports over 20 businesses that provide services to people who visit the trails.

Rod Brown led efforts to open public access to a hidden waterfall in central Kerikeri, which had been unavailable for decades.


Robert Lange, who gifted 53,000 hectares in Central Otago, and Russell Hamilton, his local manager, who is creating a track network for public use.

Rod Eatwell, the largest private landowner on the Queen Charlotte Track, who, at age 88, still maintains the track and has extended it to a lookout on his land.

Duane Major and Adam Gard’ner 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.

Te Araroa Wellington Trust is a volunteer group that established the Paekakariki-Pukerua Bay escarpment track, which more than 60,000 people will walk in its first year.

Nelson Tasman Cycle Trails Trust is building trails for cyclists around their region, including working on a 175km Great Taste Trail loop track.

Whareroa Guardians Community Trust who have worked tirelessly since 2007 to build tracks, plant natives and trap predators in a farm reserve on the Kāpiti Coast.


Waitomo resident Peter Chandler received an award for his efforts to develop new tracks and trails in his region.

Southland resident Ann Irving was recognised for her work to create a legally enduring track giving access to one of the few remaining flax wetlands in Southland.

Lynne Alexander from Akaroa received an award for her contribution to developing some of the area’s most scenic walks.

Stratford District Council and employee Neil Cooper received awards for improving walking access across the Taranaki region’s picturesque tracks and pathways.

Sport Bay of Plenty received an award for its Virtually on Track website and City on its Feet programme, which aims to encourage outdoor access and physical activity in the Bay of Plenty region.

Dunedin City Council employee Andrew Lonie was recognised for improving mountain biking opportunities in the Dunedin region.

Whangarei District Council employee Hilton Ward was recognised for his contribution to improving land access for people in the Whangarei region.

Geoff Chapple, known to many as the founder of Te Araroa pathway, was recognised for his contribution to public access. Te Araroa stretches 3,000km from Cape Reinga in the north to Bluff in the South.

Policy advisor Hunter Donaldson received an award for his contribution to public access policy and the framework under which Herenga ā Nuku operates.


The Tasman District Council received an award for its work improving public access to Tasman’s rivers, lakes, mountains and coast.

Te Araroa Trust was recognised for developing the Te Araroa Trail, which runs from Cape Reinga in the North of New Zealand to Bluff in the South.

Former high country farming couple John and Rosemary Acland were recognised for their work raising the profile of public access in the Canterbury region.


Nelson farmers Ian and Barbara Stuart were recognised for their efforts to enhance public access, on their property and in their region.

Dunedin resident Brian Hayes, a former registrar-general of land, received an award for developing a range of invaluable legal resources on public access.

Wingatui resident Alan McMillan, chairman of Public Access New Zealand (PANZ), was recognised for his work in upholding public rights of access to the outdoors.