Hunter talking to DOC 2013
Photo by Department of Conservation

Prosecutions Policy

Policy overview and purpose

1. This prosecution policy applies to any prosecutions that Herenga ā Nuku may consider concerning the offences prescribed in sections 54 and 56 of the Walking Access Act 2008. The policy’s objective is to ensure the public has unimpeded use of walkways established under the Act or preceding Acts, within the terms applying to the walkways, and to protect the interests of landowners as expressed or implied in the offences prescribed in sections 54 and 56.

2. Herenga ā Nuku expects that controlling authorities of walkways will generally be responsible for prosecutions under these provisions.

Applies to

3. The policy applies to those circumstances where Herenga ā Nuku takes direct responsibility for a prosecution but also provides guidance for controlling authorities of walkways in respect of any prosecutions they may consider.

4. This policy adopts to the extent relevant, and is subject to, the current Prosecution Guidelines issued by the Solicitor-General.

Explanation of the policy

5. It is Herenga ā Nuku’s policy to promote compliance with the walkway provisions of the Act through publicising in cooperation with the walkway controlling authorities, the location of walkways and the respective obligations and responsibilities of the public and landholders.

6. Possible offences will be dealt with wherever possible by mediation with the affected parties. Prosecutions are to be considered only when this approach fails or where it would not be appropriate, such as the discharge of firearms or the lighting of a significant fire.

7. Some of the offences under sections 54 and 56 may also be offences under other legislation. In these instances, Herenga ā Nuku will consult with the responsible agency to determine an appropriate course of action.

Conduct of prosecutions

8. Board will take any decision to prosecute for the offences subject to this policy on the recommendation of the Chief Executive of Herenga ā Nuku or in the Chief Executive’s absence, the person delegated to act in the Chief Executive’s place.

9. The test for deciding to prosecute will be taken under the provisions in the Solicitor-General’s Prosecution Guidelines.

10. Given Herenga ā Nuku’s limited resources, any prosecution undertaken by Herenga ā Nuku will be conducted by instructing a Crown Solicitor, who will be consulted before any decision to prosecute is made.


11. The Board will review any proposed appeal regarding any prosecution brought by Herenga ā Nuku before seeking any necessary consent from the Attorney-General.

Further background about this prosecutions policy