Cycleways, dairy and horse riding centre stage at Waikato forum

Opportunities to access the outdoors on horseback and the legal standing of the Queen's Chain were among the hot topics discussed at the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's recent regional forum in Hamilton.

The forum was attended by representatives from more than 20 organisations interested in access. It was one of four held by the Commission each year to coincide with Board meetings in different parts of New Zealand.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said he was pleased to see a good turnout at the event from both landholder groups and recreational organisations and clubs.

“The Waikato's farming heritage and the more recent growth in cycleways present both challenges and opportunities for access. Many of the region's farmers are concerned about the security and wellbeing of their stock, but they are still willing to provide access across their land if people ask first and take the time to understand how to behave on a farm.

“Cycleways such as The Waikato River Trails, The Timber Trail and the Hauraki Rail Trail are making it much easier to access beautiful parts of the region, but they are also bringing larger crowds, which can worry neighbouring landholders.â€